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Houston Texans vs Baltimore Ravens Predictions, Picks and Best Bets – NFL Playoffs 1/20/24

Houston Texans vs Baltimore Ravens NFL playoff prediction

Houston Texans vs Baltimore Ravens Prediction: The Betting Analysis

NFL content contributor Ron Marmalefsky offers his expert betting prediction and picks for Houston Texans vs Baltimore Ravens NFL Playoff matchup kicking off on January 20th at 4:30pm ET. What are they looking at from a betting perspective? Get his NFL Playoff betting analysis now!

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Houston Texans vs Baltimore Ravens Predictions: Best Betting Odds & Game Info

Saturday, January 20NFL Playoff Betting Notes (Courtesy of Caesars)
Spread:Houston Texans +9 vs Baltimore Ravens
Total:44.5 (Over -110 / Under -110)
Game Time:4:30pm ET / 1:30pm PT
Arena:M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, MD
TV:ESPN and ABC

Texans Wildcard Game Takeaways

Joe Flacco was exactly as advertised, as least as far as my handicapping was concerned. Lost in all the praise for him was how often he was giving the ball away via interceptions.

Houston surprised me with four defensive sacks and of course, they stopped the run. Offensively, Stroud was 16-21, effortlessly throwing the deep ball with positive results.

The two concerns were a) still allowing in excess of 300 passing yards, and b) the lack of a true #2 target at WR should Nico Collins get contained.

Ravens Strengths and Weaknesses

This is only a sampling of what got the Ravens to the #1 seed. Lamar Jackson was electric all season, hitting in excess of 67% and putting Baltimore in position to win each and every week.

Despite RB injuries, the Ravens averaged over 156 yards-per-game on the ground. Rookie WR Zay Flowers was special.

The rush TD ratio was 26-6, while the pass defense was not only top five by way of percentage (60.6) but also in yards allowed per completion (384-3,717).

Their usually stout run defense allowed 4.5 per carry in 2023, a number I haven’t seen in at least two decades? Baltimore is a quick-starting team, but protecting 4th quarter leads have been an adventure under Harbaugh.

Houston Texans vs Baltimore Ravens Prediction: The PICK

Stroud has been red hot and did a great job solving the Cleveland Brown’s pass defense, but he was far less successful when facing the Jets and their powerful defense on 12/10 (30-6 loss).

This road game won’t be easy. Not listed up above was the fact that the Ravens ended 2023 with 60 defensive sacks.

I’ve noted that Baltimore’s run defense was unusually vulnerable this year. Houston’s ability to run Singletary successfully might be the biggest watch area for this game.

If Houston can protect Stroud, then attention turns to how well the Ravens can protect a lead come the 4th quarter.

My numbers make this game Baltimore by 10 or 10.5, depending on what value you give to a #1 seed and their home field advantage edge. Last week Houston had a positive playoff indicator. This week that indicator turns negative.

Lean: Baltimore Ravens -9

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