Ravens vs. Texans Prediction: Best Bets for NFL Divisional Round, Jan. 20

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Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) throws during an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Monday, Dec. 25, 2023, in Santa Clara, Calif.
(Scot Tucker/AP Photo)
Nick Hennion @nickhennion Jan 19, 2024, 12:15 PM
  • The Ravens are 9.5-point home favorites against the Texans.
  • Baltimore earned a 25-9 home win against the Texans in Week 1.
  • Houston’s offense sees a massive drop-off in outdoor games.

Ahead of Saturday’s AFC divisional round matchup in Baltimore, I’m here to offer a Ravens vs. Texans prediction. 

Houston looked like world-beaters against the Browns in the wild-card round, capturing a 45-14 home win as underdogs. 

Now they’ll travel to face Baltimore, who didn’t partake in the first round thanks to finishing atop the AFC in the regular season. 

Here’s a look at NFL betting lines for Saturday’s game, along with my bets for the contest. 

Ravens vs. Texans Betting Odds

  • Baltimore Ravens Moneyline: -500
  • Houston Texans Moneyline: +310
  • Game Spread: Baltimore Ravens -9.5
  • Game Total: 45.5 Points

Ravens vs. Texans Betting Predictions

Baltimore Ravens Spread (-9.5) vs. Houston Texans

The Texans are a great story, but I can’t see them keeping this game close. 

My belief in fading them largely comes down to their ineffective offense when playing outdoors. 

Although it’s proved boom or bust, Houston is averaging only 19 points per game in road contests behind C.J. Stroud. 

In those five games, they’ve scored 30 or more points twice and under 13 points three times. 

Given the Ravens rank first in defensive DVOA, I expect Houston’s output will prove closer to the latter mark. 

Of their two explosive outdoor performances, one came against a Bengals team 23rd in defensive DVOA. Additionally, they managed only nine points vs. Baltimore in Week 1. 

From there, I’m going to sell Houston’s defensive viability. 

Although they’re 16th in defensive DVOA and 14th in EPA per play, they played the fourth-easiest set of opposing offenses in the league, per ftnfantasy.com. 

To date, they’ve faced only one offense 10th or better in offensive DVOA (Baltimore), surrendering 25 points. 

In four games against sides 13th or better in offensive DVOA, Houston surrendered 25.5 points per game. 

Although the Texans are 2-2 against this number in those four games, their two wins came against teams 20th or worse in defensive DVOA, per ftnfantasy.com. 

In the two losses, they failed to stay within this number. 

Add in that road underdogs off a win as home dogs in the playoffs are 1-5 ATS since 2004-05, and I’ll back the Ravens at -10 or better.

Ravens-Texans 1H Total Under 21.5 (-110) | Full Game Total Under 43.5 (-110)

These plays are largely against the Texans, who struggle to score in outdoor road games. 

Even if you include their indoor results, bettors will find the Texans managed only 19.5 points per game away from home this season, including 8.3 points per game in the first half. 

Shrink the sample down to five outdoor games with C.J. Stroud at quarterback, and bettors will find those first halves featured 12 points per game, with all five staying under 21.5 points. 

For the entire season, all eight Texans road games stayed under the first half total. 

Plus, Baltimore leads the league in first-half points per game allowed. Barring an offensive explosion from the Ravens, the first half should feature minimal scoring. 

As for the full-game total, this bet matches two historically profitable betting systems. 

Outdoor postseason games with minimum 10 mph winds are 66% to the under, including 24-13 in the wild-card and divisional rounds. 

Plus, since 2013-14, outdoor games featuring a non-divisional matchup are 63.5% to the under in the wild-card and divisional rounds. 

Given the first meeting between these teams featured only 34 points – including 13 in the first half – back both unders Saturday in Baltimore.

Zay Flowers Over 4.5 Receptions (+100)

Flowers exploded for nine catches on 10 targets in Week 1 against the Texans, so this number is slightly surprising. 

Plus, Flowers has proved a favorite target of Lamar Jackson this season – he’s amassed 108 targets – and has proved particularly effective against zone coverage. 

At a 24.4% target share against zone, Flowers leads the next Ravens receiver by six percentage points. 

In eight games against teams who deploy zone coverage at an above-average rate, Flowers cleared this number six times. Of his two failures, one came via the hook. 

Even more encouraging is that he’s clearing this number by a healthy margin. Across all eight games – including a one-catch performance against Jacksonville – he’s averaging 5.9 receptions per game. 

Jackson also seemingly prefers high-percentage throws to Flowers, who has a 74.5% catch rate against zone coverage. 

In that eight-game sample, he amassed those 5.9 receptions on 8.4 targets per game.

Even with Mark Andrews returning from injury, I’ll back the over with Flowers, given it’s available in plus-money.  

Gus Edwards Anytime Touchdown (-105) vs. Houston Texans

Edwards has scored 13 touchdowns this season, cashing his anytime touchdown in nine of 17 games. 

Shrink the sample down to games in which he receives a 50% snap share, and bettors will find he scored a touchdown in four of six games. 

The Ravens have also established Edwards as their go-to running back when their inching toward the endzone. 

This season, Edwards has received 23 attempts from inside the five-yard line, good for the league lead. 

He’s also received nine attempts from inside the two-yard line, the fifth-best mark in the league. 

Now he faces a Texans defense which allowed three rushing touchdowns to the Ravens in Week 1 and generally allows teams to run the ball for scores. 

At 1.1 rushing touchdowns allowed per game and 51.28% rushing touchdown percentage, Houston sits T-28th and 31st in those categories. 

Against a Ravens team that has scored 1.8 rushing touchdowns per game at home, back Edwards to score for the first time since Week 16.

NFL Same Game Parlays

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About the Author

Nick Hennion

Read More @nickhennion

Nick Hennion is a senior content writer for BetMGM. His previous stops include VSiN, NBC Sports, The Action Network and Forbes Betting. He owns a bachelor's degree from Syracuse University and a master's degree from Northwestern University.

Nick Hennion is a senior content writer for BetMGM. His previous stops include VSiN, NBC Sports, The Action Network and Forbes Betting. He owns a bachelor's degree from Syracuse University and a master's degree from Northwestern University.