Texans vs. Ravens Predictions and Expert Picks for the Divisional Round: Should You Trust Lamar Jackson in the Postseason?

In our Texans vs. Ravens predictions, our betting experts make their pick against the spread, give out their favorite player props, and more.

When the Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens played each other in Week 1, we didn’t expect a rematch 19 weeks later in the postseason, but here we are. Can Houston rookie QB C.J. Stroud lead this young Texans team to an upset win over QB Lamar Jackson and the top-seeded Ravens? We break it all down and give out our best bets in our Texans-Ravens predictions.

Texans vs. Ravens Odds

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  • Spread
    Ravens -9.5
  • Moneyline
    Texans +340, Ravens -420
  • Total
    43.5

Texans vs. Ravens Predictions and Expert Picks

Bearman: I could not have been more wrong about the Texans last weekend, as I thought the Browns’ league-leading defense could stop a rookie quarterback — even one as good as Stroud.

Now, this young Texans team will travel to face the top-seeded Ravens and their top-10 defense.

There are a lot of points to lay, but the Ravens won by double digits in nine of their 13 wins, including in Week 1 over the Texans. Houston proved last week that they’re up for the playoff challenge, and considering the Ravens’ lack of postseason success with Lamar Jackson, I wouldn’t be surprised if they kept it close.

The Ravens’ biggest improvement this season has been on offense under OC Todd Monken. Excluding Week 18’s “scrimmage,” the Ravens scored at least 20 points in 11 straight games to end the season. For the season, they finished fourth in scoring at 28.4 PPG.

Not only does Baltimore have a strong offense, but we saw the Texans put up a ton of points last week themselves. I expect points in this one.

Pick: Over 43.5 (-110 at ESPN BET)

Blewis: Looks like I’m going against Bearman for this game.

Since these teams first played each other in Week 1, Stroud has already ascended to become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, putting together one of the most impressive rookie seasons at the position in league history.

However, one trend that started in Week 1 and carried over for much of the season was his struggles on the road.

  • In eight home games:
    • 6-2 record, 310.8 yards per game, 17 touchdowns, 65.47% completion rate, 8.94 yards per attempt, 108.3 QB rating
  • In seven road games:
    • 3-4 record, 231.7 yards per game, six touchdowns, 61.99% completion rate, 7.34 yards per attempt, 91.5 QB rating

MORE: NFL Playoff Bracket

Specifically, Stroud performed much worse in his five outdoor games this season, where he threw just three touchdowns in five games and tallied a QB rating of 85.1. Unlike this past week, when he played indoors at home, Stroud will be going against an elite Ravens defense in Baltimore.

While we saw the Ravens blow out multiple playoff teams during the regular season, I’m more comfortable taking the under than backing them as a heavy favorite here. A high-scoring game would be the most surprising outcome to me.

Pick: Under 43.5 (-110 at ESPN BET)

Soppe: The Ravens’ defense isn’t one to mess with — it’s really that simple. They were the top-scoring unit in the league this season and the best among playoff teams on a per-play basis. They are a bottom-10 team in both blitz and pressure rate, instead preferring to take their medicine in the short pass game and dare opponents to kill them with 1,000 paper cuts.

This season, Baltimore has allowed opponents to post a 40.3 passer rating on deep passes. That’s not just the lowest mark this season — it’s the third-best over the past nine seasons.

WR Nico Collins is a bonafide big-play threat, but with WRs Tank Dell and Noah Brown both on IR, the Ravens should be positioned to focus on preventing him from the splash play. In 2023, Collins has seven games with multiple deep receptions and nine without.

  • With (7 games): 49 catches for 980 yards and 7 TDs (140 yards/game)
  • Without (9 games): 37 catches for 413 yards and 2 TDs (45.9 yards/game)

In those nine games without multiple deep receptions, Collins hasn’t cleared 80 yards once and has been held to 65 or less even times. I love where this Texans team is headed long-term — this is just a difficult matchup for an offense operating at less than full strength.

Pick: Nico Collins under 82.5 receiving yards (-114 at FanDuel)

Katz: It’s always a bit risky taking an under on a running back playing on the team likely to have a positive game script in the fourth quarter. However, the Houston Texans have been a brutal opponent for running backs all season. They allow a league-low 3.3 yards per carry to the position.

When these teams met back in Week 1, which, admittedly, is ancient history at this point, RB Gus Edwards carried the ball eight times for 32 yards. RB J.K. Dobbins was healthy that game, too. He had eight carries for 22 yards. Oh, and RB Justice Hill was also involved. He also had eight carries but amassed a whopping nine yards. The Ravens won that game by 16 points, leading wire-to-wire.

MORE: Updates Super Bowl 58 Odds

Even if this week’s game is more of the same, with the Ravens in control throughout, you still can’t run on the Texans.

Pick: Gus Edwards under 50.5 rushing yards (-115 at DraftKings)

Rolfe: The Ravens laying nine points after essentially a two-week layoff for their offense is a little rich for my blood. I fully expect we may see some early rustiness for the offense that will need to be shaken off. It would be a major surprise if the Ravens do not win, but nine points is too many.

However, I would prefer to avoid the Texans — just because when it goes wrong for them, it tends to really go wrong. Therefore, my play here is to tease the Ravens down to a -3.5 spread and take the total down to 37.5, where I can take the over.

Pick: Ravens -3.5 and Over 43.5 six-point teaser (-103 at ESPN BET)

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