Texans vs Ravens Odds, Picks, and Divisional Round Predictions: Can Stroud Pick Apart Ravens Pass Defense?

The Baltimore Ravens are heavy favorites over the Houston Texans this Saturday, and if things develop as expected, Texans QB C.J. Stroud could be in for a busy day, per our NFL betting picks.

Jan 20, 2024 • 14:28 ET • 4 min read
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Following a convincing win vs. what was a great defense on paper, the Houston Texans will take their playoff hopes on the road to a waiting Baltimore Ravens team that enters as 9.5-point favorites, has the league’s likely MVP, had more wins than any other team, and beat the best clubs in the league with ease in the regular season. They're also among the favorites in the Super Bowl odds.

Despite the uphill battle and a move from a 2.5-point dog to a 10-point one in the NFL odds week-to-week, C.J. Stroud’s passing attempts have opened at the same number as last week. Considering the potential game script, should bettors be backing his Overs despite the tough matchup?

I break down the Divisional Round odds and offer my free NFL picks for Texans vs. Ravens for Saturday, January 20. 

Be sure to also check out our Texans vs. Ravens prop picks and spotlight picks for Lamar Jackson odds!

Texans vs Ravens odds

Texans vs Ravens predictions

The Baltimore Ravens have an elite defense, but when you win as much as the Ravens do, opposing teams have to increase the passing game more. That’s something bettors will hopefully see this Saturday in Baltimore.

The Ravens are a heavy 9.5-point favorite, meaning Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud could be upping his pass frequency late in this game, making the C.J. Stroud odds on Over 35.5 pass attempts at plus money my favorite bet on the board. 

This was the same number as last week when he was a 2.5-point favorite, and I think there has to be a bigger jump just on game script alone in this prop. Yes, it’s outdoors vs. one of the best defenses in football, but on the season, only the Eagles allowed more pass attempts than the Ravens who averaged 37.3 per contest.

Stroud threw the ball 44 times in Week 1 vs. the Ravens and still took five sacks. He was quick to get the ball out last week with a time to throw a half-second better than his regular season numbers. He was one of the lowest aggressive passers last week, meaning he made the easier completions.

The Texans vs. Ravens weather report is calling for 15 to 20 mph winds, but that could also be in his favor with shorter throws which have higher probabilities of completion. 

Baltimore has been a favorite by a TD or more four times this year, and each time the opposing QB has thrown the ball 37 or more times. These aren’t even good QBs, as Gardner Minshew threw the ball 44 times while Josh Dobbs had 37 passes. Three of those games were at home as well.

During Baltimore’s six-game winning streak prior to Week 18, five of those six games topped 38 enemy passing attempts, with the only one hitting the Under being the game Joe Burrow got hurt. Over Baltimore’s final five wins, it’s faced 38, 46, 43, 41, and 44 pass attempts.

It doesn’t matter who is under center, game script is the most important thing when looking at pass volume. Houston could be passing a ton in this one if a healthy and motivated Baltimore team continues to dominate its opponents, especially early.

Every losing QB last week had at least 35 pass attempts with a median of 37.5, and every one of them hit the Over on their pass attempts by an average of 7.7. 

My best bet: C.J. Stroud Over 35.5 pass attempts (+108 at FanDuel50% live boost available
Picks made at time of writing may not reflect live odds.

Texans vs Ravens same-game parlay

C.J. Stroud Over 243.5 passing yards

Ravens -9.5

Over 43.5

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Stroud pass attempts is not an option here, but the yards are the next best spot if I'm projecting an increase in pass volume.

The hype around Houston and Stroud is a little high after a convincing win over Joe Flacco, while bettors might have forgotten what the Ravens did in Weeks 16 and 17 before resting its starters.

Houston has a good enough passing game to hit this Over late in comeback mode, or the Ravens could treat the Texans like they did the Dolphins in Week 17 and put up over 50 points themselves. 

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Texans vs Ravens spread and Over/Under analysis

It’s easy to look at Stroud’s splits and say he is a much worse passer on the road and outdoors than at home, and that’s true. It’s also easy to say that everything went right for the team last Saturday at home vs. Joe Flacco and a defense I’m still unsure dressed Myles Garrett. But Stroud and the Texans are facing a healthy Baltimore team that has a lot to prove and dismantled the best teams in football down the stretch.

The 33-17 beatdown of the 49ers is an easy game to look back on and see how good a team this is. San Francisco was a 6-point favorite in that game and Baltimore forced Brock Purdy to throw four picks. This team took out some of the best QBs down the stretch, including Tua Tagovailoa, Purdy, Trevor Lawrence, Matthew Stafford, Justin Herbert, and Joe Burrow. Baltimore finished 6-0 SU with a plus-97 point differential. That’s nuts.

I’m certainly leaning on the Ravens up to -10 after they opened at -8.5 and took some money. 

Houston has played just three outdoor games since Week 11 and although the conditions aren’t awful with sustained winds up to 20 mph, gusts of 35 mph, and no rain, it will still be cold and Baltimore. The Ravens averaged a league-best 1.8 takeaways per game and could have the edge in ball security.

Baltimore and most of its starters have been off since December 31, but I’m not too worried about rust. Mark Andrews is practicing and possible to return, while John Harbaugh expects all his players healthy for the elimination game, including Zay Flowers.

I’m also not reading too much into Lamar Jacksons' 1-3 SU record in the postseason. Houston has an elite run defense but Baltimore has a Top-6 passing and rushing offense. This spread could hit 10.

The total has fallen to 44 after opening at 45.5. I wouldn’t worry too much about the weather here.

This game will feature two of the best kickers in football and two athletic QBs. Both offenses can move the ball and I’m more interested in the Over at 44. A slow start does worry me as the Ravens have been off for a while and both rush defenses are solid, but the Ravens have been one of the best first-half teams with a moneyline hit in 12 of their last 14 and 15.4 points per first 30 minutes.

Look for Lamar to showcase his MVP odds abilities following his five-TD game vs. Miami. If this game ends with Baltimore winning 34-14, are bettors going to be that surprised?

Additionally, expect Justice Hill and Gus Edwards to get the majority of the carries with Melvin Gordon’s career fumble issues, which resurfaced in Week 18.

Texans vs Ravens betting trend to know

The Baltimore Ravens have hit the 1H Moneyline in 12 of their last 14 games (+10.05 Units / 40% ROI). Find more NFL betting trends for Texans vs. Ravens.

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Texans vs Ravens game info

Location: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD
Date: Saturday, January 20, 2024
Kickoff: 4:30 p.m. ET
Opening odds: Ravens -8.5, 46

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