Houston was everyone’s surprise. They won the AFC South division on the very last day of the regular season and destroyed the Cleveland Browns in their AFC Wild Card matchup.
Please join me as I break this one down and share my best bets for Saturday’s AFC Divisional Round Playoff matchup between the Texans and Ravens on January 20.
Texans vs. Ravens Best Bets
Lamar Jackson Under 18.5 completions (+110) at DraftKings
Baltimore is a heavy favorite to win this game by as many as -9.5 points. That means we’ll likely see the Ravens rushing the pigskin far more than they’ll need to throw the football.
Jackson has thrown the football more effectively, with the highest completion rate of his six-year career. He has talented veteran wideouts, with the possibility that tight-end Mark Andrews could return to the Baltimore lineup after missing most of the season.
I like this prop bet for several reasons, but the main one is the weather; it will be a cold, windy day, and the Ravens can run the football all day long and probably will on this Houston defense. The Texans’ secondary has defended 70 passes, and Jackson hasn’t cleared his completions prop in three of his last five.
Finally, the Ravens are two-score favorites for a reason. Jackson doesn’t have to complete many passes for Baltimore to score points. The Ravens signal-caller is more apt to run the ball than throw, and he’s also their leading rusher.
The Texans’ passing defense allowed 22.3 completions per game on the road, and alongside the weather-impacted game script, should prevent Jackson from clearing his prop number at DraftKings MD.
C.J. Stroud Over 35.5 passing attempts (+108) at FanDuel
Houston Texans rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud should be the Offensive Rookie of the Year. He dazzled through most of the season, throwing for 274 yards with three touchdowns in the Texans AFC Wild Card victory at Cleveland.
Stroud attempted only 21 passes last Saturday against Cleveland, but if the oddsmakers are correct, the Texans could be looking at a two-score deficit or more, and Stroud will have to throw the football. Stroud has cleared this passing prop once in his last five games and six times this season, including 44 times in their Week 1 matchup with Baltimore.
Finally, if Baltimore gets out to a big lead, we could see Stroud launch the ball 38+ times. The Texans’ defense isn’t any slouch, and the Houston offense will get plenty of snaps, allowing Stroud to clear his 35.5 passing attempts number at FanDuel Maryland.
Texans vs. Ravens Same-Game Parlay (+700) at Crab Sports
- C.J. Stroud 2+ passing touchdowns
- Lamar Jackson Under 244.5 passing yards
- C.J. Stroud Over 35+ passing attempts
This same-game parlay card pays $700 for a $100 dollar stake at Crab Sports Maryland. It correlates nicely with how I see the AFC Divisional Round matchup playing out.
We’ve already discussed why I like the Stroud Over 35.5 passing attempts, but Jackson likely won’t throw for 245 yards or more. He’s done it three times over his last five, but the Houston passing defense allows 228 passing yards per game as the away team, and with Jackson’s rushing ability paired with a windy day, Jackson won’t clear this prop.
Houston might get routed, but C.J. Stroud will throw a pair of TD passes Saturday. He’s thrown for multiple scoring strikes nine times this season and in each of his last two. Baltimore allows a paltry 1.1 TD receptions per game, but Stroud will need to sling it to win, and he’s proven himself more than capable of clearing this number.