The Houston Texans will go on the road to face the Baltimore Ravens in the Divisional round of the 2024 NFL Playoffs. Kickoff from M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland on Saturday, January 20 is set for 4:30 p.m. ET, and the game will air on ESPN, ABC and ESPN+. Houston heads into this game coming off its Wild Card win over the Cleveland Browns, while Baltimore had a bye week as the AFC’s No. 1 seed.
The Ravens are the 9.5-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook. Baltimore has -425 odds on the moneyline, while Houston is the +330 underdog.
ATS Pick: Ravens -9.5
Baltimore is the heavy favorite in this game, which it earned from its dominant performance during the regular season. The Ravens finished the year 13-4, with one of their losses coming against the Pittsburgh Steelers when Baltimore was resting its starters in Week 18.
The Ravens beat Houston in Week 1, 25-9, but the Texans are expected to put forth a better effort with the progression rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud has made this season. Stroud led Houston to a 45-14 win over the Browns last week. He finished 16-of-21 passing for 274 yards with three touchdowns. Cleveland sports a tough defense, but Baltimore presents another challenge and is an all-around complete team.
Baltimore is the fourth-best team against the spread this season. They covered in 64.7% of their matchups, with an overall 11-6 record ATS. The Ravens covered in all three games they played after a loss this season, and despite the bye week, they are coming off a loss in their last game.
Houston has gone positive ATS this year, covering in 10 of its 18 games so far, which is the 12th-best mark in the league. The Texans have covered in five of their eight road games so far, ninth-best in the NFL. Do they have the talent to keep this game close? Yes. We saw it with their win over the Browns. The problem is that it feels like Houston needs to play a perfect game, whereas Baltimore just needs to avoid a slow start from the bye week. I think Ravens QB Lamar Jackson will be out to make a statement since he has struggled in the playoffs so far in his career. Baltimore should cover in this game, and the spread could even grow if tight end Mark Andrews is activated in time.