Houston at Baltimore -7.5 O/U 36.5
Both defenses in this matchup are a good notch or two overrated, giving us a prime opportunity to pounce betting the Ravens-Texans OVER the total on Sunday. When these two teams met during the regular season, the total was sitting at 43.5; more than a full TD higher than it is today. That game flew OVER the total despite the fact that the Ravens repeatedly settled for field goals. Out of eleven Baltimore possessions, the Ravens produced seven scores while punting only twice. That makes the current total look too low for this bettor!
Houston learned their lesson in their late season loss to the Colts, a game where they did not trust rookie QB TJ Yates to throw downfield. Since that defeat, the Texans have come out firing – back-2-back games in the 40’s – taking the reins off Yates while making a finally healthy Andre Johnson a bigger part of the offense. Baltimore’s defense was strong statistically once again this year, but we’ve certainly seen cracks, particularly against balanced offenses like the one they’ll face on Sunday. And it’s surely worth noting that Baltimore only faced one top 10 offense all year, making their overall defensive stats a tad bit misleading.
Houston’s defense, too, put up some very strong statistical numbers. But they played nearly half of their schedule against inept offensive teams – Miami with Chad Henne, Tampa Bay, two games each against Jacksonville and Indy. And when you look at Houston on the road against other playoff teams, that defense starts to look a whole lot weaker: 26 points per game allowed in three tries, leading to two OVERS and a push. Expect more of the same on Sunday.