Time: NOON CST
Spread: BAL -6
Betting odds c/o Bovada
The Baltimore Ravens have won four of its past five contests to improve to 9-5 and within a half game of the division leading Cincinnati Bengals. This week, the Ravens travel to Houston to face the Texans in a game Live NFL odds show the Ravens as six-point favorites.
Last week, Baltimore took advantage of a horrible Jacksonville team to notch 20-12 victory after trailing the contest 13-9 at half time. In the third quarter, Owen Daniels caught a 3-yard TD pass and Justin Tucker capped it off with a field goal to put Baltimore ahead 20-12, holding Jax scoreless in the second half.
The Ravens are 4-3 on the road this season, and the strength of the defense has been limiting the rush. The pass defense has been putrid, allowing 259.9 yards per game, third-worst in the NFL. The Ravens have a solid backfield, getting 132.6 yards per game, which ranks 5th in the NFL.
Flacco leads a pass offense that generates an average of 239.4 yards per game. Over the last two weeks, the Ravens have outscored the Dolphins and Jags 48-25, but neither of those teams represent challenges for any contending team.
The season is best told in Baltimore’s losses, which feature L’s to the Bengals (twice), Steelers (one of two) and Chargers. The fact that Baltimore has lost three of its four games to the teams in pace with it in the standings doesn’t bode well for the postseason prospects, notwithstanding that the Bengals are the best team in the division and handed the Ravens two L’s this season.
The Houston Texans rank 4th in the NFL in rushing yardage and 25th in passing yardage, but have had a .500 season up until this point. The team is 2nd in the AFC South but lingers far behind the 10-4 Indianapolis Colts. Houston is 3-3 at home this season and 6-4 in AFC play, but Baltimore is 4-3 on the road with a 5-5 AFC record.
Last week the Texans fell to the Colts 10-17. Tom Savage threw 10-of-19 for 127 yards and had no touchdowns with a pick, after Ryan Fitzpatrick was carted off the field with an air cast covering his leg.
There were rumors it could be broken. Savage is a promising rookie but struggled after coming in and completing his first pass. He’ll rely on Arian Foster heavily to ease the transition of starting at QB for the remainder of this season.
Online football betting listed the total at 41.5 on oddsmaker Bovada.
BAL: OVER 5-1 in Ravens’ last 6 games on grass. Ravens are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 after allowing less than 15 points in their previous game and the Ravens 4-1 ATS in their last 5 game following an ATS loss.
HOU: Texans are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games in Week 16. The UNDER is 5-0-1 in Texans last 6 games in Week 16. The Texans are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 following an ATS loss.
Head-to-head: OVER is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings in Houston; The Favorite is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
BAL, Q: C Canty, M Campanaro
Out: H Ngata, K McDermott, L Taliaferro, A Jackson, T Brooks, J Reid, T Jacobs, D Gorrer, J Smith, C Biludiki, M Cox, D Pitta, J Butler, W Rackley, K Lewis-Moore, A Ross, B Urban,
HOU, Prob: Cushing, A Johnson, W Mercilus, D Hopkins
Out: G Graham, X Su’a Filo, M Mohamed, R Fitzpatrick, T Jamison, J Clowney, M Bullough, R Mallett, L Nix III, L Ballentine, C White, A Bonner, D Quessenberry, W Yeatman