NFL Week 3 Picks: Houston Texans vs. Baltimore Ravens

Houston Texans vs. Baltimore Ravens
Sunday, 9/22/13, 1:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Houston -2.5
Current Betting Line:  Houston -1.5
Opening Total:  44.5
Current Total:  44.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Texans Vs Jaguars Preview
The Houston Texans are 8-0-1 ATS with a betting line of +3 to -3 over the last two-plus seasons

Houston has won both of its games to start the 2013 campaign, but has failed to cover the number in each instance, which is important to consider when making your NFL betting picks in Week 3.  The Texans may come out sluggish in this affair, as they needed second-half rallies in both of their games.  Offensively, the team has scored seven touchdowns in its seven trips inside the opponent’s 20-yard line, which is a significant statistic to focus in on.  Houston is 8-0-1 ATS in games where the line is +3 to -3 in the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 6-3 in that situation.

The Texans improvement inside the red zone is remarkable on the offensive end, considering they scored touchdowns just 56.1 percent of the time a season ago.  “That’s one thing with our team right now—offensively, we haven’t missed,” commented Texans coach Gary Kubiak.  “Defensively, I think we’ve given up 6-for-6.”  Houston hopes it has a secret weapon in safety Ed Reed in this affair, as he spent his first 11 seasons in the league with Sunday’s opponent.

Baltimore has won back-to-back AFC North titles, as it evened up its record after two weeks with a 14-6 victory over the Cleveland Browns Sunday, while going UNDER the betting total of 43.5.  During the John Harbaugh era, the Ravens’ defense has been particularly strong at home, allowing the NFL’s second-fewest points per game and third-fewest net yards per game.  Since 2008, the unit owns the league’s top third-down defense at home—allowing a stingy 33.7 percent conversion rate.  Baltimore is 7-5 ATS as underdogs the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 7-4-1 in those 12 opportunities.

The Ravens have a good opportunity in pressuring Texans quarterback Matt Schaub as they’ve registered 56 sacks at M&T Bank Stadium since 2011—leading all teams in that particular category at home in that span.  Baltimore is 42-20 versus conference opponents under head coach John Harbaugh—trailing only the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers in that situation.

Sports bettors will likely play the total, as the UNDER is 11-4 in the Ravens’ last 15 home games versus a team with a winning road record.

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