There may only be six weeks left of the NFL season but that is plenty of time for the playoff picture to change. One of these changes could happen this week when the (5-5) Baltimore Ravens take on the (4-6) Houston Texans for Monday Night Football (8.30pm ET).
If the postseason began today, the Ravens would be the last team in as they are currently projected as the sixth seed in the AFC. However, Baltimore is tied record-wise with the Buffalo Bills and just one game better than several other teams, including their opponent on Monday night. The Texans’ road to the postseason is a little bit more difficult than that of the Ravens, who are in control of their own destiny. A win this week would go a long way for Houston, especially as it would even them record-wise with one of the teams they are chasing for that final playoff spot.
Can the Ravens Continue to Surge?
Baltimore is coming off one of their best wins of the season, shutting out the Green Bay Packers by a score of 23-0. It was the Ravens’ third shut-out on the year and second in the last three games. It couldn’t have come at a better time as the win put Baltimore right back in the playoff conversation.
Both offensively and defensively, the Ravens are firing on all cylinders right now. Baltimore is averaging 25.5 points per game in their last six games and they have allowed opponents just 20 total points in the last three. The team’s problem however has been consistency and that’s the reason why the Ravens haven’t been able to string more than two wins in a row together and why their road to the playoffs is anything but smooth.
It is hard to say whether the Ravens are turning the corner following their win against the Packers though, mainly because Green Bay has been a shell of itself this season ever since losing Aaron Rodgers to injury. While a shut-out in the NFL is always impressive, this one is definitely to be taken with a grain of salt. That being said, if this is the beginning of a stretch run for Baltimore, there is definitely reason for the team to be optimistic.
Does Houston Stand a Chance without Watson?
When the 2017 NFL season began, there was a lot of hype and energy surrounding the Texans and their chances to be a playoff contender in the NFC South. Those chances however, centered around rookie sensation Deshaun Watson, who required surgery on his injured knee a few weeks ago. Sadly for the Texans, without Watson, they really don’t have much else to establish their playoff case with. Watson’s replacement, Tom Savage, hasn’t been bad, but he’s definitely not putting up the same kind of stats Watson was in his would-be ‘rookie of the year’ campaign.
With Watson under center, Houston had been 3-4, so not exactly knocking on the door of a divisional title. But, there was hope because of Watson’s skill set. At his best, the Texans were a team that looked like a strong playoff contender and one that lived up to the high early season expectations. Without Watson, this is merely a team hanging on to a postseason berth by a thread.
Stats & Facts
- The Texans are 2-7 SU in their last nine games against the Ravens.
- Houston is 4-12 SU in their last 16 night games.
- The Ravens are 5-1 ATS in their last six Monday night games.
- Baltimore is 7-2 SU in their nine games at home.
Our Preview’s Houston Texans vs. Baltimore Ravens Betting Picks & Predictions
In a lot of ways, the Ravens’ team that we’ve seen over the past several weeks, is the one we had been expecting to see all season long. They are playing like the Ravens of old both on offense and defense and there has been no time like the present for it. Baltimore is very much still in the postseason race and against a Houston team that has been weakened by key injuries, the Ravens will have a chance to solidify that position Monday night.
- The Texans are historically atrocious, just 1-9 ATS, in their last 10 Monday night games. Baltimore is favored by seven points and given the circumstances and the fact that they are typically chalk at home, our betting prediction is to take the Ravens -7pts to cover the spread in the win @ -115 with Bovada Sportsbook.
- As for the total points likely to be scored in this Monday night NFL matchup, the United States online betting sites are setting the mark at a pretty low 38. Given Baltimore’s recent shut-outs the under would seem like the safe bet here but both teams combine to average over 40 points this season so our preview’s pick is for the final score to hit the over 38pts @ -110 with 5Dimes, Bovada, BetOnline or MyBookie.
Marilee writes on NFL, MLB, NBA & tennis for USA Betting. Another area of her sporting journalistic expertise is pro wrestling. A native of Philadelphia and a big Eagles fan, she has been a sports writer for many major websites including Bleacher Report and Rant Sports. She started her journalistic career early, as sports editor for her college newspaper.