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In-Depth Prediction, Preview, and Odds

Texans vs. Ravens Prediction

Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 1:00pm EST
M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore

This article covers a past game!

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In-depth Coverage

This is an in-depth analysis of this game, covering every possible detail and angle. Use the table of contents to navigate between each section, or just jump on in!

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Table of Contents

Last Updated: Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 8:57am EST

Introduction

A pair of division leaders from the AFC take the field in Charm City. The Houston Texans are on the road as they travel to face the Baltimore Ravens Sunday afternoon. Houston had a bye week last week: they rolled to a 26-3 win over Jacksonville in their previous contest on November 3 in London. Baltimore blasted Cincinnati 49-13 in their previous contest last Sunday to keep rolling along in the AFC North. The Ravens own a 7-2 advantage in the all-time regular-season series between the teams, including a 23-16 home win in the most recent matchup on November 27, 2017.

Houston Texans Review

Houston has been involved in a lot of tight games this season with six of their eight contests decided by seven points or less at this point of the season. The Texans are 3-3 in those games, but back to back losses by the Colts pushed them into the top spot in the AFC South. Houston dropped their opener on Monday Night Football, losing 30-28 to the Saints on a 58-yard field goal as time expired. The Texans bounced back with wins over Jacksonville (13-12) at home and the Chargers (27-20) on the road. Houston was defeated 16-10 at home by Carolina before rebounding with a home win over Atlanta (53-32) and a road triumph over Kansas City (31-24) before their loss to Indianapolis (30-23) on the road in week seven in a battle for the top spot in the AFC South. The Texans bounced back by sneaking past the Raiders 27-24 in week eight before facing Jacksonville in their last game before the bye.

In England, the Texans had little problem taking care of business against Jacksonville to earn a second straight victory. Houston led 9-3 at the half against Jacksonville but stifled the Jaguars in the second half, outscoring them 17-0 to earn the win. The Texans pounded the ball on the ground, running it 34 times for 216 yards and a score in the contest against the tough Jaguars’ defense. Houston outgained Jacksonville 410-356 in the game, owned a 32:33 edge in time of possession and forced four Jacksonville turnovers while committing only one of their own. That was enough to get the victory and convince the Jaguars to go back to Nick Foles coming out of the bye this week.

Baltimore Ravens Review

Baltimore owns the top spot in the AFC North with a 7-2 mark though they are fortunate to be in the AFC North, where the other three teams are a combined 8-19. The Ravens look for a home win that could help them extend their edge in the division. Baltimore opened the season with a 59-10 demolition of Miami on the road and followed that up with a 23-17 home win over Arizona. The Ravens suffered back to back defeats as they lost to the Chiefs (33-28) on the road and the Browns (40-25) at home before getting back on track by edging the Steelers 26-23 in overtime on the road in week five. Baltimore earned a second straight division win by downing the Bengals for the first time this season in week six, 23-17, at home. The Ravens followed that up with a road win over Seattle (30-16) and a home victory over New England (37-20), who was previously unbeaten, sandwiching their bye week. Last week, Baltimore got their second crack at the Bengals and took care of business.

With Cincinnati starting a rookie QB, things didn’t look promising for the 0-8 Bengals and Baltimore took care of business against them in one-sided fashion. The Ravens were up 14-0 after the opening quarter and led 28-3 with just under four minutes to play in the first half. You could turn the lights out on Cincinnati at that point in time. All told, Baltimore rang up a 379-307 edge in total offense despite being edged in first downs (21-20) and dominated in time of possession (36:11 to 23:49) in the contest. The Ravens forced three turnovers while committing only one. Baltimore scored two defensive touchdowns, one on a pick-six and the other on a scoop-six, to help turn the game into a rout.

The Running Game

Houston Texans Running Offense
vs. Baltimore Ravens Running Defense

Houston Texans Running Offense

Houston, despite losing Lamar Miller in the preseason to a torn ACL, has been able to move the ball on the ground fairly well this season. The Texans made a couple of trades to add Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson Jr. to the mix and they have paid dividends for the team. Houston has gone over the century mark on the ground in eight of their nine games this season, including each of the last six. Four times they have run for at least 150 yards and the team comes in off a season-high 216 rushing yards against Jacksonville in their last game before the bye.

Carlos Hyde leads the team with 149 carries for 704 yards plus three scores this season. Duke Johnson Jr. has run the ball 54 times for 287 yards plus a score while Deshaun Watson has 52 carries for 279 yards and a team-leading five scores on the ground. As a team, the Texans have 11 rushing plays that have covered at least 20 yards this season: Hyde leads the team with six such plays while Johnson Jr. has three and Watson has two. Houston has moved the sticks 70  times via the ground game this season.

Baltimore Ravens Run Defense

Baltimore’s success has been tied to how well the defense fares against the ground game. The Ravens have given up less than 80 yards on the ground in five of their seven wins on the season. In their two losses, the Ravens have allowed better than 5.5 yards per carry on the ground: Kansas City ran for 140 yards (5.6 yards per carry) while Cleveland racked up a season-worst 193 yards (6.7 ypc, four TD) against the Baltimore defense. The lone two outliers where the Ravens gave up some yards and prevailed came against Seattle (106 yards rushing) and last week against Cincinnati, when the Bengals ran the ball 40 times for 157 yards. Baltimore will have a stiff challenge against the Houston run game.

Patrick Onwuasor leads the team with 41 tackles (32 solo) plus a forced fumble on the season. Safety Chuck Clark (36 tackles, forced fumble), cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey (33 tackles, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, two TD) and Brandon Carr (31 tackles) along with safety Earl Thomas III (29 tackles, fumble recovery) round out the top five tacklers on the defense. Matthew Judon (27 tackles) leads the team with 7.5 tackles for loss while Pernell McPhee (19 tackles) is next in line with six this season. As a team, the Ravens have recorded 46 tackles for loss while forcing seven fumbles and recovering six on the season. Baltimore has three fumble returns for scores on the year defensively.

Stats

HOU

  • 8th in run play percentage (44.12 percent)
  • 8th in rushing attempts per game (28.8)
  • 4th in rushing yards per game (142.8)
  • 4th in yards per carry (five)
  • Tied for 9th in rushing TD (10)
  • Tied for 18th in longest rush (58 yards)

BAL

  • 5th in percentage of run plays against (36.01 percent)
  • 3rd in run plays per game against (21.4)
  • 8th in rushing yards allowed per game (91.2)
  • 18th in opposing yards per carry (4.3)
  • Tied for 29th in rushing TD allowed (nine)
  • 32nd in longest rush allowed (88 yards)

Who has the Edge?

Baltimore hasn't seen a ton of the run game against their defense this season but Houston will try to change that. We've seen the Texans have success on the ground despite not having Miller in the mix and they'll try to hammer Baltimore early in order to create opportunities for the pass. The Ravens are going to try and get Houston to play behind the sticks to force them into passing situations. Until we have an idea as to whether the Texans can actually stick to their game plan, this one is pretty even as it stands.

Advantage: Push

Baltimore Ravens Running Offense
vs. Houston Texans Running Defense

Baltimore Ravens Running Offense

One thing that we've seen in the early going this season is that the Ravens are going to run the ball aggressively. Baltimore has averaged at least five yards per carry in eight of their nine games this season and they've done plenty of damage via the ground game. It's not just Lamar Jackson running off RPOs or scrambles either: there has been plenty of work to go around so far this season. Baltimore has not been held under 130 yards on the ground in a game this season and has gone over 200 yards rushing four times. They narrowly missed a fifth such game as they finished with 199 yards against Seattle. Last week was the weakest production of the season for the Ravens on the ground: they still finished with 136 yards.

Jackson leads the team with 106 carries for 702 yards and six scores on the ground this season. Mark Ingram II is the team’s lead back with 123 carries for 619 yards plus eight scores on the season while Gus Edwards adds 63 carries for 278 yards and a touchdown. Anthony Levine Sr. ran for 60 yards on his lone carry on a fake punt while Justice Hill has 24 carries for 96 yards on the season. Baltimore has 12 rushes that have covered at least 20 yards while the team has racked up 98 first downs via the ground game this season.

Houston Texans Run Defense

Houston struggled in stopping the run game for the opposition to start the season. Things have gotten better for the Texans on that front as the team has improved in both the rushing yards allowed and the yard per carry average they've given up each week. Against the Saints, Houston allowed 148 yards and a seven-yard per carry mark to open the season. The Texans gave up 103 yards and a 4.9 yard per carry average against the Jaguars in week two but hasn’t given up more than 95 yards in any of their last seven games. Houston has held four of their last five opponents under 75 yards on the ground, including limiting Jacksonville to 74 yards in their last game before the bye.

Linebackers Zach Cunningham (48 solo tackles, two fumble recoveries) leads the team with 68 tackles on the season. Bernardrick McKinney (60 tackles, forced fumble, two fumble recoveries), Justin Reid (51 tackles), Johnathan Joseph (36 tackles) and Whitney Mercilus (32 tackles, four forced fumbles, fumble recovery) are effective when it comes to ruining opposing offensive plays. Mercilus leads the team with 12 tackles for loss while Cunningham and J.J. Watt (24 tackles, forced fumble, two fumble recoveries) each add 6.5 tackles for loss. As a team, the Texans have recorded 45 tackles for loss, forced 13 fumbles and recovered nine this season. Watt was lost for the season when he suffered a torn pectoral against the Raiders.

Stats

BAL

  • 2nd in run play percentage (53.05 percent)
  • 2nd in rushing attempts per game (35.8)
  • 1st in rushing yards per game (197.2)
  • 1st in yards per carry (5.5)
  • 1st in rushing TD (15)
  • Tied for 8th in longest rush (60 yards)

HOU

  • 1st in percentage of run plays against (32.8 percent)
  • 1st in run plays per game against (20.3)
  • 3rd in rushing yards allowed per game (84.1)
  • 13th in opposing yards per carry (4.1)
  • Tied for 4th in rushing TD allowed (three)
  • Tied for 5th in longest rush allowed (30 yards)

Who has the Edge?

No one has remotely slowed down Baltimore's run game this season. Jackson is on pace to shatter the record for rushing yards in a season by a QB, which is currently held by Michael Vick, who ran for 1,039 yards in 2006. With Ingram II and Edwards in the mix as well, it's extremely tough to contain the run game. Houston losing Watt to his injury was a big blow for the defense. While the Texans have been stout against the run, they've seen a lower percentage of run plays against them than any other defense in the league. That changes here: until we see Baltimore contained, you have to give them the advantage.

Advantage: Baltimore Ravens

The Passing Game

Houston Texans Passing Offense
vs. Baltimore Ravens Passing Defense

Houston Texans Passing Offense

Houston has had to go to the air early and often this season as they were in a wild shootout with the Saints in the opener. That was followed by a defensive slugfest with the Jaguars in Week 2 and then another entertaining clash with the Chargers last week. The Texans threw for 268 yards with three scores against one pick against New Orleans to start the season. Houston finished with only 159 yards against Jacksonville in week 2 and rang up 351 yards against the Chargers in week 3. The Texans struggled against the Panthers in week four, picking up just 160 yards but the passing game has rebounded since that point. Houston threw for a season-high 426 yards in week five against Atlanta followed by 280 yards against the Chiefs in week six and 308 yards against the Colts in week seven. The Texans threw for 279 yards against the Raiders last week.

Deshaun Watson has completed 212 of 302 passes for 2,432 yards with 18 touchdowns and five interceptions this season. He's been sacked 25 times for 147 yards in losses on the year as the offensive line has been inconsistent. DeAndre Hopkins leads the team with 68 receptions for 665 yards plus four scores on the year: his lone pass attempt on a trick play was intercepted. Will Fuller V (34 catches, 450 yards, three TD), Kenny Stills (22 grabs, 367 yards, TD) along with tight ends Darren Fells (24 receptions, 245 yards, six TD) and Jordan Akins (20 catches, 248 yards, three TD) are valuable options as well. The Texans have 20 pass plays that have covered at least 20 yards this season: Hopkins has eight such plays while Fuller V adds seven and Stills has six this season.

Baltimore Ravens Passing Defense

Baltimore has had their struggles against the pass this season. The Ravens gave up three straight 300-yard passing games in weeks two through four but has been better of late. Baltimore hasn’t allowed more than 285 yards in the last five games and held two opponents in that span under 200 net passing yards. The Ravens have picked up a sack in every game this season and they come in off their best performance against the pass on the year. Against the Bengals last week, Baltimore allowed only 167 yards through the air in their one-sided triumph.

Judon leads the team with four sacks: McPhee is next in line with three and Tyus Bowser (14 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, a fumble recovery, TD) and Onwuasor each have two. Humphrey leads the team with nine pass defenses while Carr has five and Thomas III adds four. Thomas III, Humphrey and Marcus Peters (15 tackles, three pass defenses, two TD in three games) each have two interceptions to share the team lead. Josh Bynes (27 tackles, three tackles for loss, three pass defenses) and Maurice Canady (21 tackles, forced fumble, three pass defenses) each have one. As a team, Baltimore has recorded 16 sacks, 44 pass defenses and eight interceptions, including two pick-sixes, on the season.

Stats

HOU

  • 25th in pass play percentage (55.88 percent)
  • 4th in completion percentage (70)
  • 12th in passing yards per game (253.9)
  • Tied for 4th in TD passes (16)
  • Tied for 18th in INT thrown (six)
  • 8th in net yards per pass attempt (7.5)
  • Tied for 22nd in longest pass play (54 yards)
  • 7th in passer rating (103.8)

BAL

  • 28th in pass play percentage against (63.99 percent)
  • 20th in passing yards per game allowed (252.9)
  • 3rd in completion percentage allowed (59.6)
  • Tied for 8th in TD passes allowed (nine)
  • Tied for 13th in INT (eight)
  • Tied for 24th in sacks (16)
  • 12th in passer rating allowed (86.5)
  • 19th in net yards per pass attempt (seven)

Who has the Edge?

Baltimore doesn't generate a ton of sacks, despite being among the league leaders in blitz percentage this season. The Ravens get by via disrupting the rhythm of the quarterback and forcing him to misfire. Watson provides an additional threat as his mobility, like Jackson, makes him dangerous as he can extend plays and make things happen with his legs. While Peters has been a solid addition to the secondary, the fact remains that Houston has some solid weapons to work with. Give the Texans a slight advantage in this contest.

Advantage: Houston Texans

Baltimore Ravens Passing Offense
vs. Houston Texans Passing Defense

Baltimore Ravens Passing Offense

Last season, the passing offense took a dive when Jackson replaced Joe Flacco as the starting quarterback. So far this season, it seems as if the second-year quarterback has taken great strides in the passing game, making the Baltimore offense that much more dangerous. Whether Jackson's play continues to be strong against good defenses and in inclement weather remains to be seen. Baltimore has only one 300-yard passing game this season with that coming in the opener against Miami. The Ravens have been held under 200 passing yards in three of their last five games though a fair amount of that is due to the success of the run game. Last week, Baltimore threw for 243 yards against the Bengals.

Lamar Jackson has completed 168 of 255 passes for 2,036 yards with 15 touchdowns and five interceptions: he has been sacked 18 times for a loss of 91 yards. Robert Griffin III has connected on nine of his 11 throws for 75 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Tight end Mark Andrews leads the team with 44 catches for 523 yards and five scores this season. Rookie Marquise Brown has 28 receptions for 454 yards and four scores while Willie Snead IV (19 grabs, 250 yards, two TD) are solid options. Tight ends Hayden Hurst (18 catches, 176 yards, TD) along with Nick Boyle (21 grabs, 250 yards, TD) are next in line. Baltimore has 30 pass plays that have covered at least 20 yards this season: Andrews leads the team with 10 while Brown adds seven: Boyle and Snead IV each have four.

Houston Texans Passing Defense

Houston has been hammered by the passing game in their first seven games of the year, giving up more than 300 yards four times in that span. The Texans have been a Jekyll and Hyde team from week to week: they have been torched in the odd weeks but have been decent in the even weeks. Houston allowed 370 yards to the Saints in week 1, 318 to the Chargers in week 3, 330 to Atlanta in week five and 326 to the Colts last week. By comparison, they held Jacksonville to 213 yards in week 2, Carolina to 232 yards in week four and Kansas City to 273 in week six. Houston gave up 285 yards to Oakland in week eight though the team prevailed. In week nine against the Jaguars, the Texans gave 309 yards through the air though they were ahead by multiple scores most of the contest.

Mercilus has stepped right in for the departed Jadeveon Clowney as he leads the team with 5.5 sacks on the year. Watt has four sacks while Brennan Scarlett (21 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles) and nose tackle D.J. Reader (27 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss) has 2.5 on the year. Joseph has eight pass defenses to lead the team while Lonnie Johnson Jr. (27 tackles) and Gareon Conley (12 tackles in two games) each have five. Tashaun Gipson Sr. (25 tackles, tackle for loss) and Bradley Roby (24 tackles, forced fumble) each have four pass defenses on the season. Gipson Sr. (TD) leads the team with two interceptions while Jahleel Addae (25 tackles, two pass defenses), Reid and Mercilus have the other picks for the Texans’ defense. Houston has recorded 21 sacks, 43 pass defenses and five interceptions (one pick-six) as a team this season.

Stats

BAL

  • 31st in pass play percentage (46.95 percent)
  • 9th in completion percentage (66.5)
  • 20th in net passing yards per game (224.4)
  • Tied for 4th in TD passes (16)
  • Tied for 18th in INT thrown (six)
  • 7th in net yards per pass attempt (7.6)
  • Tied for 3rd in longest pass play (83 yards)
  • Tied for 7th in passer rating (101.3)

HOU

  • 32nd in pass play percentage against (67.2 percent)
  • 29th in passing yards per game allowed (277.3)
  • 21st in completion percentage allowed (65.5)
  • Tied for 28th in TD passes allowed (18)
  • Tied for 24th in INT (five)
  • Tied for 16th in sacks (21)
  • 28th in passer rating allowed (105.1)
  • 21st in net yards per pass attempt (7.1)

Who has the Edge?

Jackson hasn't had to do a ton with his arm though he has shown flashes at times this season. However, there are equally times when you wonder how he could miss an open receiver as badly as he did as well. Houston doesn't force a lot of turnovers in the passing game and they have their problems getting after the quarterback, especially after losing Watt. The Baltimore offensive line is stout and they can give Jackson time: whether he makes plays is something completely different. Until Jackson is more consistent with his throwing, this one is a wash.

Advantage: Push

Intangibles

Houston Texans

Houston is 8th in the league in scoring offense with 26.4 points per game on the year. The Texans are 4th in the league in total offense with 396.7 yards per game and 6th by averaging 6.1 yards per play. Houston is 15th in the league in scoring defense by giving up 21.2 points per contest. The Texans are 19th by allowing 361.4 yards per game and stand 23rd in yards per play as they give up 5.8 yards per play. Houston is on the plus side in the takeaway/giveaway department as they rank tied for 16th with a +3 margin in that category.

The Texans are excellent in the red zone as they are 5th in the league by converting a terrific 65.71 percent of their chances on the year. Houston is 30th in the league as they have allowed 66.67 percent of their opponents' trips into the red zone to end in touchdowns. The Texans are a solid 6th in third-down conversions by converting 46.85 percent of their opportunities this season. Houston is a dismal 26th in third-down defense as opponents convert at a 44.83 percent rate on those plays. The Texans are 7th in the league in time of possession by holding the ball for 52.54 percent of the time this season.

Ka'imi Fairbairn is 23 of 28 on extra point tries this season and 13 of 17 on field goals with a long of 52. Trevor Daniel punted 11 times for a 43.5-yard average (40.9-yard net) with two punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line but was cut on September 17. Bryan Anger has punted 19 times for a 47.6-yard average (44.9-yard net) with nine of his kicks inside the opponent's 20-yard line and one touchback. DeAndre Carter has averaged 19.8 yards on eight kick returns with a long of 28 along with 14 punt returns for an 8.9-yard average with a long of 23.

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens have been an offensive juggernaut this season as they are 1st in the league with 33.3 points per contest. Baltimore is second in total offense as they average 421.7 yards per contest while ranking third in yards per play as they pick up 6.3 yards per snap. The Ravens are a solid 13th in the league in scoring defense by allowing 21 points per contest. Baltimore is 14th in the league in total defense by allowing 344.1 yards per game and 22nd in yards per play by allowing 5.8 yards per snap. In giveaway/takeaway, the Ravens are tied for 16th as they are +4 in the turnover ratio this season.

The Ravens are solid this season as they are ranked 5th in the league in scoring touchdowns in the red zone as they cash in 65.71 percent of their chances. Defensively, Baltimore is in the top of the pack as they are 7th in red zone defense by allowing 48.39 percent of drives to reach the red zone to end in touchdowns. The Ravens are near the top of the pack in third down conversions, ranking 2nd by converting 48.6 percent of their third down situations in addition to 10 of 13 fourth downs. Baltimore’s defense is 22nd in those situations as they held the opposition to a 42.59 percent success rate on their third downs. The Ravens have dominated the clock: they are 2nd in the league in time of possession by holding the ball 56.65 percent of the time this season.

Justin Tucker has hit 31 of 32 extra point attempts and 17 of 17 field goal tries with a long of 51 this season. Sam Koch has averaged 46.3 yards on his 21 punts with a 41.8-yard net average. He has 11 punts dropped inside the 20-yard line with three touchbacks this season. Hill has averaged 18.9 yards on 12 kick returns with a long of 46. Chris Moore has averaged 20.3 yards on four kick returns with a long of 26.

Who has the Edge?

Baltimore's defense has been stout in the red zone this season, which is a spot where the Texans have sputtered. The Ravens are effective at making life tough for opposing offenses and their ability to extend drives when they have the ball tends to shorten the game. Factor in the edge that Baltimore has in the kicking game with one of the league's elites in Tucker and throw in Harbaugh's Super Bowl ring to shift the pendulum further toward the Ravens. Houston has to prove they can step up in big games like this and it's something we've seen lacking so far.

Advantage: Baltimore Ravens

Final Outlook

This one is a battle of teams that are somewhat mirror images offensively. They love to run the ball, they have mobile quarterbacks that can make plays in multiple ways and they grind the clock. Houston's problem is that their offensive line gives up a ton of pressure and their defense lost its leader with Watt's injury a couple of weeks ago. It's going to be tough to try and contain Jackson given that the Texans don't generate a ton of heat on the quarterback. If you commit a spy to him, he could easily exploit that in the passing game. If you don't, and the pass rush doesn't bring him down, he can beat you with his feet. The Texans are good but they have had struggles on the road. Houston is 3-2 as the visitor with the win over Jacksonville in London along with triumphs over the Chargers and Chiefs. Playing in Baltimore is tough: the Ravens' lone loss in four games there this season came against the Browns in week 4.

According to Covers.com, the Texans are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games on fieldturf and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS win. It's hard to trust Houston's defense here: give the Ravens the edge as they win by a touchdown to cover the line.

Latest Updates, Injury Reports, and Line Movements

Houston has a series of question marks on their injury report going into this contest. Will Fuller V is questionable as he works back from a hamstring injury: if he doesn't go, Keke Coutee would get more reps again. Laremy Tunsil is questionable as well with a shoulder injury: Roderick Johnson would step in if he can't go or is limited. On defense, Gipson Sr. is questionable with a back injury while Bradley Roby has a hamstring injury that has him questionable. Jahleel Addae and Mike Adams would see more action if Gipson Sr. is out, while Gareon Conley and the recently picked up Vernon Hargreaves III would get more reps if Roby is out.

Baltimore has three players on the injury report for this contest. Receivers Marquise Brown (ankle) and Chris Moore (thumb) are both questionable for this contest. In addition, defensive tackle Michael Pierce is doubtful with an ankle injury. Seth Roberts and De'Anthony Thomas would get more reps at receiver if either or both guys are missing. In place of Pierce, Domata Peko Sr. would get the start at defensive tackle.

The weather shouldn't be too much of a factor in this contest as the weather won't be too bad for mid-November. The game-time temperature is expected to be in the low-40s for this contest with cloudy skies. Winds are expected to come from the northeast around 10 miles an hour with gusts up to 15 miles per hour. There is no precipitation in the forecast for the game. All things considered, you could have worse weather this time of year for football.

When the initial lines opened for this contest, Baltimore was installed as a five-point favorite with the over/under set at 49 points. As of Saturday afternoon, the line has moved downward slightly with the Ravens now a 4.5-point favorite in the contest. The over/under ticked upward slightly to 51.5 points in this contest. Currently, the Moneyline shows Baltimore a hefty -220 to -250 favorite while the Texans can be found as a +180 to +200 underdog depending on the sportsbook. As of this writing, an even 50 percent of the bets are backing Baltimore -4.5 points. When it comes to the Moneyline, a solid majority, 65 percent of the wagers, are backing the Texans as the visiting team. Meanwhile, a hefty 84 percent of bets are projecting this one to go over the total.

There's not much here to change the initial thought process. The last time these two met in college, they combined for more than 800 yards and eight scores as Watson's Clemson squad beat Jackson's Louisville team 42-36 on October 1, 2016. This one likely is another high-scoring affair that ends up over the number.

Prediction: Baltimore Ravens -4

Second Opinion on this pick from StatSalt.com

Additional Insiders' Best Bets

Full-game Total Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

Both teams have the ability to put up big point totals. Houston has put up at least 26 points in six of their nine games this season. On the other side, Baltimore has at least 23 points in every game this year and has put up at least 30 in each of their last three games. The potential for offensive fireworks is there for certain. Baltimore has averaged 27 points a game at home, including their 37-point bonanza against New England two weeks ago. Houston has averaged 27 points on the road this season in their contests. Will we see either defense shut down the opposing offense?

The over is 4-0 in the Texans' last 4 games in Week 11, 4-1 in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning record and 7-2 in their last 9 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game. Baltimore has seen the over go 4-0 in their last four in November and 6-1 in their last seven against AFC opponents. This one follows suit, similar to the shootouts that both teams had with Kansas City earlier this season. Look for a 34-27 type of game here that goes over the number.

Prediction: Over 51.5

Half-time Side Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

We're looking at a pair of explosive offenses to work with in this game. Jackson and the Ravens are explosive even with a hefty dose of the ground game. Baltimore is excellent at moving the ball and putting points on the board with regularity in the opening half of the game. Houston has been good at putting points on the board in the first half as well but they're going to have to contain the run game of the Ravens to stay in it. As it stands, this one goes to Baltimore at the half thanks to their offensive success.

Prediction: Baltimore Ravens -3

Half-time Total Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

Baltimore leads the league in first-half scoring with 18.2 points per game this season. Houston is in the middle of the pack as they are 15th in the league in that category as they put up 10.8 points per game. The Texans are 16th in scoring defense in the first half as they allow 10.2 points per game while the Ravens are 20th by allowing 12 points per contest. This one likely is 17-14 or 21-17 at the half, pushing past the total by a fair margin at intermission.

Prediction: Over 25.5
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.