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NFL Betting Ravens at Texans

November 08, 2008

NFL Football Betting - Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

I was on the Texans for a big play over the Ravens in Week Two before the game was postponed due to the hurricane. Even though this game is being played eight weeks later, a lot of the same situations are in place even though it is further down the road.

Coincidentally, Baltimore is coming off a road win over a divisional rival, similar to the spot it was in Week Two when it defeated Cincinnati. This was supposed to be Baltimore's bye week but it is now a second of three straight road games.

Also similar to Week Two, the Texans were coming off a road loss against a similar team with a stout defense. Then it was the Steelers, this time it was the Vikings.

Houston had chances to win that game but it gave up too many big plays, something this week's opponent is not capable of. The Texans are 3-5 but believe it or not, a win here puts then just a game out of the final Wild Card spot as they, along with Baltimore, the loser of the Bills/Pats game and possibly the Colts at a 4-5 tie.

We see that this line opened at -2.5 for Houston and now it is the underdog. The absence of quarterback Matt Schaub is the reason for this big line swing but I think it is unjustified.

Schaub is a solid quarterback but Sage Rosenfels is a very capable backup as he showed last week when he wax forced into action, throwing for 224 yards on 21-29 passing. His quarterback rating is actually better than Schaub's although he does not come close to the same amount of snaps taken.

The Ravens offense as mentioned is not an offense that can make big plays and that is what has hurt the Texas on defense this season. Take away some big plays and losses against the Colts, Jaguars and Vikings might never have happened.

Houston is a very respectable 17th in the NFL in total defense, allowing 328.9 ypg. It is 18th against the run 13th against the pass so this is not a horrible unit at all. It is the big plays that have them giving up 26.6 ppg, 27th in the league. Baltimore is an average 19th in total offense.

That win by Baltimore put it in a similar spot it would have been in Week Two but it also puts it into a solid situation favoring the Texans. Play against road teams where the line is +3 to -3 that are coming off a double digit road win, in the second half of the season.

This situation is 28-8 ATS (77.8 percent) since 1983 with the average point differential being +6.4 ppg. Houston has covered 11 of its last 15 home games against teams with a winning road record so it has been up to the challenge and will do so again.

Pick: Houston Texans +1 (-110) available at

- Matt Fargo of

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