On Monday Night Football, the Houston Texans (4-6) will travel to M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland to take on the Ravens (5-5). This Monday Night Football matchup will kick off at 8:30 PM/ET.
The Houston Texans are coming off a much-needed victory over the Cardinals. The Texans have struggled without rookie phenom Deshaun Watson at quarterback. Without Watson at quarterback, the Texans offense has reverted back to its simplistic form. Against the Cardinals, however, Houston found the end zone four times on their way to scoring 31 points. The Texans need quarterback Tom Savage to continue to convert end zone opportunities into points.
The Texans are still in playoff hunt, but they’ll need to keep winning and a few key losses to the teams ahead of them if they have any chance of making the playoffs.
The Baltimore Ravens are coming off a dominant performance over the Packers. The Ravens are a hard team to figure out. So far this season, the Ravens have three shutouts. In those games, the defense looked downright dominant. Offensively, Baltimore doesn’t scare anyone but is capable of playing complementary football. A head-scratching loss, however, to Chicago and inept levels of effort in a slew of games has contributed to Baltimore’s up and down season.
The Ravens’ are currently the 6th seed in the playoffs, and cannot afford to lose with several teams on their heels.
Houston we have a problem.
In their current form, the Texans are a bad football team. Tom Savage is, at best, a serviceable backup. Against the Cardinals, Savage passed for 230 yards and two touchdowns. He was sacked once and threw a pick. The Texans need Savage to protect the ball against an opportunistic Ravens’ defense. Expect Savage to struggle to find the end zone this week.
On the ground, the Texans have a decent rushing attack. Their biggest issue is if opponents don’t fear the passing attack, it’s a lot harder to get the ground game going. Against the Cardinals, Houston rushed for 134 yards on 34 carries. Lamar Miller was the bell cow for Houston with 20 carries for 61 yards.
Houston’s other running back, D’Onta Foreman rushed for 65 yards on 10 carries. Foreman found the end zone twice on the afternoon and looked more explosive than his counterpart. Unfortunately for Houston, Foreman was placed on injured reserve this week. With Foreman out, expect the Texans to struggle to move the ball on the ground.
Which Ravens team will show up?
The Ravens are as hot and cold as a team can get. It’s hard to know which team will come out offensively. The defense is less of a question mark. According to NFL Stats, the Ravens’ defense ranks 6th in terms of yards allowed per game. Baltimore, according to NFL Stats, ranks third in points allowed per game. This is a very strong defense when it’s playing to their full potential.
The Ravens’ defense has the most interceptions in the entire league and they’re tied for 10th in the league in terms of sacks. Baltimore’s defense should have their way with Houston’s inconsistent offense.
The biggest issue for the Ravens is their offense. The Ravens offense is holding this team back, and that poor play starts with the quarterback Joe Flacco. Against the Packers, Flacco tossed an interception to go along with a touchdown. So far this season, Flacco has tossed more interceptions (11) than he has touchdowns (9). Expect the Ravens’ offensive struggles to continue, however, they will have opportunities against Houston’s beat up defense.
Ravens vs Texans Betting Lines
BetOnline.ag has the Ravens favored to win the game by 7.5 points. The over/under on total points scored is 38. You can read our full BetOnline review here.
This is the Ravens’ game to lose. Baltimore is the better team at this point in the season, but can they overcome their struggles on offense? Baltimore needs Flacco to protect the ball and keep the Ravens offense on the field. If Flacco can get the offense in field goal range consistently and keep Houston’s defense on the field, they have a shot at wearing them down over the course of the game.
Play: Ravens -7.5 @ BetOnline.ag
Baltimore Ravens Betting Pick • Houston Texans Betting Pick • Monday Night Football Free Betting Pick • NFL 2017 Week 12 Betting Pick