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Baltimore Ravens vs. Houston Texans Prediction,
and Odds - 9-20-2020

Game Snapshot with Current Line

#283 Baltimore
Ravens -7
#284 Houston
Texans 7

Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 4:25pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Houston Texans return home to face the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday in week two of the NFL season. The Texans were soundly defeated by the Kansas City Chiefs on opening night, as they failed to cover the 9.5-point spread, losing 34-20. The total went slightly over, as it was set at 53.5 prior to game time. The Ravens, on the other hand, blew the point spread out of the water in their first game. They entered the game as a seven-point favorite over the Cleveland Browns, and they left with a 38-6 win. The over/under for the game was 47.5, so it went under. These two teams played last season, with the Ravens winning in a blowout, 41-7 on November 17.

Line Movements

The Ravens have gone from -5 up to -7.5 while grabbing 81% of the bets.

The OU Line has gone from 53.5 down to 49, despite the Over getting 51% of the bets.

Gametime Weather: Retractable Roof

Ravens look to keep rolling

No fans. No preseason. No problem for Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens as they picked up right where they left off last regular season. The Ravens, winners of their last 12 regular-season games in 2019 before being upset by the Tennessee Titans in their first playoff game, scored early and often on Sunday versus the Browns, as they never trailed in the game.

Reigning MVP Jackson led the way for Baltimore with his arm and his legs. He completed 80% of his passes for 275 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. He also led the team in rushing with 45 yards on the ground on seven carries. J.K. Dobbins had just 22 yards rushing for Baltimore, but two of his seven carries took him into the end zone. Marquise Brown caught five passes in the game for 101 yards, a 20.2 yard per catch average, while Mark Andrews had two touchdown catches and Willie Snead IV had one.

“Lamar Jackson just played a phenomenal game in every single way," coach John Harbaugh said on espn.com. “He was probably the biggest difference in the game."

The Ravens outgained the Browns on Sunday 391-327 despite running 10 fewer offensive plays in the game. Baltimore gave up just 168 yards through the air, although they were out-rushed 138-107 on the ground. The Ravens won the turnover battle, 3-1, recovering two fumbles and intercepting one pass. L.J. Fort had six solo tackles for the Ravens, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery, while Patrick Queen had eight total tackles (four solo), one sack, and one forced fumble.

Offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley injured his ankle in the game on Sunday and is listed as questionable for the Houston game. Running back Justice Hill, wide receiver Chris Moore, and defensive tackle Justin Madubuike, all of whom missed week one, are also listed as questionable. The Ravens were 10-6-1 against the spread last season, while the over-under was 9-8.

Baltimore’s Injury Report

Questionable: DB Jimmy Smith, RB Justice Hill, and OT Ronnie Stanley

Out: DT Justin Madubuike and WR Chris Moore

Texans look to rebound from week one loss

The Houston Texans have to be wondering what they did to anger the NFL schedule maker. After opening the season against the best team in the NFL (Kansas City), the Texans get to face the second-best team (Baltimore) on Sunday, followed by Future Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers in week three.

After scoring first on Thursday night against the Chiefs to take a 7-0 lead, not much went right for Houston the rest of the game. The Chiefs scored 31 unanswered points before a couple of fourth-quarter touchdowns for the Texans made it a little closer. Deshaun Watson was 20-32 for 253 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Watson also rushed the ball six times for 27 yards and a touchdown. David Johnson had 11 carries for 77 yards and a touchdown. His 7.0 yards per carry average was the best in the NFL in week one. Will Fuller V was Watson’s main target, catching eight passes for 112 yards. No other Houston player caught more than three passes in the game.

“There's a lot to fix," Texans coach Bill O'Brien said on espn.com.. "It's only one game. We have to improve pretty quickly. But it's only one game . We have to get back to work pretty soon and fix these things."

The Texans gave up just 203 net passing yards to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in week one, however, they gave up 166 yards rushing. Zach Cunningham had eight tackles (six solo), while Benardrick McKinney and Eric Murray had seven tackles apiece and a combined two tackles for losses.

Wide receiver Brandin Cooks (quad) and running back Duke Johnson (ankle) were both injured in their week one loss and are listed as questionable for their game on Sunday. Cooks participated in practice on Monday, while Johnson is considered day-to-day by coach Bill O’Brien, Fullback Collin Gillespie and linebacker Jonathan Greenard are also listed as questionable for the game. Houston was just 8-9-1 against the spread in 2019, while the over-under was 8-10.

Houston’s Injury Report

Questionable: RB Duke Johnson, OT Tytus Howard, LB Peter Kalambayi, and WR Brandin Cooks

The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

The Baltimore Ravens are number two in this week’s ESPN power ranking, and they will show why on Sunday. The Texans allowed the Chiefs to run all over them last week to the tune of 166 yards on the ground. Lamar Jackson had only 45 yards rushing last week, but he didn’t need to carry the ball much. Houston held Patrick Mahomes to just over 200 yards passing last week, so look for Jackson to take more of the rushing load this week. Jackson will get his first 100 yards rushing game of the season on Sunday. With WR Brandin Cooks and RB Duke Johnson both questionable for Houston in this game, the Texans may be a little shorthanded in the skill position area on Sunday. Johnson was one of only two running back who carried the ball in their week one loss, while Cooks was targeted five times in the game, the second-most targets on the team. In the last 10 meetings between these two teams, the Ravens are outscoring the Texans by an average of nearly eight points per game, and they beat them by 34 points last season.

Prediction: Baltimore -7

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Full-Game Total Pick

The Ravens will score their fair share of points in this one, but their defense is so good that Houston will have a tough time scoring many points. The Ravens defense gave up just six points in their opening day win, and they gave up just 17.6 points per game last season, which was third-best in the NFL. Houston struggled offensively in their first game until the game was out of reach. They scored just seven points against the Ravens in last year’s game, and you can expect more of the same in this game. With Duke Johnson and Brandin Cooks possibly out for the Texans, that will limit Deshaun Watson’s options on the offensive side of the ball. Baltimore will score 30 points again, but Houston won’t match their 20 points that they put up against Kansas City.

Prediction: Under 51.5

Doug Gilghrist

Doug has a Journalism degree from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. He has been a passionate sports fan, especially Pittsburgh sports, for over 40 years. In his journalistic career, Doug has covered just about every sport imaginable and is now plying his trade for us here at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt. Doug has always been fascinated by numbers, especially as they relate to sports, so writing for this website is right up his alley.

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