The Houston Texans have been the Cinderella story of the NFL this season, winning a division title and a first-round playoff game under first-year head coach DeMeco Ryans and rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud. Can Houston keep its dream season alive as big underdogs against the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens?
Baltimore cruised to an AFC North title behind MVP favorite Lamar Jackson, who led the Ravens to six consecutive wins to lock up the AFC’s top seed. Will Jackson bounce back from his previous playoff shortcomings?
Here are three prop bets to consider when these two teams meet on Saturday.
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Texans vs. Ravens best prop bets for divisional rounds
- Zay Flowers OVER 4.5 receptions
- Lamar Jackson UNDER 53.5 rushing yards
- C.J. Stroud OVER 243.5 passing yards
Zay Flowers OVER 4.5 receptions
Lamar Jackson threw for a career-high 3,678 yards this season under first-year offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Flowers, the 22nd overall pick in last year’s draft, was a big reason for that, anchoring a Baltimore pass-catching unit that was missing Odell Beckham Jr. and tight end Mark Andrews for stretches this season.
Flowers had 5-plus catches in nine of 16 games this season and averaged 4.8 receptions for 54 yards over his final five contests. He had double-digit targets twice in critical December matchups and has quickly become one of Jackson’s most reliable weapons in big moments.
Houston ranked No. 23 against the pass this season and Flowers, a full participant in practice after a calf issue, should see plenty of opportunities through the air.
Lamar Jackson UNDER 53.5 rushing yards
With Jackson’s play-making ability, it’s always difficult to bet him under his rushing yards total. Jackson ended the season with 821 rushing yards but hit this number in just 7-of-16 games.
The Ravens’ offense hit its peak with 89 points over Jackson’s final two games under center. In those contests, Jackson ran just 13 times for 80 yards. The major difference in this year’s offense compared to when Jackson was the MVP in 2019 is Jackson is not relying as much on his legs. In 2019, Baltimore’s strength was playing with the lead and using its rushing attack to put away opponents. That season, Jackson ran for nearly 400 more yards on 28 more attempts compared to this year’s numbers.
Plus, Houston’s defense, despite struggles against the pass, doesn’t allow quarterbacks to hurt them on the ground. In 19 games, the Texans are allowing just 15.5 rushing yards per game to opposing signal-callers. Arizona’s Kyler Murray had the best day, running for 51 yards on 7 attempts in a 21-16 November loss. Houston limited Jackson to 38 yards on a half-dozen carries in Week 1.
Take the under with the majority of Jackson’s success coming through the air.
C.J. Stroud OVER 243.5 passing yards
Ride with the hot hand in Stroud, who is the favorite to be named the NFL's Rookie of the Year. Stroud has hit this number in seven of the last eight games he started and finished. Stroud hasn't been scared in the big moments, throwing for 264 yards to beat the Colts on the road in Week 17 to win the AFC South.
In the Wild Card round, Stroud carved up the Cleveland Browns top-ranked passing defense for 274 yards and 3 touchdowns, going 16-of-21 through the air. Baltimore's defense was average (No. 14) against the pass this season, and the game script is the key to this bet. As nearly a double-digit favorite, the Texans are projected to be playing from behind, which correlates to Houston airing it out in comeback mode. The Ravens were also No. 1 in the NFL in sacks. If they can get to Stroud, it puts Houston behind the sticks and in obvious passing situations for Stroud to go over this number.
Odds are updated periodically and are subject to change