The Baltimore Ravens have enjoyed a well needed and well deserved week of rest, but now it's time to get back to work and prepare for the Houston Texans, who upset the Cleveland Browns in the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs.
As you'd expect, the Ravens are big time favorites against the No. 4 seed Texans, but Baltimore fans need to be careful. We've already seen one big favorite, the Cowboys, stumble in the playoffs and the Ravens don't want to be the second.
Let's take a look at the opening odds for this AFC Divisional Round game:
Texans vs. Ravens odds, spread, and total
The Ravens originally opened as 9.5-point favorites to the Texans, but that line has since moved down to -9 or even -8.5 at some sportsbooks, meaning professional bettors have been betting on the Texans since the line was released.
The total for the game has also shifted, opening at 45.5 but since moving down one point to 44.5.
At -390 moneyline odds, the oddsmakers are giving the Ravens an implied probability of 79.59% of beating the Texans and advancing to the AFC Championship, which they would host.
This game will be a rematch of their Week 1 showdown where Lamar Jackson and the Ravens took down the Texans by a final score of 25-9 while outgaining them 4.6 yards per play to 3.7 yards per play.
While it was an impressive win for the Ravens, we should take that result with a grain of salt as it was C.J. Stroud's first ever start in the NFL and this young team has only improved since then.
One thing on in this game is the run defense of the Texans. They're second in the NFL this season in opponent yards per carry, giving up just 3.5 yards per rush. The Ravens may want to look to the air against the Texans, whose secondary has struggled all season.
Defensively, the Ravens just need to do what they do best -- shutdown the opposing quarterback. Few secondary's have had as much success as the Ravens have had this season, so Stroud could be in for one of the toughest matchups he's had all season.
Do you want to place a bet on the Ravens this weekend? If you do, you should place that bet over at DraftKings Sportsbook. For a limited time, new users who click the link below to sign up for an account will receive $150 in bonus bets when they place their first $5 wager.
Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
You can check out all of Iain's bets here!