Houston Texans vs. Baltimore Ravens NFL Player Props & Picks (1/20/24)

Get Texans vs. Ravens player prop picks & odds for their (1/20/24) matchup

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Texans vs. Ravens Player Prop Picks

The No. 1 seed Baltimore Ravens host the No. 4 seed Houston Texans in an AFC Divisional Playoff game this Saturday (1/20/24) at 4:30 p.m. EST. This game features two of the best quarterbacks in the league with MVP frontrunner Lamar Jackson and Rookie of the Year frontrunner C.J. Stroud, both of whom have plenty of talented playmakers like Zay Flowers and Nico Collins.

This article analyzes the betting odds for player prop bets in this game and recommends the best Texans vs. Ravens player prop bets.

C.J. Stroud over 35.5 passing attempts (+106 at FanDuel)

If the Texans are going to have any chance of winning this game, they’re likely going to need C.J. Stroud to have the best game of his already sensational rookie season. We expect the Ravens to score plenty of points on the Texans’ exceedingly average defense (more on that later), which will put pressure on the Texans’ offense to keep up with them. That is going to require a high-volume passing day from Stroud.

While the Ravens have arguably the best pass defense in the league (1st in DVOA and 2nd in EPA), they also faced the second-most pass attempts per game this season (37.3). The biggest reason for that is that they were playing with the lead so frequently — and often playing with a big lead. We expect a similar game script to play out this week, enough to push Stroud over 35.5 pass attempts.

Quarterbacks facing Baltimore have gone over their prop line for pass attempts in seven of the Ravens’ last eight games (excluding both their meaningless week 18 game and their Week 10 matchup against Cincinnati when Joe Burrow got hurt). In six of those eight games, the opposing quarterbacks attempted at least 37 passes.

While Stroud has only thrown 36+ passes seven times this season — and not since Week 12 — this matchup will create the conditions in which that type of passing volume will be necessary. Stroud threw 44 passes in a blowout loss to Baltimore in Week 1, which was the second-most passes he has thrown all season.

Our biggest hesitation with this pick is that Houston has been running the ball much more effectively with Devin Singletary over the second half of the season. Running the ball is also the best way to attack the Ravens’ defense, which was just 22nd in EPA and 29th in success rate against the run over its last six games. The expected windy conditions could also lead to a more balanced, run-focused offensive game plan for Houston.

That said, so long as the Ravens play with a lead — as the line for this game would suggest — the game script will favor more pass attempts for Stroud. Even if the Texans cover the spread, which we picked them to do, there is a very good chance they will be playing from behind in the second half and will need to abandon the run as they try to come back. The windy conditions could also force them to throw more short and intermediate passes than deep passes, which will increase the total passing volume.

Stroud is the type of player who we expect to perform his best in the biggest game of his career, and he should rack up the pass attempts in this game.

Zay Flowers over 47.5 receiving yards (-115 at BetMGM)

As noted above, we expect the Ravens’ offense to have another big game this week against the Texans’ beatable defense. Houston finished the season ranked just 16th in defensive DVOA and 14th in EPA – good enough to win their division and a playoff game, but not good enough to slow down a Ravens offense that was 4th in DVOA and 6th in EPA.

More importantly for this prop bet, Houston is a pass funnel defense. They are 2nd in DVOA, 6th in EPA and 1st in success rate against the run this season. They were 6th in rushing yards allowed per game and 2nd in yards per carry allowed. On the other hand, they were 23rd in pass defense and 26th in net yards allowed per pass attempt. They finished 23rd in DVOA, 20th in EPA and 18th in success rate against the pass.

Expect the Ravens to attack the Texans’ defense through the air, which sets up talented rookie Zay Flowers for another nice game in his first career playoff game. Flowers had at least 48 receiving yards in 11 of his 16 games this season and averaged 53.6 yards per game. He finished the season strong, hauling in 12 catches for 178 yards and two touchdowns in his last two games.

The Texans’ defense has allowed at least 48 receiving yards to an opposing wide receiver in all but one game this season — Week 4 against Pittsburgh. Overall they allowed the 12th most receiving yards per game to wide receivers (160.2), and over their last five games they allowed the seventh-most yards to perimeter wide receivers. Flowers had 78 yards against them in Week 1 in his first career game.

Flowers has been Lamar Jackson’s favorite target all season, even when All-Pro tight end Mark Andrews was healthy (he’s expected to return from injury this week). He led the team in both targets per game (6.75) and receptions per game (4.8) and trailed Andrews by less than a yard for most yards per game.

Even if Andrews’ return takes away some of the volume Flowers saw late in the season, he should still have more than enough opportunities against this Texans defense to surpass 48 receiving yards.

Gus Edwards under 13.5 rushing attempts (-105 at BetMGM)

If the Texans’ dominant run defense is going to funnel the Ravens to the passing game, then it follows that they are likely to have a lower volume on the ground this week. That makes the under on Gus Edwards’ rushing attempts another solid player prop bet in this game.

Edwards averaged just over 11 carries per game this season and had 12 or fewer carries in seven of his last nine games and in 11 games overall. He only reached 14 carries six times.

The flip side of that logic is that if the Ravens are nursing a lead in the second half, they could lean on the ground game to control the ball and drain the clock. However, those second-half carries could also go to Justice Hill or newcomer Dalvin Cook, and of course Lamar Jackson should also see close to 10 carries (his prop line is 9.5).

Between the backfield carry splits and the expected Ravens’ game plan, this should be a lower volume day for Edwards.

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Noah hails from Philadelphia and is a diehard Philly sports fan. He graduated from Penn where he was a sports writer and editor for the student newspaper and also spent a summer covering the Baltimore Orioles for MLB.com. He has been playing fantasy sports since before live stats were a thing, and he has enjoyed learning the nuances of DFS in recent years. As a current resident of Florida, he is hoping the wave of sports betting legalization will eventually reach his home state.

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