Get Texans vs. Ravens player prop picks & odds for the (9/10/23) matchup.
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C.J. Stroud makes his NFL debut for the Houston Texans on the road against the Baltimore Ravens in week 1 of the 2023 NFL season. This game will also be a debut for new Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Moncken, who is expected to open up the passing game for Lamar Jackson.
Let’s take a look at what those two new faces on their respective teams might mean for the player prop betting odds in this games. Read on for the best Texans vs. Ravens player prop bets for this week 1 matchup.
C.J. Stroud over 195.5 passing yards (-115 at BetMGM)
This pick is less about a vote of confidence in C.J. Stroud, the 2nd overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, and more about expected game script. We expect the Ravens’ offense under Moncken to be even more explosive this season, and the Texans’ defense won’t put up much resistance this week.
That means C.J. Stroud will likely be playing from behind for most of the game, and while the Texans will want to take pressure off their rookie quarterback and lean on Dameon Pierce in the run game, it will be hard to do that consistently if the Ravens jump out to a big lead.
Stroud is an accurate and NFL-ready passer with an improved Texans’ offensive line in front of him and an underrated group of pass catchers. The Texans brought in a handful of reliable, veteran receiving targets this offseason in tight end Dalton Schultz and wide receivers Robert Woods and Noah Brown. They also drafted speedy route-running dynamo Tank Dell in the 3rd round and will get back second-year receiver John Metchie III, a 2022 2nd-round pick who missed his rookie season with leukemia (update: Metchie is ruled out for this game with a hamstring injury).
That might not be the most exciting or dynamic group of pass catchers, but along with Nico Collins, who might be the best of the bunch, it is a perfectly serviceable receiving corps with whom Stroud can work. The matchup is a tough one against a Ravens’ secondary that Pro Football Focus rates as the NFL’s fifth-best secondary entering the season, but again, this is a game script and volume play.
Expect Stroud to see enough passing volume to get over 200 passing yards in this game.
Nico Collins over 3.5 receptions (+105 at BetMGM)
Let’s go ahead and pair the Stroud passing over pick with one of his pass catchers, and our favorite pick of the bunch is Nico Collins over 3.5 catches, which is available for plus money. Collins led all Texans pass catchers in targets and receptions when the starters were on the field during the preseason and is expected to be Stroud’s most-targeted receiver this season.
Collins is a big and reliable target at 6-4 with just 1 drop on 125 targets over his first two seasons. That is the type of player that can become a safety blanket and target monster for a young quarterback like Stroud.
Collins had at least 4 catches in half of the games he played last season including 3 of his last 4, and he averaged just over 3.5 receptions per game with a more limited snap share and terrible quarterback play. If that’s his floor, then the ceiling is certainly much higher with Stroud under center.
Finally, while the Ravens’ secondary is a tough matchup, their top cornerback Marlon Humphrey is out for this game, which only increases the chances that Collins finishes with a respectable stat line that includes at least 4 receptions.
Lamar Jackson over 49.5 rushing yards (-115 at DraftKings)
The Ravens’ offense is a bit more unpredictable for week 1 given all the new weapons (especially Odell Beckham Jr. and rookie receiver Zay Flowers) and the new system under Todd Moncken, so that made it a bit easier to focus on the Texans with our first two picks. But two Texans player props is more than enough for this game, so let’s get some action on the Ravens too.
All the talk about the Ravens’ offense this offseason has been about how Moncken is going to open up the passing game for Lamar Jackson. That may prove to be true, but knowing where those targets might go is the challenge, and the volume also may be depressed in the second half if the Ravens jump out to a big lead.
The more reliable expectation for this game is that Jackson will rush for at least 50 yards, even if the new offensive system is geared more towards the pass. Jackson will still have plenty of opportunities to run the ball on both designed runs and off-schedule plays.
In a down year last year when he was dealing with a knee injury, Jackson still went over 50 rushing yards in 8 of his 12 games and averaged 63.7 rushing yards per game. We like his chances to do the same thing in his first game this season.