Monday Night Football NFL Picks: Ravens at Texans Betting Odds and Predictions
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 12/13/2010
For whatever reason, the Houston Texans are on national television again. Monday night’s game against Baltimore at Reliant Stadium in Houston at 8:30 p.m. EST represents the second consecutive week the Texans have been featured on a nationally televised game and third time this season.
That seems a little excessive for one of only three teams to have not reached the playoffs since Brett Favre’s consecutive games played streak started. You don’t see the Lions or Rams playing under the lights. If anything, the amount of media exposure for Houston has allowed fans to realize just how wildly inconsistent this group is.
Heading into their bye week Houston was 4-2 and playoff contender. Two months later Houston is 5-7 and a top-five draft pick contender.
Speaking of primetime, the Baltimore Ravens were just featured on Sunday Night Football. It was their third primetime game of the season and as a national television audience can see, not much has changed. The Ravens still play great defense and still lose close games. While Houston screams novelty and inconsistency Baltimore screams tradition and steadiness.
The latter trait tends to win games in the NFL, but even though it will be a Monday night in Houston we can still say the “any given Sunday” cliché applies.
Baltimore has plenty to play for. Even with their loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday, the Ravens are almost a mortal lock for a playoff spot and remain only one-game back of Pittsburgh in the AFC North. If Houston were in the AFC North they could start turning in their equipment right now. But they are not, they are in the AFC South (appropriately named). The Jaguars somehow lead this division at 7-5 ahead of the Colts (7-6) and Titans (5-8). It is very conceivable that nine wins could win this division, and after Baltimore, Houston plays struggling Tennessee and Denver and closes its season at home against division-leader Jacksonville, giving Houston a little more control over things.
Houston is in this predicament because of its defense, which ranks dead last in passing yards allowed and third to last in total yards allowed. And, of course, the Ravens are where they are because of its defense, which is actually below average for Baltimore standards.
Baltimore will be without key tight end Todd Heap (hamstring), but will regain the services of fullback Le’Ron McClain, who missed the Pittsburgh loss. Houston will get a huge boost with the return of tight end Owen Daniels who has missed the past five games. Mario Williams (hernia) and Andre Johnson (ankle) are both expected to suit up for Houston as well.
Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans Betting Odds and Line Moves
All the public action in the world on Baltimore has not been enough to take this line off of three. The Ravens remain three-point favorites, according to NFL odds, while the total has slid up slightly from 45.5 to 46. NFL odds are courtesy of Sportsbook.com
Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans Trends
Ravens are 1-4 ATS in their last five vs. a team with a losing record
Ravens are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games as a road favorite
Texans are 1-4 ATS in their last five games as an underdog
Texans are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games as a home underdog
Monday Night Football NFL Picks and Predictions: Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans
Baltimore is in an extremely precarious situation after dropping a heartbreaking loss at home to bitter divisional-rival Pittsburgh on Sunday. It’s a shorter week than normal for Baltimore considering it was a Sunday night game, while Houston has had three extra days of rest after playing on Thursday. The Steelers loss is still heavily weighing on Baltimore, and especially coach John Harbaugh, who said it was the toughest loss of his coaching career. The Steelers will figuratively beat Baltimore two weeks in a row and the rested and healthy Houston Texans will be the beneficiaries. Take the Texans and the points.
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