Ravens vs. Texans Week 2 Pick ATS
Baltimore Ravens (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) vs. Houston Texans (0-1 SU, 1-0 ATS)
NFL Football Week 2
Date/Time: Sunday September 20th, 2020. 4:25PM (EST)
Where:NRG Stadium Houston, T.X.
Point Spread:BAL -7/HOU +7
Over/Under Total: 52.5
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Last week, the Houston Texans opened the NFL season by taking on the defending Super Bowl Champions in what turned out to be a relatively subpar performance. The Texans scored a pair of 4th quarter touchdowns to make the final score look respectable in a 34-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. This week the schedule does not get any easier as the Texans return home to host the Baltimore Ravens at NRG Stadium. Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens picked up where they left off in 2019 by routing the Cleveland Browns 38-6 in Week 1 and will be 7 point favorites on the road in Houston this Sunday.
If we look at Week 1 performances, the Ravens and Texans were on opposite ends of the spectrum. The Ravens appeared to be in mid-season form. Lamar Jackson was crisp throwing the football. The running threat was potent as ever Jackson, Mark Ingram, and rookie J.K. Dobbins. Jackson was able to find WR Marquise Brown and TE Mark Andrews with ease though Dobbins still cashed two touchdowns on the ground. Simply put, everything appeared to be finely tuned for the Baltimore offense. For Houston, it was the exact opposite. Houston’s offensive line had trouble protecting QB Deshaun Watson, who was sacked four times, and the offense appeared desperate for playmakers. If that happens again this week, Houston could be in for another difficult match-up against one of the most dangerous scoring teams in the NFL.
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History favors Baltimore against Houston
If we look at the history between Baltimore and Houston, the Ravens have always held the upper-hand and own all of the significant trends going into Sunday’s meeting. The Ravens won the first six meetings and own a 9-2 record overall against the Texans. If you look at last year’s meeting that took place in Baltimore during week 11, the Ravens blew out the Texans 41-7 in one of the most lopsided games of the year. Jackson threw for four touchdowns in that game and ran for 79 yards on the ground.
If you look at both teams as this Sunday’s match-up approaches and compare it to that meeting a year ago, I honestly see a better Baltimore team and a worse Houston team. The Texans lost starting WR DeAndre Hopkins and have a journeymen group of receivers without a clear go-to threat. RB David Johnson looked solid in last week’s opener against the Chiefs, but he is not the running back he was just 2-3 years ago. Meanwhile, Baltimore seems to be even better than they were a year ago. I am really high on the rookie J.K. Dobbins, who provides an explosive option in the backfield to go with the power attack of Mark Ingram. Meanwhile, the Ravens have all the targets that Jackson needs to continue to thrive with a possibly improved defense.
Baltimore vs. Houston Betting Trends
I am not implying that bettors should expect another 41-7 blowout this weekend. However, I am not backing away from that possibility. The Ravens should have a significant advantage on both sides of the ball as long as they can contain Watson. The Texans have posted a measly 3-6-1 record ATS going back to their previous ten games. The Texans are also just 3-7 SU in their last ten games in September. Meanwhile, Baltimore has posted several stellar trends to boost our confidence this week. The Ravens are 13-1 SU in their previous 14 games, which is impressive by itself. Against the books, Baltimore has covered five of their last six games overall and covered the last five straight games on the road. The Ravens have also trended towards the “under” in five of their last seven games, and the “under” has hit in the last five out of seven match-ups between Houston and Baltimore.
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