Monday Night Football Picks & Preview – Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens
The Houston Texans have been slowed down on the offensive side of the football, but that can be attributed to an injury to their rookie quarterback, who was turning out to be quite a revelation. As far as the Baltimore Ravens, there is really no excuse for their offensive woes, because they have a former Super Bowl MVP at quarterback. Let’s see if defense rules the roost as these teams tangle on Monday night at 8:30 PM ET at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. If you are a BetAnySports customer, you can access real-time wagering for exciting action through the state-of-the-art software of Live Betting Ultra.
We’re not going to say that DeShaun Watson was going to take the Texans to the playoffs, but he was lending an explosive element to an offense that, as it turns out, was going to need it to compensate in some way for the defensive injuries that were suffered, particularly to JJ Watt and Whitney Mercilus. Watson, a dual-threat behind center as he led Clemson to the national championship last season, had a 49-yard TD run in his first start against Cincinnati, and he wound of throwing for 19 touchdowns, which had put him in a tie with Carson Wentz for the league lead at the time he suffered an ACL injury during practice. He is out for the season. In his wake he left point totals of 33, 57, 34, 33 and 38 in the last five games he started.
Watson had come in originally for Tom Savage, who looked out of sorts in the season opener against Jacksonville, as he got sacked six times in one half. But Savage, who was the team’s starter at the end of last season, after Brock Osweiler was benched, but missed the wild card game against Oakland, had to go back in after Watson’s injury. He is 53% for the season, and although this team was very lackluster in games against the Colts and Rams – both defeats – they looked a little more alive against the Arizona Cardinals last week, as Savage threw a couple of touchdown passes and D’Onta Foreman scored a couple of times on the ground in a 31-21 win.
Baltimore (5-5 SU, 6-4 ATS) has to win to keep up with the Buffalo Bills, who currently hold onto the second wild card spot in the AFC. Houston, at 4-6 straight-up and 6-4 versus the points, will drop three games behind Tennessee and Jacksonville in the AFC South with a loss.
In the odds at BetAnySports upon which we will make our Monday night football picks, the Ravens are a solid favorite:
Baltimore Ravens -8 (+100)
Houston Texans +8 (-120)
Over 38.5 points -110
Under 38.5 points -110
Baltimore’s Joe Flacco is throwing for just 5.4 yards per attempt, and it’s hard to be a big fan of that. Physical problems bothered him right from the beginning, as he injured his back in training camp. Interestingly enough, he has a couple of wide receivers in Mike Williams and Jeremy Maclin who ought to be able to command the respect of opposing defenses, but that hasn’t manifested itself. Flacco should be helped by Danny Woodhead, the pass-catching back who returned last week, but he could be very limited from getting the ball down the field. At least that’s been the evidence thus far.
It’s good thing that the Ravens have a defense that can make up for the lack of explosiveness on the offensive side. They are third best in the NFL when it comes to yards AND points allowed per drive; they force more turnovers per drive than anyone, and only the Los Angeles Chargers went into this week’s action having surrendered fewer points per red zone appearance. The Ravens have also pitched three shutouts.
Savage needs all the help he can get, but he’s not going to have Will Fuller, who has cracked ribs. Seven of Fuller’s 17 catches have gone for touchdowns, and he was that guy who stretched things down the field and also took pressure off DeAndre Hopkins. So Baltimore’s task becomes easier. But can they create a margin? We would rather go “under” in this one than move with the pointspread, but if we had to take either side, it would be Houston.
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