The Texans vs Ravens is a Week 1 matchup of teams at polar opposite ends of the winning cycle. Houston is on their third head coach in as many years and hopes they’ve found their long-term answer at quarterback with the second pick in this year’s NFL Draft.
Conversely, John Harbaugh is entering his 16th season as Baltimore’s head coach, with only two losing records and a Super Bowl Championship on his ledger. And Lamar Jackson is entrenched as the franchise quarterback.
It’s a lopsided matchup, which is reflected in a sizable spread.
Texans vs Ravens Odds
NFL odds used for this Houston vs Baltimore preview were found at FanDuel Sportsbook and are current as of August 18 and 3:30 pm ET.
- Moneyline: Ravens (-450) • Texans (+350)
- Spread: Ravens -9.5 (-115) • Texans +9.5 (-105)
- Total Points: Over 44.5 (-110) • Under 44.5 (-110)
- Implied Score: Ravens 27.0, Texans 17.5
Texans vs Ravens Predictions
Score Pick: Ravens 24, Texans 14
The Ravens are a legitimate playoff contender that could make a Super Bowl run if new offensive coordinator Todd Monken’s guidance breathes life into Baltimore’s offense and Jackson stays healthy for an entire season for the first time since his 2019 NFL MVP campaign. A successful season for the Texans is showing signs of life after a three-win campaign in 2022.
While personnel and coaches have changed in the everchanging NFL landscape, per Pro Football Reference, Baltimore had a +35 point differential in 2022, and the Texans had a -131 point differential. Additionally, Jackson’s won with regularity.
The Ravens are 39-16 on the moneyline in Jackson’s last 55 starts when he played at least 70% of the offensive snaps since 2019. Baltimore were 27-27-1 against the spread (ATS) during that stretch. They averaged 27.9 points per game in the 55-game sample, but that number slipped to 25.0 points per game in Jackson’s 11 healthy starts last season.
Baltimore was also 2-0 with a 1-1 record ATS against rookie quarterbacks (Kyler Murray in 2019 and Joe Burrow in 2020) since 2019. They averaged 25.0 points per game and allowed 10.0 points per game in those two contests.
Even with some potential growing pains acclimating to Monken’s offense, 24 points is an attainable number for the Ravens. And Houston’s offense is a work in progress led by a rookie quarterback against a stout defense.
Per Football Outsiders, the Ravens were seventh in total Defense-Adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA). As a result, the Texans will likely struggle to score in Week 1.
Texans vs Ravens Best Bets & Props
Ravens -6 (-192)
DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit
It’s not unreasonable to bet the Ravens at -9.5 points. Yet, eating some chalk to tease the line to -6 points is enticing. This gives Baltimore some wiggle room if stumbling early while getting used to their new offense.
Baltimore still has a strong roster: Jackson, and an accomplished head coach (.607 winning percentage in the regular season). So, they don’t need to be perfect to cover a six-point spread.
And, again, rookie quarterbacks have found winning tough in their first starts. The 31 rookie QBs who’ve started since 2018 were 10-20-1 and 15-16 ATS. Second, the 17 first-round quarterbacks in the sample were 4-12-1 and 6-11 against the spread. Third the six who started in Week 1 of their rookie campaign were 1-4-1 and 2-4 ATS.
Baltimore Ravens by 1-13 Points (+140)
FanDuel Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit
The Ravens are rightfully significant favorites against the Texans, and getting plus odds for a wide band of winning margins is alluring. So, this is the NFL bet of the day.
Since 2018, 31 drafted rookie quarterbacks made starts in their first professional season and were 10-20-1 on the moneyline. They were outscored by approximately 2.5 points per game.
Narrowing the focus to only first-round rookie quarterbacks, the 17 who started in their first season were 4-12-1 on the moneyline, 6-11 ATS, and they were outscored by an average of 4.5 points per game.
Under 44.5 (-110)
FanDuel Sportsbook • WAGER: 0.5 units
Rookie quarterbacks have struggled to hang points in their first start. The 31 who’ve started as rookies since 2018 averaged 19.4 points per game. The 17 who were first-round picks averaged just 20.6 points per game. And the six who started in Week 1 averaged 23.2 points per game.
In the two-game sample of Jackson and the Ravens facing rookie quarterbacks, Baltimore averaged 25 points per game and allowed only 10 points per game. The Ravens might be able to light up the Texans.
Yet, it’s reasonable to have reservations about things clicking immediately with a new offensive coordinator and Jackson building in-game rapport with rookie first-round pick Zay Flowers and free-agent addition Odell Beckham Jr. So, the under looks like the correct side of the game’s total.
Texans vs Ravens Same Game Parlay
Texans vs Ravens SGP (+230)
DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 0.5 units
- Under 44.5 (-115)
- BAL Over 19.5 (-425)
- HOU Under 17.5 (-140)
All three legs of this same-game parlay align with the projected 24-14 victory for the Ravens. Jackson’s elite dual-threat ability should allow the Ravens to clear 19.5 points, even if the offense isn’t clicking on all cylinders in their first regular season with Monken calling the shots.
Houston’s under is slightly lower than the average of 19.4 points per game scored by 31 rookie quarterbacks in their first start in 2018. However, Baltimore’s defense was a top-10 unit in 2022 by DVOA. So, scoring lower than the average is to be expected.
Finally, the average total in the 31 games started by drafted rookie quarterbacks since 2018 was 41.4 points, lower than the game’s total of 44.5 points.