The Divisional Round of the 2023 NFL playoffs is here and we are another week closer to Super Bowl 58, the biggest betting event in the sports arena. Today we a look at a matchup between the upstart Houston Texans led by rookie head coach DeMeco Ryans and rookie QB C.J. Stroud off a home win against the Cleveland Browns last week and the Baltimore Ravens who held the top seed in the AFC behind MVP front-runner Lamar Jackson and a vaunted Ravens defense. Let’s dive in and take a look at my predictions for this NFL AFC Divisional Round playoff battle!

NFL AFC Divisional Round Predictions

Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens

  • Spread: Ravens -9.5
  • Total: 43.5

I just don’t see the Ravens losing this game and their -450 money line speaks volumes. The question is whether or not I think the Texans can keep this game close enough to cover the spread. Historically, underdogs by more than nine points cover the spread just over 50-percent of the time, so there’s not much data to sway an opinion. So I look at the progress we’ve seen from C.J. Stroud and can’t help but focus on two thing. The first is no Marlon Humphrey. Do the Ravens play more zone than man now? Their best remaining cover guy is Kyle Hamilton but he’s much better on the slot than the outside, so Nico Collins and John Metchie could be in for stronger days. The second thing is how often the Ravens have struggled to maintain their leads in the second half. We’ve seen them lose late and we've see plenty of teams cover on them with strong second half performances. Maybe not strong enough for the win, but certainly strong enough to keep it close. And that’s where this game sits for me.

Game Pick: Texans +9.5 (-110)

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