AFC Playoff Betting: Houston Texans vs. Baltimore Ravens Odds, Prediction, and Pick

Houston Texans

This match-up between the Houston Texans and the Baltimore Ravens is probably the game that is flying under the radar more than any this coming weekend.  Many people felt that this injury-plagued Houston Texans team wouldn’t even be able to beat the Cincinnati Bengals last weekend in the Wild Card round, but they did just that, and they did it in impressive fashion.  The Texans looked solid last weekend, but they’ll definitely have their hands full against the number two team in the AFC, the Baltimore Ravens.  This game is set to kick off at 1:00pm EST on Sunday afternoon, and is the first of two playoff games that day.

Let’s start with that Texans team.  They have lost both their starting quarterback, and their backup quarterback this season.  On top of that though, they also missed running back Arian Foster for some time, as well as star wide out Andre Johnson for most of the season, and defensive end Mario Williams as well.  This team can’t seem to catch a break, until they dominated last weekend.  Houston won the AFC South, and finished with a 10-6 record that impressed many people throughout the NFL.  They will need to rely heavily on their running back duo of Foster and Ben Tate if they want to knock off a Baltimore Ravens team who will certainly be fired up at home.

Now for the Baltimore Ravens, a team who either leaves you scratching your head, or impressed by their all around solid play.  This team has been excellent, and been incredibly bad at times this year.  They won a tough NFC North with a 12-4 record that included two other playoff teams, but all four of their losses this season came against non-playoff teams, with one of them being against a 5-11 Jacksonville Jaguars team.  They have an excellent running game with Ray Rice, but their passing game is either very strong, or very, very off with Joe Flacco.  They Ravens will need a big game from Rice, and they will also need Flacco to control the game nicely as well to get this win on Sunday.

Odds and Sports Betting Line

Houston Texans: +9

Baltimore Ravens: -9

Free Prediction

It’s tough not to like an emotional team like the Ravens, with an excellent defense, in their first playoff game of the year in their home stadium.  And I do like them actually.  The Ravens are too strong of a team to bow out of this year’s playoffs early, and I think that they will get the job done at home against a tough Texans team.  It won’t be as easy as people think, because Houston’s defense is very good, but I’ll take the Ravens by a touchdown.

Prediction:  Baltimore Ravens- 24 Houston Texans- 17

Free Pick

This big playoff lines are tough to cover for teams, and it will be especially tough to cover when there are two teams playing with strong defenses like the Texans and the Ravens.  I think that nine is simply too many to give the Texans, regardless of who’s playing quarterback.  I’m going to take the Ravens to win, but I’m picking the Houston Texans to cover +9.

Pick:  Houston Texans +9


AFC Playoff Betting: Denver Broncos vs. New England Patriots Odds, Prediction, and Pick

Denver Broncos

Think back to about four weeks ago, when the New England Patriots went to Denver and ended all of the Tim Tebow hype that was surrounding the Broncos.  The day ended in a 41-23 win by the Patriots, in which Tom Brady proved that he and his team are still miles ahead of this Broncos team.  On Saturday though, Tim Tebow has the chance to prove all of his haters wrong once again, and it is against none other than Tom Brady and that Patriots team.  The Broncos pulled off one of the more improbably first round upsets this past weekend, as they knocked off the Pittsburgh Steelers in a game where they were nine point underdogs.  It was impressive alone that they beat last year’s defending AFC Champions, but what made it even more impressive is the fact that they did it on Tim Tebow’s arm.

The Broncos as a whole (including their defense) were very impressive, but Tebow led this team with his passing, which no one thought he would be capable of doing, especially against a defense like the Steelers.  Denver may have been 8-8 during the regular season, but they finally played like a division winner.  Tebow threw for 316 yards and two touchdowns, and also ran for 50 yards and another touchdown on top of this.  It all led to an overtime victory by a touchdown for this Denver team, as Tebow threw the game winner only 11 seconds into overtime, on the very first play.

On the other side of the ball, it’s time to talk about the 13-3, first seeded, New England Patriots.  There’s not much to say about this team, except for that they are probably one of the most impressive offenses out there, and that they are going to give any team in these playoffs fits.  They are led by who all quarterbacks in the NFL want to be, as Tom Brady is beyond elite status.

Now these two teams get to go heads up on Saturday night at 8:00pm EST, and this game should draw one of the largest audiences in history.

Odds and Sports Betting Line

Denver Broncos: +13.5

New England Patriots: -13.5

Free Prediction

So the question is, can the Denver Broncos upset the New England Patriots on Saturday?  This would absolutely be one of the biggest upsets in the history of the NFL playoffs, but it’s one that I really can’t see happening.  I think that the Denver Broncos are going to keep this game much closer than anyone is possibly imagining, but that Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will get the job done in the end.  These two come up with some excellent game plans, and this day will have a similar story.  I expect Tim Tebow to have a strong game though, and the Patriots to pull off the win by a touchdown.

Prediction:  New England Patriots- 35 Denver Broncos- 28

Free Pick

This line is huge.  Regardless of the situation, having two playoff teams matched up, and setting the line at -13.5 is going to be tough no matter what.  I’d love this line a lot if I could get it at the Broncos +14 or +14.5, but I’ll definitely take the Broncos at +13.5 as well.  This one will be a touchdown game, and it’ll leave NFL fans wondering what Tim Tebow will do next.  I’m picking the Denver Broncos to cover the +13.5.

Pick: Denver Broncos +13.5


NFL Wild Card Betting: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Houston Texans Odds, Prediction, and Pick

Cincinnati Bengals

This weekends opening NFL Wild Card match-up features two teams who you can bet that quite a few people are surprised are even in the playoffs in the first place.  The Houston Texans were definitely a favorite when the season kicked off, as they were a team with quite a bit of talent, but things went south as injuries completely hit this team harder than you could imagine.  The Cincinnati Bengals on the other hand, literally had an over/under on their total wins for this season set at four.  The team obviously excelled past that thanks to two rookies in quarterback Andy Dalton and wide out AJ Green.  So what does this add up to?  One of the most talked about games of the opening weekend of the NFL playoffs.  What really makes this game interesting is the fact that these two teams enter the playoffs as the underdogs to make deep runs, and this adds up to an excellent opening game in Houston.

The Houston Texans have waited a long time to be able to host a playoff game, and they’ll get to do just that this weekend.  While they lost two quarterbacks to injury this year in Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart, and they also lost stars Mario Williams for the season, and Andre Johnson for quite a while during this season.  Heck, this team even saw defensive coordinator Wade Phillips have to have surgery to miss a few weeks.  They’ve rebounded incredibly though, and they were led by rookie TJ Yates and running back Arian Foster to the point that they are at currently.  The team still put together an impressive 10-6 record, which leads to a huge game on Saturday.

How about those Cincinnati Bengals though?  On top of just Dalton and Green, running back Cedric Benson has been strong, and he’s been the veteran who had to prepare for one of the toughest seasons in front of him.  Instead of that, the veteran gets a chance to head into the playoffs and make some noise.  Sleeping on this Bengals team would be the wrong thing to do, and you can bet that Marvin Lewis will have his team ready to go this weekend.

Odds and Sports Betting Line

Cincinnati Bengals: +3

Houston Texans: -3

Free Prediction

Both teams started the year incredibly well, but both of these teams had their struggles throughout the season also.  What stands out most here though is the fact that the Texans suffered a three game losing streak to finish the year.  They’ll need to turn that around quickly in order to get a first round playoff win this weekend.  I don’t think it will happen though, as this offense has struggled quite a bit down the stretch.  I think that the Bengals offense does enough to win the game on the road, but it’ll be a close one.  Bengals by four here.

Prediction:  Cincinnati Bengals- 28 Houston Texans- 24

Free Pick

I’m surprised that the Texans are favored here, but you could really make a case for either side.  I’m siding with the team who has already surprised a few people this season in the Bengals.  I’m not only going to be picking the Cincinnati Bengals to cover the +3, but I’m going to get a small bet on them straight as well.

Pick:  Cincinnati Bengals +3

BONUS Pick:  Cincinnati Bengals STRAIGHT at +155

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