Houston Texans vs Baltimore Ravens (1:30pm)
All signs point to a significant Ravens triumph! The Ravens are leading the NFL in wins, points differential, and turnover differential, while also holding quarterbacks to a 74.0 passer rating. Although Houston's rookie C.J. Stroud has had an exceptional season, his luck may run out this afternoon, especially considering the challenging 20-degree weather and high winds. Stroud, who performs better indoors with a 108.3 passer rating, faces a different scenario outdoors with an 85.1 rating.
Lamar Jackson is eager for this game, marking his return to playoff action after a hiatus of over three years. With a playoff record of 1-3, he sees a great opportunity to silence his critics. Notably, Baltimore secured a victory against Houston earlier this season, even when Lamar Jackson didn't score any touchdowns. The dynamic duo of Gus Edwards and Lamar Jackson amassed over 800 rushing yards, leading the NFL with an average of 5.5 yards per carry.
I anticipate Lamar Jackson scoring 2-3 touchdowns and dominating against Houston, especially considering the Texans' 24th-ranked pass defense. Baltimore has been averaging an impressive 34.6 points per game at home this season, making it a tall task for Houston to thwart their offensive onslaught. Ravens are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 playoff games.
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Pick: Balitmore Ravens -9.5 (-115)
🍀Best of luck!