The Houston Texans only have one win in their last six games, but they can still play spoilers when they host the favored Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football.
The Texans failed to hold on again last week in a 34-24 loss to Philadelphia as an 8-point road underdog. Houston actually held a 24-20 lead heading into the fourth quarter but was outscored 14-0 the rest of the way,
Matt Schaub passed for 337 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in the loss, while Arian Foster rushed for 83 yards and a TD and also caught a TD pass. Foster could be held under the century mark again Monday night versus a Baltimore defense that is sixth in the league against the run.
The Ravens also failed to hold on to a late lead last week in a 13-10 loss to Pittsburgh as a 3-point home favorite. Baltimore led 10-3 entering the fourth quarter but a Pittsburgh field goal and a TD after a Joe Flacco sack and fumble gave the Steelers the win and first place in the AFC North.
Flacco finished the game with 226 yards passing and a touchdown and he was sacked four times. Ray Rice couldn't get anything going on the ground against the Steelers' No. 1 run defense and put up only 32 yards on nine carries. Anquan Boldin finally re-emerged with five catches for 118 yards and a TD. In his previous four games Boldin has only 134 yards and one TD.
Injuries shouldn't be a big problem for either team on Monday. The Ravens will be without tight end Todd Heap (hamstring) and cornerback Fabian Washington is questionable, also with a bad hamstring, but should play. Andre Johnson (ankle), Mario Williams (hernia), and Owen Daniels (hamstring) are all probable and expected to play for Houston.
The Ravens and Texans last met in 2008 when Baltimore crushed Houston 41-13 as a 2.5-point road underdog. Baltimore is 3-0 SU all-time against the Texans but only 2-1 ATS.
Expect the Ravens to maintain their perfect record against the Texans tonight and to cover the 3-point spread at [custom:bodog-link]. Baltimore may only be 3-3 SU and 3-2-1 ATS on the road this season, but Houston hasn't exactly dominated at home with a 3-3 record SU and a 2-4 record ATS.
The real difference in Monday's game should be on defense, where the Ravens have it and the Texans don't. Baltimore boasts the No. 4 scoring defense in the league right now, while the Texans are way down the list at 27th. Houston is especially weak against the pass, ranking dead last in the league, and they've also allowed a league-high 27 touchdown passes. Flacco and Boldin should have another big game against the awful Houston secondary.
Totals bettors are facing a 46-point total tonight on the NFL odds at Bovada, which should mean an easy OVER. In four of the Texans' last five games the total has easily gone OVER the total in high-scoring affairs. The Ravens' offense should have no problem putting up points against Houston (they've killed bad defenses this season such as Buffalo and Denver), so don't get caught taking the UNDER because of their strong defense.