Cleveland Browns (11-6) at Houston Texans (10-7)
Game Info: Saturday, January 13th, 2024 at 4:30 p.m. EST (NRG Stadium)
Betting Odds: Browns -2 (-112) - Over/Under (44.5)
Pick: Browns -2 (-112)
Saturday afternoon the Cleveland Browns and the Houston Texans will open up the NFL playoffs with their second matchup of the season. These two teams met just a few short weeks ago and it was the Cleveland Browns that beat up on a shorthanded Houston Texans team to pick up a dominant victory on the road in Houston. Now Cleveland will be looking to replicate that feat throughout this game on Saturday afternoon to advance to the next round of the postseason and grab their first playoff win since the Covid season of 2020. The second time around should be a much more interesting game as Houston is more at full strength than they were the first time around in Cleveland is clicking on all cylinders heading into the playoffs. They should end up being one of the best games of wildcard weekend here on Saturday afternoon in Houston.
Despite injuries piling up week after week for the Cleveland Browns, they have put together a fantastic season and they will look to keep the momentum rolling here on Saturday afternoon against the Houston Texans. This is a Houston Texans team that they have already beaten once this season but that was a Houston team that did not have their quarterback CJ Stroud in the lineup. That is something that Cleveland will have to deal with this second time around and they will look to grab their second victory over Houston this season and advance to the AFC divisional round.
As they look to keep their playoff hopes and dreams alive as they set their sites on winning a Super Bowl this season. Cleveland is coming off of a loss in their regular season finale where they rested the majority of their players against the Cincinnati Bengals so they should be well rested and ready to go, but they are hoping that their momentum was not thrown off by the rest. Quarterback Joe Flacco will look to continue his solid run of play and further add to his playoff legacy that he created for himself throughout his career with the Baltimore Ravens. If Cleveland can pick up a victory in this game, there is a possibility that they will host a playoff game in the second round, but they will certainly need some upsets to occur if that is to be the case.
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The Houston Texans put up a fantastic end to the regular season and won themselves an AFC south division title. They also earned themselves a playoff spot and an opportunity to play the Cleveland Browns for the second time this season with a fully healthy CJ Stroud under Center. He will likely win the NFL offensive rookie of the year award with the way he has performed throughout the regular season as he has lived up to the billing as the number two overall pick thus far. He has put the Houston Texans way ahead of schedule on their rebuild and he will look to lead them to a postseason victory over the Cleveland Browns here on Saturday afternoon as well.
Houston finished the season with double digit victories as they racked up 10 wins after everybody expected them to be one of the worst teams in the NFL this year. They will look to keep the momentum rolling throughout this game on Saturday afternoon at home against the Cleveland Browns as they look to continue proving the doubters wrong and pick up a huge playoff victory here in this one. Houston finished off the regular season strong with back-to-back victories against Indianapolis and Tennessee with their last loss actually coming to this same Cleveland team. They will look to avenge that loss where they quality performance here in this game, and advanced to the AFC divisional round where they would likely host a second consecutive playoff game.
Betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- Cleveland is 4-0 against the AFC South this season
- Cleveland is 4-1 after a loss this season
- Houston is 2-2 as a home underdog
I expect this to be a close and competitive playoff match up here on Saturday afternoon but at the end I do look for the Cleveland Browns to pull out the victory over the Houston Texans. As I look for the Cleveland Browns defense to be the stars of the show for the second time this season against Houston and lead Cleveland to a playoff victory as they look to continue their magical season well into next weekend and the month of January. I expect the defense to make necessary plays late in the game to lead Cleveland to a victory here in this game, and I expect them to cover the spread in the process as well.
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