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MVP stays grounded!

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When the Ravens faced the Texans on the NFL season’s opening Sunday, the idea of a playoff rematch seemed unlikely. Houston’s quarterback, C.J. Stroud, the second overall pick, couldn’t lead any touchdown drives in his debut, resulting in Baltimore securing a 25-9 victory with three rushing scores. As these teams meet again in the divisional round at M&T Bank Stadium, the focal point of the game revolves around the top prop:

The proposition: Under 228Β½ passing yards for Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (DraftKings).

Despite the expectation that Jackson will secure league MVP honors for the second time, his effectiveness as a runner often overshadows eye-popping passing yardage. In the initial matchup, he threw for just 169 yards, staying under this number in nine of his 16 games this season.

The line on this prop essentially aligns with Jackson’s per-game average, but several factors suggest he might fall short. A significant consideration is the cold-weather forecast, with steady wind and gusts exceeding 30 miles per hour. The prevailing conditions make it more advantageous to exploit Houston on the ground, as demonstrated by the Colts in the regular-season finale, feeding Jonathan Taylor 30 carries for 188 yards.

Additionally, the Texans have displayed improved performance in the secondary, notably from second-year cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. In the previous week, he shadowed Browns star wideout Amari Cooper on 35 of 42 routes, limiting him to a single catch for minus-6 yards. A similar defensive strategy may await Zay Flowers.

Considering Jackson’s history of staying below 200 passing yards in three of his last four playoff games, an under bet appears justified in the challenging weather conditions.

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