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Written by Mitch Wilson on September 17, 2013

Baltimore Ravens vs. Houston Texans Free Pick 9/22/13: Mitch's Free NFL Football Pick Against the Spread
Photo by: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens and the Texans meet on Sunday in a NFL week 3 battle.

The Baltimore Ravens and the Houston Texans face off in a week 3 NFL battle between two playoff teams from a year ago.

The Baltimore Ravens rebounded from their opening week loss to the Broncos by returning home and beating the Cleveland Browns in a hard-hitting AFC North battle. The Ravens are looking banged up and while replacing starters is part of life in the NFL, it is depth where teams suffer when there is a mass exodus. QB Joe Flacco as completed 58.9 percent of his passes with three touchdowns and two interceptions and the heat has been on as he has been sacked six times. Ray Rice left last week’s game but he is averaging just 2.9 yards per carry and Bernard Pierce has been about the same averaging 2.8 yards per carry and they each have a touchdown. Torrey Smith has 11 receptions and Marlon Brown, Dallas Clark, and Brandon Stokley each have eight catches but it is obvious the Ravens are thin at receiver. The Ravens defense has eight sacks but they haven’t had an interception though they rebounded from their opener where they allowed seven touchdown passes to allowing just six points in week two. Josh Bynes has 16 tackles, Daryl Smith has 15 tackles and 1.5 sacks, and Terrell Suggs has 12 tackles and two sacks. With a 1-1 record t is good enough for a tie for first place in the AFC North so despite their questionable play the Ravens haven’t hurt themselves too badly.

While the Houston Texans have looked far from dominant, they are off to a 2-0 start to the 2013 NFL season. The Texans opened with a come from behind win on the opening Monday Night at San Diego and then won in overtime at home against Tennessee. QB Matt Schaub has completed 64.5 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and three interceptions while being sacked four times. Arian Foster is averaging 3.7 yards per carry with a touchdown but Ben Tate leads the Texans with 148 yards. Andre Johnson is off to a monster start to the season with 20 catches, DeAndre Hopkins has 12 catches and a touchdown and tight end Owen Daniels has seven catches and three touchdowns. The Texans defense has one interception and six sacks while allowing seven touchdowns through two games. Brian Cushing has 16 tackles and two sacks, Kareem Jackson has nine tackles, and J.J. Watt has eight tackles and two sacks. The Texans are looking to make the leap from playoff regulars to Super Bowl contenders and beating last year’s champs will be a step in that direction.

Baltimore is 5-1 against the spread in their last six games, 4-0 against the spread against a team with a winning record, and 5-2-1 against the spread following a win. Houston is 1-5 against the spread in their last six games, 0-5 against the spread following a win, and 0-4 against the spread in their last four road games. The road team has covered the spread in five of the last seven meetings of these two.

Truth be told we have to of the NFL’s heavyweight’s here and either of these teams is more than capable of going on a run this year but I am concerned with Baltimore’s receivers and lack of speed as guys like Dallas Clark and Brandon Stokley are fine football players but they are a few years past their best days while the Texans just seem to be a team of players in their prime. 

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Mitch's Pick: Houston Texans -2.5


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