The Cleveland Browns opened as early 2-point road favorites against the Houston Texans ahead of their Wild Card match-up to kick off the NFL Playoffs, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. The over/under on the game is currently 44.
The Browns (11-6) are coming off of an easy 31-14 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, but that was a meaningless game because Cleveland was locked into the No. 5 seed and simply rested all of their starters. The hope was to keep the likes of Joe Flacco, David Njoku, Joel Bitonio, Myles Garrett, Za’Darius Smith, Denzel Ward, and everyone else fresh-and-ready for the postseason, while also hoping a guy like Amari Cooper can return to action.
The Texans (10-7) are coming off of a 23-19 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, and then when the Jacksonville Jaguars choked on Sunday, that allowed Houston to capture the AFC South.
Two weeks ago, the Browns dominated the Texans in Houston, as they were winning 36-7 during the fourth quarter (the final score was 36-22). It was one of Cleveland’s most dominate victories all season, so you’d hope they can replicate that type of performance. However, there’s one huge difference: C.J. Stroud, the rookie sensation quarterback for the Texans, missed that game with a concussion. He returned for the past two weeks, leading Houston to victories. Another big factor is Cooper’s health: he had a franchise record 265 yards receiving against Houston.
What odds would you take if you were placing a bet?