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Cleveland Browns vs Houston Texans Prediction And Betting Odds

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Cleveland Browns vs Houston Texans: Betting Tips, Prediction & Betting Odds

Let’s gooo! What a way to start the NFL Playoffs.

Texans vs Browns might not look like the most glamorous of matchups on paper, but it’s certainly intriguing with rookie QB CJ Stroud going up against one of the Comeback Players of the Year, Joe Flacco. Just the 16 years that separate these two signal callers…

Texans have turned around their fortunes and have found a star in Stroud, the second pick in last year’s Draft. He missed a handful of games down the stretch, but returned to lead his team to back-to-back wins and the AFC South title. Rookie of the Year honor on the way.

Another rookie, Tank Dell, was also a revelation and the receiver’s season-ending leg injury was a huge blow, but it failed to derail Houston. The real star could be first-year Head Coach DeMeco Ryans though, who has turned the Texans from perennial strugglers to divisional winners. The future's looking bright in Houston, however this one ends up.

But forget those rookies now. Kevin Stefanski’s Browns became the first since the 1984 Chicago Bears to reach the Playoffs during a season in which they started FIVE quarterbacks. The man who steadied the ship and brought Cleveland to this stage? Joe Flacco.

Yep, that one. Eleven years ago, the veteran QB was Super Bowl MVP as he led Baltimore Ravens to their second Lombardi Trophy. The 38-year-old returned to the gridiron in Week 13 and hasn’t looked back, rolling back the years and inspiring Cleveland to a 12-5 record.

The Browns are not only a threat to the Texans this weekend. They could blow this whole thing wide open. Cleveland defeated the two top seeds – the Ravens and the 49ers – during the regular season. They’re not to be taken lightly.

Flacco’s invaluable experience + the number 1 defense = TROUBLE.

Team News

The Browns had the luxury of sitting their stars in Week 18 having already locked up the fifth seed in the AFC, but it could still be touch-and-go with a few players ahead of the trip to Houston.

Amari Cooper set a franchise record against the Texans in Week 16 with an incredible 265-yard, two-touchdown performance. He hasn’t played a snap since – his status is Questionable at time of writing.

Cooper and fellow veteran Flacco formed a formidable partnership down the stretch and Coach Stefanski will be hoping they can be reunited for the opening game of the postseason.

All-Pro Defensive End Myles Garrett was a notable absentee from the first practice, but likely out of precaution. Running Back Kareem Hunt and Pro-Bowl Tight End David Njoku also sat out, but it’s expected that both offensive weapons will be ready.

Houston could have a problem or three, with Defensive Ends Jonathan Greenard, Will Anderson Jr and Jerry Hughes all missing practice. Greenard is Texans’ sack leader, and hasn’t been since picking up an injury against the Browns in Week 16.

Receivers Noah Brown and Robert Woods were sidelined too. The former in particular has been a useful weapon for CJ Stroud this season, going over 150 yards in two games. His return would take some unwanted attention away from star WR Nico Collins.

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Form Guide

Season Record

Cleveland Browns: 12-5 (2nd in the AFC North)

Houston Texans: 10-7 (1st in the AFC South)

Previous Meeting

Texans 22-36 Browns (Week 16)

Final Five

Browns: WWWWL

Texans: LWLWW

FlashPicks prediction

No sitting on the fence allowed? OK, we’re gonna roll with the… Houston Texans.

Why? Well, we’re drawing a line through the Week 16 meeting when CJ Stroud was absent. Don’t get us wrong, Joe Flacco has stepped up. Big time. But there’s a clear gap between the two Quarterbacks here and Stroud can be the difference maker.

The Browns have looked a different team on the road this year too. And not in a good way. Plus their Red Zone defense leaves a lot to be desired – despite how hard they’ve played out there on the Gridiron.

With the Texans actually going into this as home underdogs, we’re taking them to cover the spread. And the first game HAS to be a fun one. We’re going Overs to complete the set.


  • Moneyline: Texans (+125)
  • Spread: Texans +2.5 (-110)
  • Total: Over 43.5 (-110)

Odds and spreads correct as of 01/10/2024

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