Browns vs. Texans prediction, odds, spread, injuries, trends for NFL Wild Card Weekend

Dec 24, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans special teams Dameon Pierce (31) returns a kick
Dec 24, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans special teams Dameon Pierce (31) returns a kick / Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Against all odds heading into the final week of the NFL season, the Houston Texans have clinched the AFC South and will host the Cleveland Browns on Super Wild Card Weekend.

As what seems to be tradition when the Texans make the playoffs, they will play the first game on the slate on Saturday afternoon.

If you want to find out my best bet for all six NFL Wild Card games, check out this week's edition of the "Road to 272 Bets".

In this article, I'm going to break down everything you need to know to bet on this Wild Card showdown.

If you want to bet on the Texans this weekend, be sure to click the link below to sign up for an account at Caesars Sportsbook. If you do, they'll cover your first bet up to $1,000!

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Browns vs. Texans odds, spread, and total

Browns vs. Texans betting trends

  • Browns are 4-1 ATS in their last five games
  • The OVER is 6-1 in the Browns' last seven games
  • Texans are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games vs. Browns
  • The OVER is 9-0 in the Browns' last nine road games
  • Browns have won 10-straight games vs. AFC South opponents
  • The UNDER is 6-2 in the Texans' last eight games
  • The UNDER is 10-3 in the last 13 meetings between these two teams
  • Texans are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games when set as the underdogs

Browns vs. Texans injury reports

Cleveland Browns injury report

  • Cedric Tillman - WR - Questionable
  • Pierre Strong Jr. - RB - Questionable
  • Dustin Hopkins - K - Doubtful
  • Kareem Hunt - RB - Questionable
  • Amari Cooper - WR - Questionable

Houston Texans injury report

  • Noah Brown - WR - Questionable
  • Robert Woods - WR - Questionable
  • Jonathan Greenard - DE - Questionable
  • Jerry Hughes - DE - Questionable

Browns vs. Texans how to watch

  • Date: Saturday, January 13
  • Game Time: 4:30 pm ET
  • Venue: NRG Stadium
  • How to Watch (TV): NBC
  • Cleveland Browns Record: 11-6
  • Houston Texans Record: 10-7

Browns vs. Texans key players to watch

Cleveland Browns

Joe Flacco: One of the best storylines of the playoffs is the resurgence of Joe Flacco, who has led the Browns to a 4-1 record in his five starts and has made them look like one of the most dangerous teams in the NFL Playoffs. Can he keep up this high level of play? We'll find out come Saturday.

Houston Texans

C.J. Stroud: The likely Offensive Rookie of the Year led the Texans from having the second worst record in the league to wining the AFC South and hosting a postseason game. Now, we'll get a chance to see how well he can perform in a postseason setting. This team can go as far as Stroud takes them.

Browns vs. Texans prediction and pick

To me, the biggest story in this game and the deciding factor in backing the Texans is how the Browns have performed on the road this season. They aren't just slightly worse when playing the road, they're arguably just a bad football team on the road.

For example, their Net Yards per Play falls from +1.1 when playing at home down to -0.7 on the road, a difference of 1.8 Net Yards per Play. That's the biggest difference in home vs. away splits in that specific stat in the NFL.

If we dive into that any further, we see it's their defense, which is the best in the NFL, completely fall apart on the road. They go from allowing just 3.7 yards per play at home all the way to 5.5 yards per play on the road. That's a bottom 10 mark in the NFL in terms of opponent yards per play.

We should also note that as good as this defense has been, the Browns rank dead last in the NFL in Red Zone defense, allowing teams to score a touchdown on 71.43% of red zone trips against them.

Yes, the Browns beat up on the Texans on the road in Week 16, but we can throw that game out the window with CJ Stroud not being active for it.

This also may be an unpopular take but I'm not as high on Joe Flacco as other people are. Amongst all quarterbacks who took at least 200 snaps this season, Flacco ranks 26th in EPA + CPOE (completion percentage over expected). Let's also remember that despite throwing for plenty of yards and winning games, he has eight interceptions in five starts. That may come back to haunt him in the playoffs.

With all of those factors combined, I'll take the points with the Texans at home.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

You can check out all of Iain's bets here!