The Baltimore Ravens host the Houston Texans in their regular season opener this afternoon. The Ravens are favored by 9.5 points, which dropped slightly recently as the original spread was double digits for most of the week. Baltimore’s new-look offense could get off to a fast start to begin the season at home.
Here are some of the top player prop bets to eye in today’s action.
All odds are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
Lamar Jackson over 1.5 passing touchdowns (+100)
Jackson has a tendency to start fast in the touchdown passing department. In all but one of his career Week 1 starts, Jackson has thrown for multiple scores. He threw five in the 2019 season opener and three each in 2020 and 2022. Last year, it was three touchdown passes against the New York Jets.
Jackson’s top red zone target, Mark Andrews, will not be in the lineup but plenty of other scoring options are at his disposal. The Texans’ pass defense is vulnerable and is down one of their top talents in safety Jimmie Ward. Whether it’s of long or short variety, Jackson could easily throw for two, if not more, touchdown passes.
J.K. Dobbins over 61.5 rushing yards (-115)
Last season, the Texans has the league’s worst run defense. They allowed 170.2 rushing yards per game to opposing offenses. That’s a tantalizing prospect for Dobbins, who exceeded 59+ rushing yards in five straight appearances to end the 2022 season. Dobbins is healthy and well-rested after getting a late start to training camp and not appearing in the preseason.
The Ravens could get out to an early lead and control the clock, which could help Dobbins’ case. He should see well over double-digit carries either way and has the big-play ability to rip off a long run or two as well.
Isaiah Likely over 32.5 receiving yards (-120)
With Andrews out of the lineup, Likely is next-up in the tight end room. The sophomore showed last year that he can produce when given an expanded workload and has a good offensive chemistry with Jackson. In two starts in-place of Andrews in 2022, he posted 24 and 103 receiving yards, respectively.
There’s some risk here given there’s competition for targets and Likely is, at best, the fourth receiving option in the pecking order. However, the likelihood of him catching a few passes and exceeding 32.5 yards is high enough to bite on this prop, even though its not plus value.
Odell Beckham Jr. anytime touchdown scorer (+220)
Beckham will be making his Ravens debut and first regular season appearance since 2021 in this game. He’s shown himself to be a consistent scoring threat throughout his career including in the red zone, where his number could be called today — especially with Andrews not available in that area of the field.
The Ravens would surely love to get Beckham a touchdown and the veteran will be looking to make a statement in his first game back. He posted a touchdown reception in five of seven games to close out the 2021 regular season and had two more in the playoffs, including a score in the Super Bowl. Valued at +220, this is a good bet to make.
Dalton Schultz over 3.5 receptions (+105)
Tight ends tend to be a safety valve for young quarterbacks. In his first career start, C.J. Stroud could look the way of Schultz often. The Ravens’ defense can be stingy against opposing tight ends with multiple capable coverage defenders. However, even if Schultz doesn’t have a big game yardage or scoring wise, he’s likely to see a good volume of targets, which supports a possible over on the 3.5 reception line.
Game script could also aid this if the Texans fall behind and are forced to throw a lot. Schultz had five or more targets in nine games last season and doesn’t face much stiff competition now as one of Houston’s primary receiving options.