Will the Houston Texans Prove Their Mettle Against the Cleveland Browns in Week 16?

Dan Favale
By , Updated on: Apr 9, 2024 08:00 PM
Will the Houston Texans Prove Their Mettle Against the Cleveland Browns in Week 16?

After turning into one of the NFL’s biggest darling teams, the Houston Texans find themselves facing a good amount of pressure to close the regular season. It begins in Week 15 against the Tennessee Titans and will continue into their Week 16 showdown with the Cleveland Browns. 

  • What: Houston Texans vs. Cleveland Browns
  • Date: Sunday, December 24, 2023
  • Time: 1:30 p.m. eastern standard time
  • Where: NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas
  • Point Spread: Texans (TBA), Browns (TBA)

The second matchup will be under our microscope here. Kick-off is scheduled for Christmas Eve 2023. Though the outcome of Titans vs. Texans will impact how many approach this game, here are some early NFL online betting odds for Texans vs. Browns in Week 16:

Cleveland Browns-190+160Houston Texans

Please remember to double-check these online NFL betting odds until you actually submit your wager. Our Texans vs. Browns betting odds are accurate entering Tuesday, December 12. That gives the best NFL online betting sites plenty of time to make adjustments leading into opening kick-off on December 24

And since we’re delivering these NFL Week 16 picks so far in advance, we’ll be looking at the Texans vs. Browns moneyline odds and Texas vs. Browns point spread odds alone. The over/under will drop later. For now, we’ll lay out the case for each team and deliver our final prediction.

The initial Cleveland vs. Houston football betting lines paint the Browns as a relatively comfortable favorite. This will come as a surprise to many knowing that quarterback Deshaun Watson is still out for the season. But the Cleveland defense has raised hell on numerous occasions, and Houston’s offense came to a screeching halt during their Week 14 loss to the New York Jets

Is all of this cause enough to bet on the Browns to beat the Texans in Week 16 while playing on the road? Or is Houston, like so many times before this year, being undervalued by the powers that be? The answer will likely determine whether the Texans can actualize their odds to make the NFL playoffs.

The Case for Betting on the Houston Texans in Week 16

Don’t let the loss at the hands of the lowly Jets fool you. The Texans remain one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Prior to that letdown, they had won seven of 10 games. 

During that time, rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud blossomed into a star. The defense also compiled a handful of performances that hinted at a higher ceiling. Houston’s defense has now turned in seven games with multiple forced turnovers. That will serve them incredibly well against a Browns team that has committed multiple turnovers in all but three games this season.

Of course, Stroud’s health is the elephant in the room. He was injured during their Week 14 loss to the Jets, which caused him to leave early and enter concussion protocols. His status for Week 15 at this writing remains unclear, so we can’t even begin to clarify on his status for Week 16 against the Browns.

At the same time, players don’t usually spend two full weeks in concussion protocol. We would bank on Stroud being able to suit up barring anything sinister. That gives the Texans a larger leg up than the Houston vs. Cleveland betting lines suggest.

Houston Texans To beat the Cleveland Browns

The Case for Betting on the Cleveland Browns in Week 16

No Deshaun Watson? No problem. Sort of.

Cleveland continues to commit too many turnovers And they continue to rank 19th in net yards gained per passing attempt. But the running game has put up a big fight. And believe it or not, the Browns’ passing attack has looked a lot better with Joe Flacco under center. 

You read that name correctly. Injuries have left Cleveland to field their fourth quarterback of the season. People trolled the addition of Flacco, but he has combined to throw for nearly 650 passing yards during his first two games. 

If Cleveland’s offense can hold their own against Houston’s defense—which struggles to stop the run—the defense should be able to take care of the rest. The Browns are in the top five of net yards allowed per passing attempt. And they’ve done a better job putting quarterbacks under pressure in recent weeks. 

Cleveland Browns To beat the Houston Texans

Official Houston Texans vs. Cleveland Browns Week 16 Prediction

Cleveland’s case to win strengthens if Stroud is unable to play. It certainly seems like the oddsmakers aren’t expecting him to suit up. Well, we’re going against the grain. Pick the Texans to upset the Browns.

Our case isn’t complicated. We expect Stroud to play. But even if he doesn’t, they are more than capable of avoiding disaster. The defense has stepped in a big way, improving their prevention on fourth downs and in the red zone.

Beyond that, the Browns play like a house of cards. Some of the best defensive metrics love them. And their defense can make big plays. But they’ve allowed 25-plus points in three straight games and aren’t getting stops when it matters. The Browns do have the league’s best third-down defense, but they rank 30th in red zone defense. On top of that, opponents score on 11.7 percent of their drives. That is the largest scoring percentage share allowed in the NFL for this season. And while they showed the ability to capitalize on quarterback mistakes earlier in the year, they have slipped to 25th in turnover percentage. 

Houston might be the underdog, but it wouldn’t surprise us if they won by double digits.

OSB Prediction: Houston Texans (+160)

Houston Texans To beat the Cleveland Browns

Who Covers the Point Spread in Week 16: Pittsburgh or Cincinnati?

Oddsmakers have already dropped Week 16 point spread betting lines for Texas vs. Browns. But before we tackle our point spread prediction, we’d just like to remind you yet again that these NFL point spread betting odds are accurate entering Tuesday, December 12. Keep this in mind as you plan when to submit your wager. 

Below you can see the latest Texans vs. Browns point spread betting lines:

  • Cleveland Browns, -4 (-110)
  • Houston Texans, +4 (-110)

Go ahead and take the Texans point spread if you can’t stomach their moneyline. That is indeed the smarter option if you’re worried about C.J. Stroud playing. If you believe he takes the field, though, you might want to consider selling points back to the Browns to juice your prospective payout.

OSB Prediction: Houston Texans, +4 (-110)

Houston Texans To cover the point spread against the Cleveland Browns

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can find one that works for all of your 2023 NFL betting:

Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan Favale leverages over 12 years of sports journalism expertise in his role as New York staff writer. He provides in-depth analysis across the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, tennis, NASCAR, college basketball, and sports betting. Dan co-hosts the popular Hardwood Knocks NBA podc...

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