The Baltimore Ravens are wrapping up their three-game home stand Sunday with non-Conference game against the Minnesota Vikings and NFL odds favor the home side by -7 points but that line won’t last long
After narrowly beating Pittsburgh in the Thanksgiving Day nightcap last week the Baltimore Ravens spent a few glorious days feasting on poultry and healing the wounds brought on by one of their most physical games all season. It foreshadowed the fact that December football was here and put a stamp on the reigning Super Bowl champs intent to return to the NFL playoffs and defend their title.
Minnesota’s overtime win against Chicago was thanks in part to some miscues, missed kicks and bad coaching decisions but regardless of that it was still a divisional win for the Vikings in one of the few games that remain at historic Hubert H Humphrey Metrodome. The Vikings (3-8 SU) season is done and it’s probably no coincidence that all three of their wins this season came on home turf.
VIKINGS at RAVENS
Best NFL Odds: Ravens -7 and O/U 43
The Vikes have nearly played the equivalent of two and-a-half games in the past two weeks and are starting to wear down. Their QB depth chart of Christian Ponder (concussion), Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman poses little threat to and Minnesota’s rush D is second worst in the league on the road (148 RYPG allowed). Only New England has given up more rushing yards away from home. Adrian Peterson went off for 211 yards just like every team does against the Bears maligned defense but Chicago ranks last in the league with 154 RYPG allowed and boost that stat to 192 yards against when on the road.
Baltimore ranks sixth in the league with 100 RYPG allowed and other than a little four-game stint when they allowed Buffalo, Green Bay and Pittsburgh to rack up 140-plus rushing yards against them, both Baltimore’s run and pass D have tightened up considerably.
[quote_text color=”#000000″ text_color=”#ffffff”]In the second of back-to-back home games the Ravens are 10-1 ATS since Nov. 26, 2000 as a home favorite against any team with fewer wins. Baltimore’s average margin of victory in those 11 games was 21.3 points[/quote_text]
In the second-half of the regular season, teams who won 10-plus games the previous year have found their form and when laying a touchdown or more these home faves are 59-30-1 ATS (66-percent) based on the SportsDatabase.com SDQL betting system. The Ravens have had some extra rest and their next game is a non-Conference Monday nighter in Detroit. We don’t see this as a real look-ahead spot for Harbaugh and his crew; more like a chance to nail down a victory against a worn down dome team playing outdoors in what could be a sloppy December afternoon. Baltimore can win out and guarantee itself a seat at the playoff table regardless of how the Dolphins, Chargers and Steelers finish. It’s exactly the kind of thing John Harbaugh was hoping for when his team started elevating their game mid-season. Our first play for this week is on the big home fave and we suggest buying it now before it jumps to -7.5.
Pick: Take the Ravens