The New England Patriots travel for a second consecutive week and if they thought the conditions down at South Beach were bad, wait til they get a load of Baltimore’s home field!
The Baltimore Ravens stepped up to the challenge Monday in Detroit, taking down a high powered Lions offense by forcing turnovers and making sure they took what was given in terms of scoring. Six field goals is not the usual recipe for beating a team who rank top 10 in scoring and now for the second straight week the Ravens square off against a division leader with a potent offense, looking to nail down a home playoff game.
NEW ENGLAND at BALTIMORE
Best NFL Odds: Ravens -2.5 and O/U 45.5 (William Hill)
The Pats are looking for revenge from last year’s post season but that game was in Foxboro and they were playing with Wes Welker and a top, pass catching tight end in the lineup. It wasn’t Rob Gronkowski but Aaron Hernandez was still a legitimate threat to score and he actually led that game in targets (14). Baltimore’s defense sits as one of the top five units according to our NFL power rankings and the Ravens past 14 December home games as a conference home favorite have produced an average of just 32.5 points.
NFL teams in the second of two-straight road games were raising eyebrows earlier this year with a 23-17-1 ATS record (26-14-1 O/U), going against the old grain that suggested back-to-back travel had a negative impact. Since Week 13, however, these roadies have returned to form with just six straight-up wins in 17 tries (8-9 ATS), 9 overs and 8 unders. It’s December football and it’s right up John Harbaugh’s alley. The Ravens past nine games they have really developed an identity and although the offense is only producing 20 points per game, they are getting the job done.
New England has been one of the most dramatic, fourth quarter teams in memory and they had a chance to add yet another comeback to Tom Brady’s resume last week in Miami but they are not the same team right now. Bill Belichick has a tendency to lean more on his run game after a loss where they were in front at half-time (0-7 O/U) and this game should have a classic, smashmouth playoff feel to it. A few of our top, late season NFL betting systems line up on the total and although this number has dropped to 45 at a few online sites you can still get a 45.5 at William Hill. At 45 points or more we are backing this as our second play for Week 16.
Pick: Take the Patriots and Ravens UNDER 45.5 points