Betting On Ravens Patriots – Road To The Super Bowl Travels Through New England
Two of the online betting favorites to win the AFC all season will finally meet in New England on Sunday as the Patriots host Baltimore with a spot in the Super Bowl on the line. New England’s future Hall of Fame quarterback has been extraordinary as of late and he’ll do enough to outduel his Baltimore counterpart.
What: NFL Betting
When: Sunday, January 22nd, 3:00 PM ET
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough,
Pick: New England Patriots -7.5
Why Bet On Baltimore Ravens (13-4 SU, 8-8-1 ATS)
The Ravens may have been a bit fortunate to move on to the next round as they needed their defense to carry them to a 20-13 win at home over Houston, forcing four turnovers along the way. Safety Ed Reed had six tackles, a pick and four passes defensed, and he had to be carried off at the end of the game because he sold his body out to knock down the Texans’ final heave to the end zone. LaDarius Webb had a pair of picks for the Ravens, who allowed Arian Foster to run for 132 yards and Andre Johnson had 111 receiving yards, but Baltimore made stops when they had to. The offense was terrible, and Joe Flacco was 14-of-27 for 176 yards, although he did throw two touchdown passes. The line couldn’t open any holes for the running game (87 yards on 31 attempts), and they couldn’t protect Flacco, who was sacked five times and pressured many more. The offense looked like a group that hadn’t played in two weeks because of a bye, and it almost cost them this game.
Reed’s (knee) MRI came back negative, so expect the future Hall of Famer to be in the lineup and the Ravens will need him at the back of the defense, playing center field against the vaunted Patriots offense. However, it doesn’t matter how the defense plays because if Flacco and the offense don’t improve, the Ravens might as well stay home. Getting Ray Rice going is imperative to keep the opposition off-balance, but New England’s secondary isn’t that good, so they can be attacked.
Why Bet On New England Patriots (14-3 SU, 10-6-1 ATS)
The Patriots made sure by the end of the first half that there would be no NFL betting upset as they rolled to a 35-10 halftime lead and cruised to a 45-10 romp of Denver at home. Tom Brady was 26-of-34 for 363 yards and a pick, and his six touchdown passes tied an NFL record. Three of them went to tight end Rob Gronkowski, which was also a record, and Brady set a new mark with five touchdowns in the first half. New England also threw a wrinkle into their offense by putting tight end Aaron Hernandez in the backfield and he responded with 61 yards on five carries. Hernandez ran occasionally when he was at Florida (where he was a teammate of Denver quarterback Tim Tebow), and it just shows the versatility of this high-powered unit. The defense gave up 144 yards on the ground, but they did a better job of controlling Denver’s read-option offense than their first meeting and once they got out to a big lead, the Broncos had to throw it and that played into New England’s hands.
A possible head injury to Hernandez (concussion) was the lone negative to come from this game for the Patriots, but he passed early tests and should be able to suit up this week. The Patriots have now won nine in a row outright and only once have they scored less than 30 points (27 in a Week 16 come-from-behind win over Miami). And for all of the yards that the Patriots give up, they’re 15th in the league in points allowed. The patchwork secondary has come together in recent weeks and they can also stop the run, thanks to stoppers like Vince Wilfork on the line and Jerod Mayo at linebacker. Combine all of that with Brady’s laser-like focus and the Patriots are going to be hard to beat, especially at home.
How It Will Play Out
NFL betting odds have the Patriots favored by 7.5 points at home, where they are 4-1 SU and 3-1-1 ATS in their last five meetings with the Ravens, with three games falling under the posted total. However, the only loss came in the playoffs two years ago, when the Ravens stomped the Patriots 33-14 at “The Razor” and they have enough veteran players that the crowd shouldn’t be a major factor.
This could come down to the play of the quarterbacks, and even though his line didn’t give him much help, Flacco simply has to play better on Sunday than he did against the Texans because the Patriots are going to put up points. New England has to protect Brady from the Baltimore pass rush, and specifically Terrell Suggs, who has accused the league of protecting Brady too much in the past. In the end, it’s tough to bet against Brady and the Patriots at home, so ride with New England to cover the sports betting spread.
Ravens Patriots Betting Pick: New England Patriots