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Tips For Betting On Ravens Browns – Banged-Up Ravens Must Find A Way To Survive

Posted by Tony Bryant on 10/29/2012 7:06:48 PM

The Baltimore Ravens have built their identity on the foundation provided by their defense. Now, thanks to a rash of injuries, they can't. Other players must step up against Cleveland.

Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns – Sunday, November 4   
Football betting line: No line

Why Baltimore Will Win

When poker is played, the dealer acquires a great deal of centrality and importance. Baltimore's defense has been ravaged by injuries, so its offense must fill the gap and meet this team's needs for the next few months. The true answer to Baltimore's short-term problems is for its offense to shoulder the load. The Ravens' defense has carried the offense and quarterback Joe Flacco so many times in the past. Now, in a time of crisis and pronounced urgency for the organization, Flacco and Ray Rice plus the rest of the Baltimore offense need to take more of a leadership role… and lead by example on the field. If the Ravens' offense – which is capable of excellence at times (such as the come-from-behind rally to beat New England in September) – can do the heavy lifting in November, the Ravens' backups on defense can emerge into something stronger come December.

The belief here is that Baltimore's offense – which struggled in the first meeting with Cleveland this season – will be able to produce a high-level game, score at least 35 points if not more, and get the job done for the visitors.

Why Cleveland Will Win

It's not unheard of for analysts at online sports books to change their tune on a given game in accordance with the ebb-and-flow of the regular season, and this contest offers a perfect case in point.

Everyone in the NFL knows how decimated by injuries Baltimore's defense has become. Ray Lewis, the spiritual leader of the Ravens for more than a decade, is out for the year. Lardarius Webb, a shutdown cornerback who was so instrumental to the Ravens' success on defense, is also done for the season due to injury. Veteran safety Ed Reed is not shelved for the season, but his run-stuffing ability just became reduced by a rib injury suffered over the weekend in Houston, when the Ravens fell, 43-13, to the Texans. How is Baltimore going to hold things together on defense? That's the question so many people in and around the NFL are asking. It's going to be hard to think that Baltimore's defense will be able to answer the call… attrition is a nasty creature, but it's likely to give Cleveland a slew of advantages when it has the ball in this game. Baltimore's defense just can't be feared the way it once was.

Who Will Win

Cleveland will have a very legitimate chance to win this contest precisely because of Baltimore's many injuries on defense, but the Ravens have a very capable offense in their own right. Baltimore struggled against Cleveland in the first regular-season meeting between these two teams because the Ravens were coming off an emotionally draining win (over New England) and had to face the Browns in a Thursday night game, with only three days' worth of rest. Baltimore will have more rest for this game, and that fact will make all the difference for the Ravens.

NFL Football Betting Pick: Baltimore


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