As a 7-point road underdog, Baltimore has their work cut out for them this Saturday against the Pats in this second round playoff game.
They may have missed the playoffs last year, but the Ravens’ momentum is building after their 30-17 Steelers victory last week.
They’ll have to channel that confidence if they’re going to show no fear in Gillette Stadium this weekend though.
Quarterbacks are going to be crucial in this #BALvsNE contest, with so many fans wondering if Flacco can outplay Brady again.
The Ravens’ QB had 259 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, and no picks against Pittsburgh last week, but taking on NE on their home turf is a tall order.
Being at home doesn’t always mean much, but in Foxborough – where the Pats are 16-1 SU and 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games – it’s a definite advantage.
After securing the top seed in the AFC, New England wasn’t phased by their Week 17 loss to the Bills.
They’ve been averaging a margin of victory of 25.8 PPG when playing at home, and you can bet racking those points up is going to be the key to outplaying the Ravens’ elite defense.
Even with the force that is Brady on their side, the Pats will have their fingers crossed that Joe Flacco doesn’t keep up his amazing post-season performance.
Baltimore’s offense, with an underrated Steve Smith (who got some of his early-season fire back in last week’s game) and a top offensive guard like Marshal Yanda, is going to attempt to stay with tradition and keep the score close in this historic rivalry.
Betting Lines and Odds
- NE is the favourite in this matchup at -7 (+100).
- Bettors are divided on the spread at 50/50 while 61% are on the moneyline for the Pats.
- The O/U is set at 47.5 with 61% on the OVER.
#BALvsNE Fast Facts
- This will be the fourth playoff meeting at Gillette Stadium between these 2 teams in the past 6 seasons.
- The Ravens won 2 of those last 3 games, including the AFC title game after the 2012 season. (They would have won all 3 if Lee Evans had held onto the ball in the end zone in the previous year’s conference championship.)
- For the 19th consecutive season, Baltimore’s defense has held their opponents to less than 4.0 yards per carry.
- The Ravens’ defense took down opposing quarterbacks 49 times in the regular season (tied for 2nd in the league).
- Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata’s return from a four-game suspension is going to lend extra strength to the Ravens’ front that’s already tough when it comes to the running game.
- The Patriots are 7-1 straight up this season, and 5-3 against the spread at home.
- Baltimore was a middling 4-4 SU and ATS on the road this season.
- Since the 2008 postseason, the Pats are just 3-6 ATS when laying points in Foxboro. (They’re 3-10 ATS in their last 13 playoff games overall.)
- The Ravens have covered the spread in their last 6 playoff games.
AFC Second Round Playoff Pick
With eager offensive lines and strong QB’s on both sides of the field, I’m saying take the OVER on this one. The notoriously close games between the Pats and Ravens will push the total even farther than the generous 47.5 mark.