Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots
Sunday, November 3, 2019 at 8:20 PM (M&T Bank Stadium)
New England -3.5; Total 44.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
In the marquee NFL matchup of the week, New England (8-0) travels to Baltimore (5-2) to take on the Ravens. While the game should be fascinating enough for the casual fan, this is a great game to analyze against the spread. The impressive Patriot defense will have a brand new challenge with Lamar Jackson and the biggest threat of a running quarterback since Michael Vick.
Jackson has taken a very good Baltimore team over the top into serious contenders to make a long postseason run. He has been an efficient passer, completing 136-of-215 passes for 1,650 yards and 11 touchdowns against just five interceptions. But Jackson is also Baltimore’s top rusher, averaging 82.3 yards per game and three more scores. His skills were never more evident than in an impressive 30-16 road win over Seattle last Sunday. Despite completing just 9-of-20 passes for 143 yards through the air, he carried the ball 14 times for 116 yards and a touchdown.
His ability to avoid a sack, complete passes efficiently, and scramble and run for chunks of yards at a time give the Ravens a chance against a New England defense that has been lights out through eight games this season. The Patriots are leading the NFL in team scoring defense allowing just 7.6 points per game, and considering that Tom Brady is on the other side of the ball, it makes it tough for any team to even come close to knocking off the Patriots.
New England needs no introduction. The defending Super Bowl champions and winners of three of the last five title games, the Patriots are no strangers to success. But this year, while the face of the team might still be Brady, it is the defense that is simply dominating the league. New England has allowed double digits just four times in eight wins and no more than 14 points in a game all season. The Patriots also have two shutouts (against Miami and the Jets), held Pittsburgh to just a field goal and the Redskins to only a touchdown.
Critics say that New England simply haven’t played anyone that is any good so far this year, and when facing an improved, but flawed, Buffalo team, the Patriots could only pull out a 16-10 win in a game that quarterback Josh Allen couldn’t finish after Jonathan Jones’ helmet-to-helmet hit. But even though Brady wasn’t great in that game (18-of-39 passing for 150 yards and one interception), the defense was spectacular with four interceptions. And that’s how it has gone all year long. The defense has been great and when Brady and the offense is rolling, the game turns into a blowout.
Overall, Brady has been his typically great self. He has completed 200-for-309 passes for 2,251 yards and 13 touchdowns with just four interceptions. Julian Edelman has been Brady’s top receiver on a team full of talented receivers. Edelman has 53 receptions for 574 yards and four touchdowns.
The Buffalo Bills comparison is an interesting one, and considering that Baltimore is most likely a much better team than the Bills are turning out to be, it seems that the Ravens may have a chance here to really give the Patriots a run, especially considering that the game is in Baltimore. But the big equalizer is the spread placed on each game and it is New England that is tied for the best record in the NFL against the spread at 6-2, while Baltimore is among the worst in the league at just 2-5 against the spread.
At this point, it simply seems like volunteering to lose if someone bets against Brady and the Patriots. There is little doubt that Baltimore could win this game outright on Sunday, and even more of a chance that the Ravens keep it close in Baltimore. Jackson is something that New England hasn’t yet seen, but does it just seem like Bill Belichick will have something in place to quiet the quarterback’s ability to extend plays?
Just keep taking New England and keep on winning.