New England Patriots are in prime time again this week at home to visiting Baltimore Ravens (8.20pm ET, Sunday Night Football; TV: Live on NBC).
The Patriots are no longer the class of the AFC. The drop off from this season without Tom Brady has been quite drastic. They barely beat the winless Jets on Monday Night Football. They were down 10 at half and won 30-27 with a field goal as time expired.
They are now 3-5 overall and 3-5 against the spread and currently sit in third in the AFC East and are all but out of the divisional race with the Bills sitting in first place at 7-2.
The Patriots had the most COVID opt outs and have not been able to return to their previous form despite having one of the best coaches in the NFL. They have been relatively pedestrian on offense but most concerning is their mediocre defense. They are ranked 12th in the NFL giving up 24.2 points per game, which is quite the drop from last season when they ranked 1st overall and only gave up 14.4 points per game on average.
The Patriots limp into this matchup with the Ravens who are coming off an impressive victory against the Indianapolis Colts. They came back against the Colts after trailing at half time and dominated the entire second half on both offense and defense. They scored 17 unanswered points and their defense didn’t allow a single second half point as they won 24-10. They are currently sitting in second place in the AFC North at 6-2 and look comfortably in the playoffs.
So which way will our preview’s Baltimore Ravens vs New England Patriots predictions go? USAbetting will answer that now.
Ravens Will Dominate the Game on the Ground
The most glaring and important mismatch of the game comes on the ground. The Patriots are a bottom 10 defense against the run and the Ravens are statistically the best rushing offense in the league. The Patriots rank 25th in average rushing yards allowed per game (131.0) while the Ravens are 1st in the NFL in average rushing yards gained per game (170.1). This should prove to be a massive mismatch come Sunday with the Ravens looking to establish the ground game and keep Cam Newton on the sideline.
Lamar Jackson leads the Ravens in rushing attempts (79), rushing yards (469), and rushing touchdowns (3). He is averaging 5.9 yards per attempt and will be a handful for the Patriots’ defense. Jackson should be able to thrive against a poor New England rushing defense. I think this could be the biggest game he has on the season thus far. He should be a strong play in daily fantasy contests.
If the Patriots decide to sell out and try to stop the run they can be exploited through the air as well. The Ravens have struggled in the passing game, but that doesn’t mean Jackson can’t throw the ball with success. We saw the Patriots passing attack destroyed last week by journeyman quarterback Joe Flacco who is coincidentally best known for his success with the Ravens. Flacco threw for 262 yards and three touchdowns. This was well above the Patriots average passing yards allowed per game (221.9).
I think Jackson and the Ravens will have success on the ground, which could open up the passing game as well. Jackson only averages 189.1 passing yards per game on the season due to such a strong rushing attack. His season high came in Week 1 against the Browns where he threw for 275 yards and three touchdowns. Jackson only has four interceptions on the season so he doesn’t make many mistakes in the air.
Our Betting Preview’s Baltimore Ravens vs New England Patriots Predictions & Picks Conclusion
USAbetting is going with the road favorite Baltimore Ravens, who are -7 or -7.5pts on the spread with our most trusted online oddsmakers. We like this line up to -8 and will be playing the Ravens at -7.
I think this is a significant mismatch, especially in the running game, which the Ravens will dominate. The lowest rushing performance on the season from the Ravens came last week against the Colts, who have the 3rd best run defense in the NFL. The Ravens were still able to put up 110 yards and two touchdowns on the Colts’ stingy rushing defense.
I think Lamar Jackson and the Ravens will control the game through the run and the Ravens’ defense will be able to limit Cam Newton and the mediocre Patriots’ offense. I see this being a 24-13 win and cover by the Ravens. This would also cover the under of 43.5 points. I think the under is also a good look with two strong running attacks and two less than stellar passing attacks, but ultimately feel most confident in the Ravens to cover. So this NFL game preview’s one betting pick recommendation for our Ravens vs Patriots predictions is:
- Bet on Baltimore -7pts @ best odds of -112 with Bookmaker.