Monday Night Football Pick – Week 13
Sports betting fans have a legitimately exciting Monday Nighter to watch for the third consecutive week as playoff contenders from both conferences meet at Lambeau Field. Many NFL pundits have dubbed the Ravens “The defense of the decade” but that aging group has a major test against Mr. Rodgers tonight.
Baltimore Ravens @ Green Bay Packers (-3.5)
Tonight, 8:35 p.m. ET
Several weeks ago – after Jared Allen terrorized Aaron Rodgers on the Monday Night Football – the Ravens’ “D” would’ve had the Packers’ offense sweating bullets. But a lot has changed since then. Rodgers still gets hit more than anyone in the league but his protection is improving incrementally. More importantly, Baltimore’s defense isn’t at full strength. Terrell Suggs didn’t make the trip to Green Bay, giving the Packers one less pass rusher to worry about. Fabian Washington remains missing from the secondary too with a torn ACL.
Considering that the Ravens let first-time starter Dennis Dixon make several big plays against them last week – at home – you have to think aging Ed Reed and the secondary are shaking in their boots a bit. Rodgers, an MVP candidate, boasts a 104.9 rating and has thrown 22 touchdown passes versus five interceptions – the lowest mark among full-time starters. Between Donald Driver, Greg Jennings and James Jones, he has multiple reliable targets. Baltimore can’t key on one guy.
An emerging story out of Green Bay that hasn’t gotten much publicity is its defense, with ranks second in the NFL overall and tops in the NFC. The Packers are strong against the run and the pass. B.J. Raji is starting to get noticed as a run stopper and Charles Woodson, a two-time Defensive Player of the Month this season alone, is carrying the secondary on his back with Al Harris lost to a torn ACL.
The Pack don’t rush the passer particularly well but they’re a ball-hawk group with 18 picks already this year. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has established himself as a legitimate franchise quarterback but he’s still just a sophomore and makes bad reads sometimes. He’s also battling a sore ankle and the forecast – which calls for an 80 per cent chance of snow – won’t help matters, will it?
While we’ll probably see something out of Ray Rice – the versatile back is the next superstar running back if you ask me or most NFL betting sharps –there are too many other factors favoring the Packers tonight. The Ravens are too banged up, unable to properly challenge Rodgers and facing a stout Packer “D.” Go with Green Bay to cover in your NFL picks.
Sportsbook pick: Packers -3.5