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Divisional Playoff NFL Spreads: Ravens vs. Colts

DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF – Ravens vs. Colts

The big concern in Indianapolis all week – for the last three weeks, really – is how the Colts will perform after basically treating the final two games of the season as pre-season scrimmages. Is the momentum gone for good, or will the rest that Peyton Manning & Co. received in the final two games of the regular season be the key ingredient Saturday night?

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Time: Saturday 8:15 ET
Venue: Lucas Oil Field, Indianapolis
MoneyLine: Colts -280 (-105) / Ravens +230 (-110)
Spread: Colts -6.5 (-110)
Over/Under: 44.5

Juggernaut or jugger-not? It’s the rest vs. rust argument, and no one will know until about a quarter how the team will respond.

One thing is for sure, though. Manning, head coach Jim Caldwell and GM Bill Polian got an eyeful on Sunday when the Ravens bended, folded and mutilated what remained of the Patriots’ decade-long dynasty. Baltimore outplayed New England in every phase of the game in earning a right to travel to Indianapolis.

The Ravens beat a tired, beaten-up Patriots team that was demoralized by the loss of Wes Welker, but the victory does give the Ravens a truckload of confidence as they trek to flyover country. Baltimore’s victory in Foxboro was so complete and dominant that the Ravens’ players could barely stifle laughs as they boarded the busses for the return trip home.

Can they do what no other team has been able to do – pressure MVP Peyton Manning? Can Joe Flacco, who threw only 4 passes against the Patriots, complete enough passes to move the chains against a rested Colts defense? Can the Ravens accomplish the impossible, winning consecutive roads games at New England, Indianapolis and (probably) San Diego to get to the Super Bowl?

The answers are maybe, maybe and maybe.Sports Betting at Sportsbook.com

While the Colts’ win at Miami early in the season showed that time of possession against Indianapolis can be vastly overrated, if Indy has the ball for large chunks of time it’s pretty much over for the Ravens. Baltimore would love a repeat of last Sunday – a quick score, keep the ball on the ground, wear down Indy’s defense and force Manning to throw into the teeth of the NFL’s third-ranked defense.

Easier said than done. At last check Manning had no trouble moving the chains despite the fact that the Colts have running backs on the roster only because every other team has them, and it would look bad if they didn’t. The Colts’ receivers present far more coverage concerns than the Patriots’ did, but the Ravens would seem to match up well against one-dimensional offenses.

In Week 11 Baltimore misfired on a golden opportunity to deal the Colts their first loss of the season when they froze up on five trips to the red zone, settling for field goals each time and taking a tough 17-15 loss. Since that game, though, Baltimore has gone 5-2 and regained the swagger that produced a nice playoff run last season and a berth in the AFC Championship Game (23-13 loss to Pittsburgh).

Indy fans were apoplectic after the Colts basically forfeiting the final two games of the season, opting for more rest and less (injury) risk. Sunday we’ll find out if the team made the right decision.

Pick: Ravens

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Lawrence Paul is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog, and is a free-lance gambling and travel expert from Massachusetts.

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About Lawrence Paul

Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!


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