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Week 17 NFL Spreads: Ravens vs. Raiders

NFL WEEK 17 – RAVENS vs. RAIDERS

We all understand about playing the no-respect card. The Patriots used the tactic to motivate themselves to three Super Bowls.

The Ravens have employed a slightly different tack, complaining that the referees are always out to get them.

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Time: Sunday 4:15 ET
Venue: Oakland Alameda County Stadium, Oakland
MoneyLine: Raiders +465 (-110) / Ravens -545 (-115)
Spread: Ravens -10 (-110)
Over/Under: 38

They whined their way out of Gillette Stadium in Foxboro after a Week 4 loss, and they whined about the refs again last week when they lost a key game against the Steelers.

Maybe if they just, you know, maybe, played the game and kept quiet?

Besides its troubles with referees, Baltimore can look back at a season full of what-ifs – a Week 5 three-point loss at home to Cincinnati, a Week 11 two-point defeat at home against Indianapolis, last Sunday’s Steelers loss when the Ravens squandered one scoring chance after another.

Still, it all adds up to an 8-7 record and the frustrating necessity of having to more than go through the motions this Sunday afternoon against the goofball-but-dangerous Raiders. Oakland already owns wins over Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Denver and Philadelphia, so the banged-up Ravens (Ed Reed might not play, other starters are questionable) will have to tape up and go at it in a game Baltimore had hoped would be playoff-meaningless.

After an offensive flurry early in the season (103 total points in the first three games, all victories), things have settled down a bit and the Ravens have scored just about as much as they did last season, and given up just about as many points. They rank third overall defensively and 14th in offense.Sports Betting at Sportsbook.com

Joe Flacco is among the better of the second-tier quarterbacks and has already thrown for more than 3,500 yards, but it’s a pretty good bet that the Ravens will try to run their way into the playoffs behind emerging star Ray Rice. Rice has averaged 5.29 yard a carry this season – no small feat – and is coming off a 30-carry, 141-yard effort against the Steelers. It’s safe to assume that the Ravens will see what kind of resistance Oakland puts up defensively against the run before they turn Flacco loose. John Harbaugh would love to grind out clock, win 17-3 and be on a plane headed east by the time 60 Minutes is on the air.

With the possible exception of Tom Cable’s job, there isn’t a heck of a lot on the table for the Raiders. They have a basketful of high-profile victories, but will head into the off-season without a quarterback for 2010 (JaMarcus Russell is radioactive and can’t be traded) and with the usual array of off-the-field and contractual problems that seem to dog the franchise 24/7.

Baltimore should not have a lot of trouble winning this one and edging out Denver in a tiebreaker for the final spot.

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!


Comments

Comments

  1. Keep your eye on the Raiders as four out of their five victories were against teams with winning records and last year they knocked Tampa Bay out of the playoffs in the final week of the season.

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