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New Orleans vs. Baltimore NFL Preview: Week 15 Free Pick

New Orleans Saints vs Baltimore Ravens NFL Week 15 NFL Gambling & Free Predictions

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Week 15: Saints vs Ravens Preview & Pick

Date: Sunday, December 19, 2010
Venue: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD
Broadcast: FOX
New Orleans Saints at Baltimore Ravens Betting Lines from Betus.com
Money Line: OFF
Spread: Ravens -1.5
Over/Under: 43.5
Bet now @ BetUs.com!

New Orleans Saints (10-3)

The Saints have to love the Patriots and Falcons right now for keeping the spotlight off them. No one seems to notice that the defending champs have rattled off six straight wins. Drew Brees is making more mistakes this season – his 18 interceptions tie a career high – but he has still done a masterful job marching New Orleans downfield for the most part this year. He has an NFC-high 28 touchdown passes; during the Saints’ six-game winning streak, he has four 300-yard games and five games with multiple TD passes.

It helps that the Saints’ running game is coming around. Rookie Christopher Ivory has been a revelation; he got hurt last week but Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush have returned from injury just in time. With each passing week, the Saints’ offense looks more like the 2009 championship version.

The Saints’ ability to keep opponents off the board is underrated. They’re sixth in the NFL in total defense and fifth against the pass. Their active secondary will put Joe Flacco to the test. They’ve held opponents to 19 points or fewer four times over their last six games and seven times overall this year.

Baltimore Ravens (9-4)

The Baltimore Ravens are a definite contender, having won three of their last four games, but they’ve been a rollercoaster of late. They melted down with a late-game Flacco fumble that cost them a win at home to Pittsburgh two weeks ago. After that defeat, wideout Derrick Mason called out the Ravens’ offense as a whole.

Baltimore clicked a bit better offensively on Monday night at Houston, with Mason catching two touchdown passes from Flacco, but this time the defense did its best to try and squander the game. Baltimore blew a 21-0 lead and allowed 15 unanswered fourth-quarter points before salvaging the win with a pick-six by Josh Wilson on Matt Schaub in overtime.

The pick:

I’ve being saying it all year; the Ravens’ pass defense looks like a liability at times. Schaub torched them for 383 yards and moved the ball on them at will down the stretch on Monday. Big Ben Roethlisberger overcame a broken nose to march on them in crunch time two weeks ago. Earlier this season, we saw Matt Ryan and Tom Brady do the same. For some reason, Baltimore struggles to stop the pass in close games.

That doesn’t bode well for Baltimore against a streaking Drew Brees, does it? I know he’s on a dome team playing a road game in cold weather. But he threw for 352 yards at Cincinnati two weeks ago. He torched Washington for 419 yards last December. In cold weather (21 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit), he has a career passer rating of 92.3 with 294.2 yards per game, 15 touchdowns and eight interceptions over nine games. Baltimore won’t scare him.

The Ravens will put up a fight but I think the Saints will expose their defensive shortcomings, just as Houston did, while playing better defense than Houston did.

Saints vs Ravens prediction: Saints 24, Ravens 21

Money Line: OFF
Spread: Saints +1.5
Over/Under: OVER 43.5

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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.