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Wildcard Odds: Ravens vs. Pats

Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots

This matchup is not really a surprise. The fact that it takes place in the first weekend of the playoffs is. The Patriots went into this season odds on favorites to extend their dynasty and dominate the league with a top tier Offense, while the Ravens were supposed to ride the wave of an improving Offense and a rock solid defense.

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Time: Sunday 1:00 ET
Venue: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Mass.
MoneyLine: Ravens +160 (-110) / Patriots -190 (-110)
Spread: Patriots -3.5 (-110)
Over/Under: 43

The matchup is a simple pass vs. run battle.  The Ravens have relatively no passing game while the Patriots have a substandard running game.  In other words, Sunday’s game seems to be a battle of two totally unbalanced teams.

The Baltimore Ravens come into New England with a predictable game plan – control the ball with their superb running game and try to keep the high flying Patriots Offense off the field.  The Ravens are not going to scare anyone with their passing game as demonstrated by last week’s 102 yards passing against the woeful Oakland Raiders.  Derrick Mason is solid but unspectacular and Todd Heap has had a bit of a rebound season and that’s about all the Patriots have to worry about in the passing game.

What the Ravens will do however is frighten the crap out of any Defensive Coordinator and his ability to scheme in order to stop the run.  Ray Rice has 2000 combined yards this season and he’s as much of a threat to catch the ball out of the backfield as he is to break a big run.  He’s a weapon that the Patriots are going to have to contain.  Oh ya – Willis Mcgahee dusted off the cobwebs and scored 3 touchdowns last week too and has rekindled his place in the Baltimore Offense not unlike Edgerrin James did last year for the Arizona Cardinals. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

We all know about the Ravens Defense as they have been at the top of the league for years.  What is truly different about this unit is the number of injuries that they have sustained to key players.  The true test is whether or not the Banged up Ravens can shake off the pain and the rust and get after Tom Brady, Randy Moss, and the running back carousel of New England.

New England was dealt a major blow when Wes Welker went down with an injured knee last week.  He had 125 catches this year folks!!  Julian Edelmen steps in to the Welker role and actually had success earlier in the year.  The key is Randy Moss and if he is ON with Tom Brady.  We have all seen what can happen when those 2 are clicking.  Tom Brady at home in the playoffs – its pretty hard to bet against him.

The New England Defense and their recent play has Ravens fans optimistic and with good reason.  The have been brutal this year and are especially bad against the run.  Baltimore is an elite running team.  Lets put it this way – the New England Defense is NOT going to be the reason that they win this weekend.

The Baltimore Ravens squeaked into the playoffs, and just don’t seem to be on the same level as the Patriots.  I’ll take Tom Brady and Bill Belichek over the Ravens any day.

Pick: Patriots

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About DaveB

Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.


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