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Week 4 NFL Spreads: Ravens vs. Patriots

NFL Week 4 – Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots

Time: Sunday 1:05 ET
Venue: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Mass.
MoneyLine: Ravens +110 (-110) / Patriots -130 (-110)
Spread: Patriots -2
Over/Under: 44.5

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The Baltimore team that takes the field at Gillette Stadium on Sunday has a different modus operandi than the one that nearly knocked off the Patriot deep into New England’s 16-0 run two years ago, or even the one that nosed out NE for the final wild card spot in the AFC last season.

These guys do the job with offense, which has been a foreign concept around the Inner Harbor for years. The lack of an offense has led to up-and-down finishes – 11-5 last season, 5-11 in 2007, 13-3 in 2006 and 6-10 in 2005. But with second-year triggerman Joe Flacco at the controls, the Ravens are poised to make a run at the NFC North title and possible a deep playoff march. With Pittsburgh in an early fade pattern, Baltimore can create some separation from the Steelers in it can stay hot.

The emergence of Flacco has ended Baltimore’s decade-long search for a legit NFL quarterback. Since Trent Dilfer game-managed the Ravens to the Super Bowl in the 2000 season, Baltimore has tried young (Jeff Blake, Chris Redman, Elvis Grbac, Kyle Boller, Anthony Wright, Troy Smith) and old (Steve McNair and Randal Cunningham), none of whom proved the long-term solution until Flacco surprised everyone by winning the starting job as a rookie last season.Sports Betting at Sportsbook.com Including playoffs, the Ravens are 16-6 with Flacco under center.

Flacco has also enabled the Ravens to become a more balanced offensive team. Smash-mouth is still the default, but six different players have at least 8 catches through 3 games, and Flacco has thrown only 2 picks against 6 touchdowns. That has kept defenses from loading the box against running backs Ray Rice (5.1 average) and Willis McGahee (5.9). Throw it all together and it adds up to an offense that has put 30-plus points on the board in all three games.

The Baltimore offense will be staring across the line of scrimmage at a strange Patriots defense that shed starting end Richard Seymour just before opening day and has cut ties, one way or another, with mainstays Mike Vrabel, Rodney Harrison and Tedy Bruschi. Its best defender, LB Jerod Mayo, is out for the next several weeks, and the secondary is so new that the players are still introducing themselves to each other.

Still, while Tom Brady and the offense to regain at least part of their 2007 swagger, the defense that was dissed during the preseason has kept the Pats in games (the loss to the Jets was due to the Pats offense not be able to figure things out). NE came up with the stops it needed to beat Buffalo on opening day, held the Jets to 16 points and put the clamps on Atlanta’s powerful offense.

It’s a strange how do you do – Baltimore’s powerful offense against New England’s staunch defense. Wasn’t this supposed to be the other way around?

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Lawrence Paul is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog, and is a free-lance gambling and travel writer 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. While the Ravens’ offense has been impressive, this game will still come down to Baltimore’s ability to rattle Brady. Getting to him early and often give the Ravens their best chance to win.

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