The Baltimore Ravens were a 10-point underdog in the AFC divisional playoff round and won outright on the road. They hope to do the same thing again this Sunday in New England.
AFC Championship Game
Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots – Sunday, January 20
Online football betting line: New England -8
Why Baltimore Will Win
College football betting students, in transitioning to the pro game, would certainly stand on firm ground in saying that Joe Flacco can deliver the goods once again for Baltimore. Flacco is a very inconsistent quarterback. He runs hot and cold, and when he’s bad, he’s awful. Baltimore was a total mess in the latter weeks of the NFL season before reviving its campaign in week 16 against the New York Giants. Baltimore crumbled in week 15 against Denver, as Flacco threw a 98-yard pick-six just before halftime. Going into the divisional playoffs against Denver, Flacco’s ability to perform was rightly and severely questioned. However, he was able to stand up to the pressure and throw several clutch passes, none of them bigger than a 70-yard touchdown bomb with 31 seconds left in regulation with the Ravens trailing by a 35-28 margin. Flacco will enter this game with a lot of confidence, and more importantly, his teammates now believe in him more than ever before. Flacco played well in last year’s AFC Championship Game against New England. He made a big-time throw to receiver Lee Evans in the final minute of that contest. Evans had two hands on the ball in the end zone but was not able to secure the ball by the time his feet landed. Flacco walked off the field heartbroken that day. If he regroups and gets help from his teammates, Baltimore can definitely win the game outright, and any online sports book expert would not be in a position to mount a robust rebuttal to that claim.
Why New England Will Win
When you go over your next play at any of the best online betting sites in the country, you need to realize with respect to this game that as long as the Patriots don’t turn the ball over, they’re going to be in great shape. New England is the superior team in this matchup, playing at home against an opponent that is healthier than it was in previous weeks, but still not ready to deliver an imposing performance on defense. Baltimore’s defense did a really good job of hanging in against Denver in the divisional playoff round, but the Ravens needed a tipped ball that turned into a pick-six. They needed a timely fumble recovery to blunt Denver’s momentum in the second half. They needed an interception in overtime to score the game-winning field goal against the Broncos. Baltimore has to replicate a turnover-rich formula and take the ball away from New England. Its pass rush made an occasional impact, but it is not likely to dominate New England’s offensive line. Tom Brady is going to get plenty of shots to throw the ball down the field. Baltimore has to be opportunistic in taking the ball away. If Brady takes care of the rock, however, it’s going to be so much more difficult for the Ravens to contain the Patriots’ offense. This is a game in which New England’s best performance will be superior to Baltimore’s best performance. If New England doesn’t make huge mistakes, it should be able to win a shootout on its home field.
Who Will Win?
A 8-point spread is way too much in this game. Baltimore plays New England close on a regular basis and is not afraid of the Pats. However, New England should still be trusted to dig out the win at home.
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NFL Betting Pick: Baltimore +8