MON NIGHT FOOTBALL PREVIEW: RAVENS @ RAMS (11-25)!
CAN RAVENS CONTINUE TO STAY RED-HOT WITH TOUGH ROAD WIN IN L.A. ON MONDAY NIGHT TV?
VEGAS ODDS: BALTIMORE RAVENS (-3 or -3 1/2) at LA RAMS ~ TOTAL: (47)
BALTIMORE RAVENS: (#2 OFFENSE) vs. L A RAMS (#10 DEFENSE)
L A RAMS (#13 OFFENSE) vs. BALTIMORE (#14 DEFENSE)
Right now by far the hottest team in the NFL is the Baltimore Ravens, winning 6 straight overall and winning it’s last 4 games by at least 14 points or more per game. They are averaging 39 points per game the past 4 and they did it by facing 3 elites: Seattle, Patriots and Houston. The 4th came against a Bengals Defense playing pretty decent of late. The Ravens are the only team in the NFL averaging 30 points per game or more. They are (4-1) on the Road this season with 3 of those 4 Road wins coming by 2 TD’s or more. The lowest scoring total by the Ravens this year has been 23 points. They have not at all been affected by the opposing crowd noise, scoring 59, 28, 26, 30 and 49 points on the Road thus far. They have now outscored their 4 past opponents by a combined (157-56) score.
The Rams last year were 13-3 and averaged 33 points per game. This year, thanks for a ton of key injuries, they have not fared anywhere close on the Offensive Unit. They have already lost 2 home games straight up. The Defense though is starting to look like the dominant Defense we’ve come accustomed to the past month or so. They have allowed just 44 total points the past 4 games overall. They have allowed 10 points or less in 3 of their 5 Home games so far. Somehow the Rams have been missing some very important stars on the Offensive side of the ball. Last week things got as bleak as possible as they were forced to start 4 new starters on the Offensive Line vs. a very good Bears Defense. They somehow way over exceeded expectations, allowing no sacks at all. In fact the Rams band aided up Offensive Line has not allowed QB Goff to be sacked once in their past 4 games.
The key to beating the Ravens is stopping it’s #1 Rushing attack (#1 in NFL with 204 rushing yards per game average). Right now it’s Ravens QB Lamar Jackson who is simply running thru teams at will, and wreaking havoc to a point we haven’t seen by a running QB since the Mike Vick days.
The Rams best news this week is they return their one deep threat, speedy WR B. Cooks, who will once again open up the field for QB J. Goff, who is at his best when he’s able to toss the ball all over the yard. Many people blame all the Rams Offensive woes on Goff, but the run game has simply underachieved greatly, as stud RB Gurley has no 100 rushing games all season. Opposing Defenses have loaded the box to slow Gurley and blitzing Goff often, knowing that he simply was missing some key parts to pass the ball to.
The Ravens Offense is playing great, but the Defense has only allowed 9 TD’s the past 6 games combined. Since they acquired former Rams CB M. Peters, they have really taken the Defense to another level. Peters has also already produced with 2 Interceptions for Touchdowns already. Peters also knows many of the Rams schemes, so he will be a big help in this game helping call out some plays before they happen. Now the Rams also possess an Ex- Ravens stud Defensive star, Safety Eric Weddle, but he’s already said he wouldn’t give up any Ravens stuff as he didn’t feel it was the right thing to do. No word on if Peters feels that way too?
Ever since the Ravens put in Jackson as the starting QB, they are (14-3). The Ravens are (6-2) on Road with Jackson starting so playing on Road has not even really slowed Jackson.
FAST STARTERS/SLOW STARTERS:
The Ravens have started fast this year in the first quarter, averaging (8.5) points in the opening quarter. The Defense has been just as good, allowing a very slim (2.4) points per game in the first quarter. The Rams have been slow starters, scoring only 32 points in the first quarter this season.
KEY TRENDS TO WATCH:
BALTY RAVENS: (20-7-4) ATS last 31 Road games vs. teams entering that game with a Winning record.
L A RAMS: (10-2) Straight up last 12 games vs. AFC opponents.
Well the Ravens are playing so well and grabbing the attention of the betting world, the books had to install them as the favorite in this game. But part of this spread is made more off the Rams without Cooks at wide out. He’s playing and he will be a huge addition to a Rams Offense in need of one badly. Cooks should completely open up the field and leave poor WR Cooper Kupp to no longer be double covered half the game. Cooks ability to go deep also keeps the Ravens with a Safety back in coverage help and not helping loading the box to stop the run, and of late Gurley looks like he’s getting stronger and could run for his first 100 rush game all season here. All of a sudden the Rams are the under the radar team, and I think that HC McVay loves it and I know the Rams Defense, especially A. Donald loves it. I am very surprised the Ravens are being bet over the -3 line to now -3 1/2. The Rams have played to it’s Super Bowl level on Defense the past 4 games, which bodes well for at least somewhat slowing Jackson and the Ravens rush attack. Now they need the old Super Bowl level on Offense as well as the Ravens have scored 41, 49, 37 and 30 points it’s last 4 games. Goff has thrown more Interceptions than TD’s so far in 2019. He must have one of his best games all season for the Rams to grab the much needed win here. I’d fully expect this game to be close and go right down to the wire. As we’ve seen it’s hard for teams to just not lose for 2 months, as eventually you just get hit with a few turnovers, dropped balls and bad coverages. This game has one side kicking a last second FG to grab the win all over it.
Enjoy the game and have a great new week ahead.
GARY’S GAMEDAY PICKS UPDATE FOR PAST WEEK:
Well we had a winning weekend but it surely ended in heartbreaking fashion. After a (4-3) College Football Picks weekend, with a crushing loss when Air Force allowed a horrific New Mexico team to go entire field to score late back door covering TD keeping the day from a much better (5-2). Then Sunday, after winning 4 really solid early games (4-0), including the Jets (+3), we lost our final pick, which was also a “BEST BET”, as the Total between Green Bay/San Fran- “OVER 47 1/2” falls a FG short, as for some reason GB HC LaFleur allowed the team to go down the entire field, only to pull the plug once within a stones throw of the end zone. So the day ended (4-1) and one of the most disappointing (4-1) days of my career. But another solid overall weekend combined (8-4) and we will likely have a lot more plays overall this week as we have some extra College Football this week and my favorite two CFB betting days of the year (Fri-Sat) of Turkey Day week. Hopefully you all had a nice profitable week.