Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos Odds
The Baltimore Ravens (10-6, 4-4 away) travel to face the Denver Broncos (13-3, 7-1 home) in the AFC divisional round on Saturday, January 12th. Kickoff is set for 4:30 EST and this contest will be nationally televised on CBS. Oddsmakers in Las Vegas have installed Denver as a 9-point favorite over Baltimore with a total set of 46 points.
Why Denver Covers
The Broncos are the hottest team in the league entering the playoffs. They have won 11 straight while going 9-1-1 against the spread in the process. Seven of those 11 wins have come by double-digits, and all eleven were by a touchdown or more. Peyton Manning and company are simply rolling right now.
While Denver is red hot coming into the playoffs, Baltimore has been going the other direction. The Ravens lost four of their final five games to close out the season before beating the Indianapolis Colts last week thanks to an emotional lift from Ray Lewis. It was his final home game, and they won’t have the same kind of emotional boost on the road this week.
Denver put a beating on Baltimore once this season already. It went on the road and topped the Ravens by a final of 34-17, outgaining them 350-278 in the process. This was a 31-3 game before the Broncos called off the dogs in the fourth quarter, allowing the Ravens to score two garbage touchdowns in the final period.
The Broncos really don’t have any weaknesses. They rank 4th in the league in total offense at 398.4 yards per game, and 2nd in total defense at 290.8 yards per game. As you can see, they are outgaining their opponents by a whopping 107.6 yards per game.
Denver is 10-1 against the spread as a favorite this season, including 7-0 against the spread as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points. The Broncos are 7-1 against the spread versus poor defensive teams who give up at least 350 yards per game this season.
Why Baltimore Covers
The Ravens have new life now that they have their leader, Ray Lewis, back in action. He led the team in tackles with 13 in a 24-9 home victory over Indianapolis last weekend. This team really rallies around Lewis, and they want to send him out with a Super Bowl ring now that he has announced he will retire at season’s end.
This line could be an overreaction to a couple of different things. First, Denver already beat Baltimore handily in their first meeting, but this is now a different Ravens’ team. Second, favorites went a perfect 4-0 against the spread in the first round of the playoffs. This number could be inflated because of it.
Oddsmakers realize that the betting public has been riding Manning and the Broncos hard during this winning streak. They have to try and get even action on both sides, so they could be forced to set this number higher than it should be knowing that the public is going to continue to want to back Denver.
This play falls into a system that is 24-4 (85.7%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. It tells us to bet on underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (BALTIMORE) – revenging a loss where opponent scored 28 or more points, with a winning record in the second half of the season.
Denver is 2-11 against the spread after scoring 30 points or more in 3 straight games since 1992. The Ravens are 9-4 against the spread in their last 13 road playoffs games. The Broncos are 2-5 against the spread in their last 7 playoff games. Baltimore is 7-2-1 against the spread in its last 10 meetings with Denver.