Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots Odds
The Baltimore Ravens (10-6, 4-4 away) travel to face the New England Patriots (12-4, 6-2 home) on Sunday, January 20th in the 2013 AFC Championship. This is a rematch from last year’s conference championship game, which resulted in a 23-20 home victory by the Patriots. Oddsmakers in Las Vegas have installed a line of New England -9 over Baltimore and a total set of 51 points.
Why New England Covers
The Patriots have been the most dominant team in the league all season. They are outscoring opponents 35.2 to 21.1, or by an average of 14.1 points per game. Winning by double-digits clearly has not been a problem for this team all year. Four of their last five home games have resulted in wins by 13 or more points.
New England does an excellent job of finding matchups that are in their advantage. They found a new weapon in running back Shane Vereen in a 41-28 victory over the Houston Texans last week. He scored three total touchdowns, including two receiving when he was matched up against a linebacker. Baltimore doesn’t have the manpower to match up with all of New England’s weapons.
This play falls into a system that is 72-36 (66.7%) ATS since 1983. It tells us to bet against road underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (BALTIMORE) – off an upset win as an underdog, with a winning record playing another winning team in the second half of the season.
New England is 8-2 against the spread as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points this season. The Patriots are 63-28-2 against the spread in their last 93 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game. New England is 4-1 against the spread in its last 5 home games. The Patriots have won eight of their last 10 meetings with Baltimore.
Why Baltimore Covers
The Ravens have really come together as a team in the playoffs after a tough finish to the regular season. It all coincided with the return of Ray Lewis from injury. Lewis announced that he would be retiring after this season a few weeks back, and this team has completely rallied behind him because of it.
Baltimore went into Denver and came away with a 38-35 overtime victory as a 9.5-point underdog. It overcame two special teams touchdowns by Broncos’ return man Trindon Holliday, as well as a 7-point deficit over the final two minutes of regulation with no timeouts. Joe Flacco hit Jacoby Jones on a 70-yard touchdown pass to tie it, while Justin Tucker booted a game-winning 47-yard field goal in overtime. Baltimore outplayed Denver, outgaining it 479-398 for the game.
This has been a very tightly contested series in six meetings dating back to 2007. While New England has won four of the six, all four victories came by 6 points or less, including three by exactly 3 points. Baltimore beat New England 31-30 at home earlier this season, and it should have won in the AFC Championship last year as a 7-point underdog. It lost 20-23 at New England after a dropped touchdown pass by Lee Evans, and a missed chip shot field goal by Billy Cundiff in the closing seconds. It certainly wants revenge in this one.
This play falls into a system that is 24-5 (82.8%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. It tells us to bet against home favorites (NEW ENGLAND) – revenging a loss against opponent, after 2 consecutive covers as a favorite. The Ravens are 10-4 against the spread in their last 14 playoff road games. The Patriots are 2-8 against the spread in their last 10 playoff games.