NFL Baltimore Ravens@ New England Patriots


EOG Senior Member
Baltimore Ravens@ New England Patriots

Ravens served us well against the Steelers last week and beat their biggest rival to set up another tough trip, to a tough venue, in tough conditions (yes, it is going to be tough !), a visit to Foxborough in January is never very welcoming, not only do the Patriots await , but the weather is just as big a threat and although there is no wind , rain or snow forecast for tonight, temperatures are unlikely to rise about -8 during the game. To be honest, the Ravens will probably be reasonably happy with that and it could be equally cold with several feet of snow being shovelled off the playing surface , in a biting wind !

Last week they faced different , but in many ways, equally tough conditions ....

The playing surface at Heinz Field has been ranked the worst in the NFL twice in recent surveys and already cut up, is going to come in for a major soaking pre kickoff, with 100% rain forecast and most falling immediately before the start. I feel this hands the advantage to the Ravens, it appears Pittsburgh are without running back Le'Veon Bell who is their MVP and also contributes greatly as receiver and also pass protector, his absence will mean more pressure on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Ravens get defensive tackle Haloti Ngata back from suspension today and that will furtehr hamper any running game the Steelers are able to muster and that is key given the conditions, if Bell had played, he would definitely have seen plenty of the ball. Ngata has apologised to every team mate for his absence and is desperate to make amends. I feel the Bengals should have beaten the Steelers last week, but errors cost them dearly. Hosts did put up 43 points in the last meeting here in Week 9,but Big Ben had six touchdown passes, he and his receivers are not quite in the same form now, the Ravens secondary is not so beat up and conditions are nowhere near so conducive to throwing the football, also the Ravens did keep the Steelers scoreless in two of those four quarters and without a touchdown at all in the reverse meeting. Very different game today and I like the Ravens plus the points.

I do not want to spend too long on this, like the game in Seattle ( see below), I feel the handicap is too big. Pats have done very little wrong, but have faced few defensive lines as strong as the Ravens and when Tom Brady who is a great, great leader is put under pressure, he can throw picks and you can make a case that Baltimore and Joe Flacco have outplayed him a couple of times in recent post season games. The truth is that the Patriots were probably watching on television last week and praying that the Steelers would win, this will be the 4th time in six seasons that the Ravens have come to Gillette Stadium in post season, in the first they won 33-14, in 2013 they won 28-13 and inbetween lost a real close one by three points, so I can only go one way. The Ravens know how to win here at this time of year and worst case scenario, it will be close.

1.75 units Baltimore Ravens +6.5 points 2.07 Pinnacle Sports/Vegas Line/Sportmarket Pro.

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