1:05pm EST Sunday, January 6 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, MD
Betting Line: Ravens -2.5
Over/Under: 41.5 at 888 Sport
The Los Angeles Chargers had a great season at 12-4 and were 7-1 on the road. They won five of their last six games, but the one loss was a big one. They fell in the second to last game 22-10 to the Baltimore Ravens, at home no less, which kept them from winning the AFC West and getting a first round bye in the NFL Playoffs. Still, LA are only a small road underdog in this Wild Card matchup and they have Phillip Rivers, who put up MVP numbers this season despite some turnover woes late in the year.
The Ravens are hot, entering the playoffs as winners of three in a row and six of their last seven games. Lamar Jackson has played well under center since taking over for Joe Flacco, but the strength of Baltimore is their great defense, which ranks first in the league. They shut down Rivers and the Chargers late in the season, although they gave up 376 passing yards in their last game of the regular season.
This season the Ravens are 6-2 at home and the Chargers are 7-1 on the road.
LA are 9-7 ATS and have an Over/Under record of 8-8, while the Ravens are at 8-8 ATS with an Over/Under record of 7-9.
In the last four games between these teams the visitors have covered the spread every time.
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The Chargers beat the Denver Broncos 23-9 in their season finale and outgained them 370 yards to 276 yards. While they forced four turnovers they also had four of their own. Rivers passed for 176 yards and while he has a solid wide receiver corps with the likes of Keenan Allen (1,196 receiving yards, six TD) and Mike Williams (664 receiving yards, 10 TD) he has to find them and avoid the turnover. He has had two interceptions in each of the last three games.
Melvin Gordon has to help Rivers out and will play despite a sore ankle. In his last two games of the season, after missing a few with a knee injury, he only rushed for 42 and 41 yards respectively.
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The Ravens rank fourth in the league in run defense and fifth in pass defense. While they gave up 376 passing yards in their last game of the season they stuffed the run and also forced three turnovers.
In their last game to close out the regular season the Ravens beat a hot Cleveland Browns team 26-24. Jackson passed for 179 yards without a touchdown, did not throw any interceptions and also rushed for 90 yards. Kenneth Dixon rushed for 119 yards and Gus Edwards, who led the team in rushing yards this season, had 76 yards on the ground. While Jackson had his lowest rushing yard total (39) as a starter in the win over the Chargers late in the season he passed for a season high 204 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions. In that game, the Ravens rushed for 159 yards led by Edwards with 92 yards.
LA rank ninth in the NFL in both pass and run defense and they played well against the run in their season finale, giving up 82 rushing yards.
LA Chargers betting trends
- 21-8-1 ATS in their last 30 road games
- 6-2 ATS in their last eight playoff games
- 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games following an ATS win
- Under record of 7-3 in their last 10 games
Baltimore Ravens betting trends
- 1-5 ATS in their last six home games
- 7-0 ATS in their last seven playoff games
- 4-1 ATS in their last five games following a win
- Under record of 5-0 in their last five home playoff games
Chargers vs. Ravens betting predictions
Look for Rivers to have a solid game in this AFC North encounter to atone for his less than stellar performance against the Ravens at the end of the season. However, Baltimore defense will shut down the run and create some turnovers. Jackson will manage the game well and the Ravens will have success running the ball. They will not blow out the Chargers, but they will get the home win and cover the spread as well.
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