Monday, December 12, 8.30pm EST at Gillette Stadium, New England.
Against the spread record:
Points spread line:
Ravens +7 @ Bovada.lv
TWO division leaders square off on Monday night football when the New England Patriots take on the Baltimore Ravens.
The Patriots lead the AFC East with a three-win advantage over the Miami Dolphins and the Ravens are at the top of the AFC North following its win over the Dolphins last week.
The Patriots are doing what comes naturally to them, winning games, despite losing Gronk in its win against the Jets. That loss might start to worry the Patriots as they come up against one of the best NFL defenses on Monday night.
Baltimore have allowed only 312.7 yards per game this season and in comparison to the Patriots 351.4 yards given up, the Ravens could pose a threat.
This game is expected to be close and one of the better Monday night football games of the season.
Flacco’s numbers read well
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has a 3-5 record when playing against Tom Brady and the Patriots, but his personal numbers have been solid and Patriots coach Bill Belichick is respecting his talents.
“We’ve played him quite a bit. It seems like he always plays well against us, so I have a lot of respect for him,” Belichick said.
“He’s a good football player and he’s been pretty good. Don’t forget, he took them to the Super Bowl championship.”
Flacco won on fire in last week’s win over the Miami Dolphins which were riding a winning streak heading into that game. Flacco threw for four touchdowns and with a passer rating of 91.3 against Brady-led teams, Flacco has no reason to be lacking in confidence this week.
“We have to go up into a hostile place in New England that we really enjoy playing,” Flacco said.
“It’s going to be another important game in December up there on a Monday night, and it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to it, big time.”
The Ravens defense is what could make the difference in this game. It has kept four of its last five opponents to less than 15 points so scoring points isn’t easy.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh is hoping to score a rare win at Gillette Stadium.
“Now we have our toughest challenge,” Harbaugh said. “We’re going to need to play our best football on Monday night up in New England to win that football game.
“We do believe we have a chance to do that based on where we’re at right now. That’s what we’re shooting for.”
Patriots continue to roll despite injuries
It appears as though there’s no slowing down the Patriots, regardless of its injury toll.
With Gronkowski out for the year and star wide receiver Danny Amendola doubtful to play against the Ravens, the Patriots will be hoping both Tom Brady and its defense can keep them in the game.
The Patriots are having no problem scoring points with 26.6 per game and its defense is giving up only 17.3, the same as the Ravens. They have been getting a nice mix of pass and run plays, which allows Brady to find his feet in the pocket.
Its only loss in the last five games came against a stout defense in the Seattle Seahawks, with their recent wins coming against poor defensive outfits.
That’s the biggest worry heading into Monday night’s clash as facing the Baltmore defensive will be much harder than that of the New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers.
Patriots bettors will be more confident knowing the Patriots have a 7-1 regular season record against the Ravens, including all four games at home.
We see this game as a potential playoff-type affair and Baltimores 2-2 record in the playoffs against the Patriots is a solid statistic.
Many bettors are expecting the Patriots to finally crack under the pressures of losing players at key positions, but when Tom Brady is at the helm, there should always be confidence in the camp.
Ravens vs. Patriots game prediction
With the current points spread line at 7, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take the underdog in this situation.
The Ravens’ offense woke up against the Dolphins and that’s bad news for any team which faces them in the future. They typically win games in tight struggles and that’s partly because the offensive coordinators don’t give Joe Flacco free rein, but expect that to change from now on.
The Ravens defense will strangle the Patriots, who are missing key players. We think they can at least keep this game to within one touchdown.