The Baltimore Ravens and the Detroit Lions are both in the running for playoff spots. A high-pressure moment arrives for two teams that don’t have a lot of margin for error right now.
Baltimore Ravens @ Detroit Lions – Monday, December 16
Betting line: Lions -7
Why Baltimore Will Win
No NFL football betting expert would deny the contention that the Ravens have a very legitimate chance of winning this game. It’s true that Detroit will be playing at home in climate-controlled comfort, something which will make the Lions’ passing game more difficult to defend. However, when you analyze your next sportsbook review, you will see that the Ravens are a team that should be trusted more than the Lions.
Baltimore’s season appeared to be just about done on two prior occasions. The Ravens were 3-5 midway through the season and then allowed the Cincinnati Bengals to score a Hail Mary touchdown on the final play of regulation, creating a 17-17 overtime situation in Baltimore. The Ravens would have been finished if they had lost that game to Cincinnati, but they found a way to win it in the extra period. Baltimore then blew a late lead the following week and lost in overtime to Chicago, falling to 4-6. The Ravens had no more second chances after that point in time, and being the defending Super Bowl champions that they are, they have responded in fine form over the past three weeks. They took advantage of a three-game homestand, winning all three times to move to 7-6. The Ravens now occupy the sixth position in the AFC playoff picture. If they win out, they will beat the Miami Dolphins for that final postseason spot. This is simply a team that knows what it has to do under pressure. The same cannot be said for the Lions, who blew a 14-point lead this past Sunday in Philadelphia against the Eagles and remain one of the more unreliable teams in the NFL.
Why Detroit Will Win
When people pursue a sports betting play, they have to realize that while experience matters, health and talent also matter. Football betting gurus who follow the NFL on a regular basis know that things change quickly in professional football, and one of the big changes of this season is that Baltimore’s offense, which was so potent and dangerous during the AFC playoffs and the Super Bowl, is now very unsteady. The Ravens did score 22 points in the final 2:05 of this past Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings, but in the first 57 minutes of that game, they scored only seven points. Quarterback Joe Flacco has struggled this season without receiver Anquan Boldin. He does have tight end Dennis Pitta back in the lineup, but Flacco needs a receiver who can win jump balls in the air. He doesn’t have that resource this season, and he’s paid a price. Detroit’s defense can contain Baltimore’s offense in this game.
Who Will Win?
This should be a close game. Detroit is more talented, but the Ravens are more mature and experienced. Baltimore should cover the number, but the Lions will make enough plays to win.
NFL Betting Pick: Ravens +7