Battle of the Birds: Three Bets to Consider in the Falcons-Ravens Game

NFL Dec 23, 2022

We're looking for totals and props that might take advantage of the Ravens' superior defense, so as to not have to rely on a weak offense scoring lots of points.

Atlanta at Baltimore
Line:  Ravens -6
O/U:  34.5



Game Analysis:  

Baltimore Ravens star QB Lamar Jackson has not played or practiced since injuring his knee in Week 13 against Denver. The Ravens' offense has struggled badly without him in the lineup, averaging less than 10 points per game.  

The Ravens' passing attack has also floundered and wide receivers rank 29th in the NFL with 114 receptions, 32nd with 1,328 yards, and 30th with only six touchdowns.  

One might expect the awful Falcons' defense might jump-start Baltimore   But we're not counting on that to happen.  Backup Tyler Huntley will start again, who simply doesn't have the same skill set as Jackson, especially as a rusher.  So, we're leaning to taking the points here simply based on the Ravens' inability to score many points.  That's one reason why the line opened at -7 but has since been bet down to -6.

Line Analysis:

Note that Baltimore has played a creampuff schedule.  This will be their ninth straight game versus an opponent with a losing W-L record.  The Ravens have covered just once in their past five games, and that was a close 2-point win at Pittsburgh.

The question now is -- can we and should we bet on the Falcons?  Seriously, is there a worse road team?  Atlanta is just 1-6 on the road this season, and doesn't play anywhere close to the same level as when competing in the comforts of their domed stadium.  

Atlanta is probably the right side on paper (whatever that means as a data point), but we can't put real money down on a team that's so lifeless as a dog visitor.

Rookie Desmond Ridder will be getting his second career start--which might be as bad a spot as there is for a young inexperienced QB.  

Even though the 9-5 Ravens have been awful ATS, their defense remains one of the NFL's best -- ranked #4 in points allowed.  Accordingly, we're looking for totals and props that might take advantage of the Ravens' superior defense, so as to not have to rely on a weak offense scoring lots of points.  

Accordingly, the best prop we can find is -- Ridder OVER on interceptions (0.5) at -130.  It's likely the Falcons will be playing from behind, which usually creates more passing attempts.  Falcons have also announced they want "to see what Ridder can do." according to one quote, which tells us they might put the ball into the air more.  So, we;re expecting a tough Baltimore defense that creates lots of pressure and is #5 is sacks and #4 in creating turnovers to create at least one interception.  \

We'll also take J.K. Dobbins OVER 60.5 rushing yards.  He'll get somewhere around 13-18 carries, especially since he's coming off 125 yards last week and 120 yards the week before since returning from an injury.  This prop at 60.5 seems ridiculously low and doesn't account for an 8.5 YPC average in the last two games.

Finally, we'll also jump in the Baltimore Team Total Points UNDER 20.5.  Baltimore has not exceeded 16 points in any of its last three games with Huntley starting.  

Note:  Gametime temperature should be around 20 degrees.

The Picks:  

Ridder Interception Total OVER 0.5 (-130)

Dobbins Rushing Total OVER 60.5 (-115)

Baltimore Team Total Full Game UNDER 20.5