The Detroit Lions and the Baltimore Ravens meet in an American football betting matchup with postseason ramipercussions for both teams. The Ravens have won two straight and gone back to black. QB Joe Flacco believes Baltimore can, as it has done in the past, turn the season around, even if he’s just a spoke on the wheel as opposed to the wheel itself. As a matter of fact, ESPN compares Flacco’s current role with that of Trent Dilfer in 2000; i.e., a ‘game manager,’ not unlike Case Keenum in Minnesota, a comparison all the more valid considering the Ravens have as stout a defense as that of the Vikings.
- Date: Sunday, 3rd December
- Time: 1:05 PM
- Venue: M&T Bank Stadium
- Online sportsbook NFL odds:
Lions +3 (-110) 43 (-110) +135
Ravens -3 (-110) 43 (-110) -155
“Right now, we’re just keeping our head down,” Skinny Joe said of the Ravens bottom-of-the-barrel offense (31st overall and last in passing). “It may not always look pretty, it may not look pretty moving forward, but we’re going to do what we have to do to win football games and put ourselves in a good position at the end to win them.” Baltimore’s defense leads the league in total takeaways (26), interceptions (18), and turnover ratio (+11), and ranks third in points off takeaways (84). Additionally, the Ravens have allowed zero points three times this season. What’s a QB to do on such occasions? “The misconception is that some of those games are easy to play in,” Flacco said. “They really end up being the tough games to play in. One turnover by us and one less turnover by them in that game the other night, it’s a completely different game.” The Ravens are 7-17 ATS in their last 24 games in December, 1-4 ATS in their last five on fieldturf, and 0-3-1 against the American football betting spread in their last four after a straight up win.
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Detroit head coach Jim Caldwell decided to mix things up a bit in Wednesday’s practice in order to try and get his players to look alive, because, right now, this is what the Lions look like at the beginning of games:
“Just tempo,” receiver Marvin Jones said. “Just faster tempo. [We’re doing] the same things, but just different periods will be moved and stuff like that so we can just [get going].” Detroit has been outscored 33-3 in the first quarter of their last three games, and has committed three first-quarter turnovers in that period. “I think it’s something that we can improve on, so we’re going to look at improving it,” added QB Matt Stafford, whom some have suggested should get the Eli Manning treatment. The Lions are 5-16 ATS in their last 21 games in December, 3-1-1 ATS in their last five road games, and 2-8 against the American football betting spread when playing a team with a winning record. The total has gone over in nine of Detroit’s last 12 games against AFC North teams, and, despite its defensive prowess, the total has gone over in five of Baltimore’s last seven.