NFL betting online handicappers will get a potential preview of this year’s AFC Championship Game as the New England Patriots host the Baltimore Ravens.
Kickoff Sunday is set for 1:05 PM Eastern and Sbg global opened with New England as a 2.5 point favorite in NFL betting with an over/under of 44.5. The game will be telecast by CBS.
The Baltimore Ravens have a NFL betting record of 4-1 straight up and 3-2 against the spread. Baltimore is coming off an impressive 31-17 home win and payout over the Denver Broncos. The Ravens Ray Rice ran for 133 yards and 2 touchdowns as Baltimore jumped out to a 17-0 lead. With the win the Ravens took over sole possession of first place in the AFC North Division. Baltimore mauled Denver for 233 yards on the ground while frustrating the Broncos offense and holding them to 39 yards rushing. Joe Flacco continued his upward swing at quarterback by going 14-25 for 196 and running for a TD. Rice has 363 yards rushing for the season and the dominant Ravens defense ranks 3rd in the NFL.
Off a Bye
The New England Patriots are coming off a much needed bye week that followed a 41-14 win over the Miami Dolphins as 1 point road dogs. New England improved its NFL betting online record to 3-1 straight up and 2-2 against the spread while going over the total in all 4 of their games. New England special teams were the difference at Miami with a Brandon Tate 103 yard kickoff return and a blocked punt that set up a TD along with a blocked field goal that was run back for a score. The Patriots are the top scoring team in the NFL but rank 28th defensively as they mesh together a new and younger unit.
The Patriots were embarrassed by last year’s 33-14 home playoff loss to Baltimore. The defeat caused Coach Bill Belichick to decide upon rebuilding the defense and re-tooling the offense for more balance and to take the heat off quarterback Tom Brady. New England ranks a respectable 13th in the NFL for rushing.
Baltimore’s defense and running attack make for a strong NFL betting commodity that is further ahead in development than the Patriots. Until proven otherwise the Ravens should be able to handle the Pats lackluster defense.