Atlanta Falcons vs. Baltimore Ravens Week 16 Betting Predictions

by | Dec 20, 2022 | nfl

Atlanta Falcons (5-9 SU, 8-6 ATS) vs. Baltimore Ravens (9-5 SU, 5-8-1 ATS)

Week 16 NFL

Date/Time: Saturday, December 24, 2022 at 1PM EST

Where: M&T Bank Stadium

TV: Fox

Point Spread: ATL +7/BAL -7 (Bovada – Deposit $100 and get $50 FREE!)

Over/Under Total: 37.5

The Atlanta Falcons take on the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday. For the Ravens, a 9-5 record belies an offensive crisis they’re facing, and after getting just a field goal last Saturday in a 13-3 loss to the Browns, things are getting critical. They lost their first-place standing in the AFC North and look to get back on the right track at home this week. For the 5-9 Falcons, they came up short on Sunday to the Saints, 21-18, but in the NFC South, no one is ever out of it, no matter how bad things go. Let’s break down who’s more likely to get the cover on Saturday in Baltimore.

Can the Ravens Get Rolling Again?

It seems like things are lining up for a return of Lamar Jackson this week. Nothing is certain as of press time, but that seems to be the feeling early in the week. Their offense has really been going down the drain. With 29 combined points of scoring in their last three games, the offense is really struggling. In Lamar’s last few showings before getting hurt, the Ravens were also struggling. Still, it’s been many years since the Ravens have bottomed out this bad offensively, with just two touchdowns in the last three games. And it’s a shame with the run game doing some good things. They just haven’t been able to hit the scoreboard with much regularity.

Under the Harbaugh era in Baltimore, we’ve seen the defense do an about-face over the course of the season, and maybe it’s happening again. At one point this season, they were imminently-exploitable, but over the course of the year, they became more rigid. With the Baltimore offense going into the tank, maybe it was hard to notice among a slew of forgettable Ravens games. But you’re looking at one of the best defenses in the league when it comes to stopping the run, something that would really seem to come in handy against the run-heavy Falcons. Even with the offense leaving them out to dry, we’ve seen a stream of solid showings from this Ravens “D,” and it could get even better if Jackson can get this offense cooking again.

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Making a Case for the Falcons

It’s easy to write off Atlanta’s chances. They’re switching it up at QB, with rookie Desmond Ridder getting the start in the loss to the Saints. While they leaned heavily on their run game, Ridder was underwhelming, but you’d tend to think they stick with the rookie. Then again, Atlanta has a different agenda than most 5-9 teams. With Tampa leading the division at just 6-8, the division is still up for grabs. So regardless of how badly things have gone in general for the Falcons, they’re still a team with something to play for.

The problems with which Atlanta suffers could come out to a lesser degree in this game if the recent incarnation of the Ravens surfaces again on Saturday. It’s true that their defense is nothing special. At the same time, their biggest issues are against the pass. Jackson could offer a better option, with his ability to connect with Mark Andrews and their other pieces. The problem for Baltimore is that there aren’t many pieces aerially. Andrews has just a few big games this season and has been really quiet lately. Jackson offers more promise on the ground, and there’s nothing scary about the Atlanta run-defense, so the Ravens should be able to flex that part of their offense. It’s just that Atlanta’s shortcomings might be brought less to light against a Baltimore offense that is on the rocks and wasn’t exactly thriving with Jackson under center.

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Good Spot for the Ravens?

One would think that late-season urgency would start to resonate with the Ravens. It’s only exacerbated as they were overtaken divisionally by the Bengals. With time running out, they know that while it’s nice that their defense has come around, they’re going to need to score points. I’d look for them to start better working on that aspect this week. If a home spot against this “D” amidst this urgency and with important pieces like Jackson back in rotation, it’s really a line-in-the-sand moment for the Ravens in this 2022 season. If they were to get that aerial attack rolling again, this would be a good week to start. And Jackson coming back should help that.

Any issues that we’ve seen with the Baltimore secondary this season were against really good passing offenses that were in good form. And most of the damage was accrued earlier in the season. In this spot, with Ridder not even hitting 100 yards last week, I wouldn’t expect this to be a spot where that shortcoming really sinks the Ravens. And sure, with Tyler Allgeier, Cordarrelle Patterson, and the mobile QBs they have, the Falcons can dial up a dangerous ground-game, but this might be one of the toughest matchups the ATL ground-game faces this season. And with a Baltimore “D” that can really take advantage of mistakes, this could be a tough spot if they stick with the rookie Ridder.

Lay the Number

The Ravens are not showing anything close to the form that would make you want to lay a TD right now. I just happen to think the Falcons have such a bad matchup, even without Jackson, that the notion of the Ravens having him just puts it over the edge for me. Granted, the Baltimore offense has been bad and is really challenged aerially, regardless of who is behind center. Teams that can’t really get vertical are not ideal larger-sized favorites. But I see Atlanta’s offensive prognosis this week being even murkier. Even with Jackson’s status still iffy as of press time, I like the Ravens this week. I’ll take Baltimore.

Loot’s Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Baltimore Ravens minus 7 points.

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