Baltimore Ravens (1-5 SU, 0-5-1 ATS) vs. Arizona Cardinals (4-2 SU, 4-2 ATS)
NFL Week 7
Date/Time: Monday, October 26, 2015, 8:30 pm EST
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.
TV: ESPN, DirecTV 206
by Badger, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: BAL +7.5/ARI -7.5
Over/Under Total: 48.5
The slope the Baltimore Ravens are sliding down keeps getting slipperier and slipperier, and the Ravens find themselves in store for another tall task in week seven NFL action when they travel to the desert of Glendale, Ariz., to take on the NFC West leading Cardinals on ESPNs Monday Night Football.
Baltimore has fallen so far so fast that its hard to believe they are already five games behind Cincinnati in the AFC North title race. The Ravens havent been this far under .500 this far into the regular season since they started 2-4 in 2005. The Ravens had a hard time going West last weekend when they lost to San Francisco in Santa Clara, 25-20, following the same script of dropped passes, untimely interceptions from Joe Flacco and a defensive secondary that likes to give up huge bombs over the top for scores. Steve Smith Sr. was quoted after Sundays 49ers loss as saying that 1-5 would be very hard to come back from, but that it was time for everyone to look in the mirror to see where the Ravens have to get better.
Arizona lost for only the second time this season last weekend on the road in Pittsburgh, 25-13, when Steelers third-string QB Landry Jones rallied the home team to a big comeback at Heinz Field. The Cardinals had over 450 yards of total offense against the Steelers, but went 1-for-4 in the red zone and struggled to get close to scoring near the 33.8 points per game average in the loss.
As expected the Cards opened this game as pretty large favorites at home, originally going up on the board at most sportsbooks as 7-point favorites. The point spread has since gone up the hook to minus -7.5 at most books, with 5Dimes up as high as -8.5 (+100) if you are looking to find the biggest number on this game on the Web.
The over/under total opened at 49 and has also moved a half-point, dropping to 48.5 at a large majority of sportsbooks both offshore and out in Las Vegas.
Offensively the Ravens are hurting themselves with inconsistency. Flacco has thrown seven interceptions (only 8 TDs), Justin Forsett hasnt found as much space to run and Smith is playing receiver with microfractures in his back and has missed games and all of it has cost the Ravens because statistically speaking, the put up good yardage (369.5 ypg 9th) and points (23.8 ppg 11th) every week. Getting Forsett loose will be key to the game on Monday, because Arizonas secondary is deep, fast and opportunistic and they will pounce on any mistakes Flacco and the Raven offense have been making in recent weeks.
Arizona has been surprisingly strong at putting the ball in the end zone up until last week in Pittsburgh, and most of it is due to the return to health for quarterback Carson Palmer. Palmer is on pace for the best year of his career thus far, throwing for 14 touchdowns and a 106.9 QB rating, and his return has brought about the return of Larry Fitzgerald to relevance and the emergence of John Brown as the Cards best playmaker. Already ranked 27th in the league and prone to giving up big plays big momentum-changing plays the Ravens secondary is going to face its stiffest challenge yet when Palmer, Fitzgerald and Brown play a little pitch-n-catch in front of the country on Monday Night Football.
Interestingly enough, historically the Ravens have dominated the Cardinals on the field. Baltimore has won four straight matchups since 2000, and six of the last seven going even further back to 1988. Arizona is 4-1 ATS in the series though, and hasnt been the favorite in any of their seven previous meetings.
Of course, Baltimore does play well on Monday Night, going 5-1 ATS in their last six appearances. Arizona hasnt covered on MNF in a while now (0-5 ATS in L5), but have been a really good wager at home of late going 8-2 ATS in their last 10 home games in Glendale.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Baltimore has lost five games, but none of them have been by more than six points. They dont get blown out. Plus, I think the veterans Flacco and Smith somehow find a way to keep it close. Baltimore is due, Im not saying they are going to win, but this could be the week. Either way, if youre going to give me the hook Im taking it, Im betting on Baltimore plus the +7.5 points.
Bet this game and ALL games at -105 reduced odds! (Instead of the -110 that your book is charging you) Making the switch to reduced juice football betting will save you TONS of cash! –> 5Dimes
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