Baltimore Ravens vs. Atlanta Falcons Pick
Baltimore Ravens (6-5 SU, 5-6 ATS) vs. Atlanta Falcons (4-7 SU, 3-8 ATS)
NFL Football Week 13
Date and Time: Sunday, December 2nd, 1:00pm EST
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Atlanta, GA
By: Bob Clark, NFL Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: BAL -1.5/ATL +1.5
Over/Under Total: 49
POWER RATINGS – WEEK 13: ATLANTA FALCONS -2
TAKEAWAYS FROM WEEK 12:
For the Baltimore Ravens I am seeing that this team is much better than myself or many experts anticipated coming into 2018. Right now the Ravens sit at 6-5 and in 2nd place of the NFC North. A win at Atlanta would keep Baltimore on a pace for a playoff berth. Although they are missing their starting QB, Joe Flacco, they have been able to hold tight with Lamar Jackson going 2-0. As for the Falcons, man what a disappointment of a season. A team that many thought could make a playoff run has done nothing but get injured and beat themselves all season long. At 4-7 their playoff hopes are not mathematically done but it would take a miracle to get them into the post season for the third straight year. This has been a complete team letdown. When the defense plays well, the offense sucks. When the offense is clicking, the defense is allowing 30+ points, when the game is on the line, the coaching staff mismanages the clock or makes a boneheaded play call. This offseason, the Atlanta Falcons will need to regroup and bring the “Brotherhood” back much stronger in 2019.
HOW THE PUBLIC IS BETTING BALTIMORE AND ATLANTA:
The Baltimore Ravens opened up as a three point road favorite over the Atlanta Falcons. After the early public action began coming in, the line shifted and now the Falcons are only a point and a half underdog to the Ravens. As of early Tuesday morning, 66% of the action was on the Atlanta Falcons and I think before kickoff comes on Sunday, we could be looking at a game that is a straight up pick’em. As for the total points, 55% of the public is taking over the points which are set at 49.
The Baltimore Ravens and the Atlanta Falcons have only met five times in their history. The first game took place in 1999 and the most recent contest was in October of 2014 when the Ravens defeated Atlanta 29-7 in Baltimore.
As reports continue to come in, it appears more and more like Lamar Jackson will be getting the start for the Baltimore Ravens in place of Joe Flacco who is still battling injury. Along with the potential absence of Flacco, Baltimore also has Alex Collins, Tavon Young, James Hurst, and Tim Williams all listed as “questionable” for this weeks game against Atlanta. For the Falcons, it is looking more and more like linebacker Deon Jones will finally return after missing nearly ten weeks of the season. Jones has been battling a foot injury but has participated in practice all week. There are no other new injuries for the Falcons heading into Sunday’s game.
WHEN BALTIMORE HAS THE BALL:
With things looking as if Lamar Jackson will still be the starter while Joe Flacco is out with an injury, the offense will need to be set up in a way to limit Jackson’s mistakes while he still develops and becomes acclimated with the NFL. So far as a starter, Lamar Jackson has gone 2-0 but that was against the Raiders and Bengals…two of the worst defenses in all of the league. Atlanta is not a top tier defense, but they are fast and do have playmakers that will pose a tad more of a challenge than the previous two opponents. In this game, Baltimore will need to get a run game going which in all honesty has been hit or miss for teams playing the Falcons. In some games, the run game has had major success against the Atlanta front and others like the Washington game for example, the Falcons defense looks like world beaters. The fact though is…Baltimore must find out early if they can get a run game going in order to take some pressure off of Lamar Jackson. And of course, all of this is dependent on if Lamar Jackson even plays. There are sources saying that there is a small chance we will see Joe Flacco back under center but this has yet to be confirmed.
WHEN ATLANTA HAS THE BALL:
The Falcons offense is statistically one of the best in the NFL however, this past Thanksgiving night against the Saints their offense is what killed them. Atlanta turned the ball over not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES inside the Saints 15 yard line. Fumbles by Matt Ryan (which I blame on the O Line), Calvin Ridley, and Julio Jones were tremendous game changers in favor of New Orleans. Atlanta did a good job attacking with the pass since the run game was useless. Matt Ryan threw for 377 yards and two scores and it still was not good enough with Atlanta falling to their NFC South foe, 31-17. This week I see much of the same from a game plan standpoint. Atlanta will line up and make the Ravens defend the pass. As long as the offensive line holds up, Matt Ryan and company should have success against the Ravens D. In weeks past I say Atlanta would need to establish a run and blah bla blah…forget that. Just throw the ball and DO NOT TURN IT OVER!!!
I know I should not be so confident with this pick, but I am. I think the Falcons not only win and cover this game, but I sense an easy win. Atlanta will win this game 28-17 and here is why. The Falcons are just better! Plain and simple. This is not a game where I am going to bore you with “Team A is 5-1 ATS or Team B is 1-7 on grass”…screw all that. This Falcons team truly believes they can make a run and finish the season strong…will they? I don’t know but I do know that this Sunday they are the better team on paper and will be the better team on the field. End of story.
The weather will be cool and rainy in Atlanta on Sunday. Temperatures are said to be a high 62 and a low of 44 degrees. The roof of Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be closed however and the weather will have no impact on the outcome this Sunday.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: TAKE THE ATLANTA FALCONS PLUS THE POINTS THIS SUNDAY