Baltimore Ravens vs. Indianapolis Colts Pick ATS
Baltimore Ravens (5-2 SU, 3-4 ATS) v. Indianapolis Colts (5-2 SU, 4-3 ATS)
NFL Week 9
When: Sunday, November 8 at 1 pm ET
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium - Indianapolis, IN
Point Spread: BAL -2.5/IND +2.5 (BetOnline - Awesome Live Betting Platform! Special bonuses for those who deposit using Bitcoin!)
Over/Under Total: 47
As the NFL season heads through the middle portion of the schedule, every win helps firm up playoff chances while every loss pushes a team back to the pack and less in control of their own fate. A couple of playoff contenders tangle in Indy this week as the Ravens take on the Colts, and there is quite a bit on the line as both teams enter at 5-2. Despite a loss to Pittsburgh last week, Baltimore still has a 75% chance to make the playoffs, and Indianapolis’ chances just shy of the 65% mark. If the Colts can pull the upset, they would likely swap positions with the Ravens and put the trendy AFC title hopeful in the WildCard mix. CoVid has found its way into the Baltimore locker room with eight Ravens added to the reserve list. Some of those out with CoVid are key defensive contributors, and those absences have brought this game to a near toss-up.
Baltimore is just 3-4 ATS on the season but enters this week with some strong trends, including a 10-3 ATS mark in the last thirteen against the AFC and a 6-2 record against the spread in their previous eight on the road. Their loss last week calls in one negative betting trend as the Ravens are 0-7 ATS immediately following a straight-up loss. Indianapolis has performed well against quality opponents, racking up a 12-4 ATS mark against teams over .500, but they are winless against the spread in their last five games as home underdogs. The over/under total may see a lot of action with two top-tier defenses in this game, and the Under has hit in five of the last six Baltimore games against an AFC opponent. The Under is 16-5 in the previous 21 games when Indy plays an opponent with a winning record. As of Wednesday, Baltimore is getting roughly 73% of the public money, with 68% of bets coming in on the Over.
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Who is In? Who is Out?
The story for Baltimore before we hit the field Sunday is the injury/illness list. On the injury front, the offensive line will be without starters, Ronnie Stanley and Tyre Phillips. Add in a questionable tag for Mark Ingram, and the league’s best rushing attack takes a hit. The defense has been hit hard by CoVid with five starters out for Sunday. CB Marlon Humphrey is the biggest name on that list, but LB Patrick Queen is also out, and he leads the team in tackles. In total, Baltimore will be without four of its top-six leading tacklers, and that group has contributed nine sacks. LBs Matt Judon and L.J. Fort and S DeShon Elliott are the other defensive starters put on the illness list. The Ravens still have Lamar Jackson, and that may be all that is necessary as he is on track to rush for just short of 1,000 yards this season and has thrown for 12 touchdowns so far. Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins have filled in well with Ingram missing time, but they face a tough challenge with Indy ranked 2nd in rush defense. Edwards leads the running backs with 305 yards, and Dobbins is averaging 6.7 yards per carry. Marquise Brown leads the pass catchers with 379 yards, and TE Mark Andrews has pulled down five touchdowns. This passing game lacks diversity and is ranked 31st in yards but can be effective when opponents commit too many defenders to stop the run.
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Old Man Rivers
After a 5-11 season with the Chargers, Philip Rivers was a big question mark in terms of what kind of value he was going to provide for the Colts. Rivers has exceeded most expectations by completing 69.7% of his passes, which would be a career-high if he can continue that through the remainder of the season. Like Drew Brees, Rivers is throwing short a lot, but he is averaging 8.1 yards per attempt, the fourth-highest YPA of his career, so he has been effective on deeper throws. The Colts running game ranks 25th in yards and could be without rookie Jonathan Taylor as he battles an ankle injury. Jordan Wilkins would start if Taylor is sidelined, with Nyheim Hines potentially seeing more carries alongside his receiving game duties. T.Y. Hilton is another question mark for Sunday as he is battling an iffy groin. Hilton leads with 22 catches and 251 yards but has yet to find the endzone. Zach Pascal and Marcus Johnson (20.6 YPR) would be the primary targets with Hilton out but don’t overlook the TE group as Rivers has hit Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox for four scores. The defense has been consistent and enters the week looking very strong with top-7 ranks in rushing, passing, and total yards while allowing the fifth-fewest points. Opposing QBs have managed a league-low average rating of 76 when facing the Colts, and the run defense is allowing just 3.4 yards per carry, good for 2nd in the league.
Take the Banged-up Birds
The Colts are a good team, but their wins against the likes of the Jets and Bengals don’t exactly inspire confidence, and losses to the Jags and Browns make it look like they are much more of an average team than anything else. Baltimore has lost to the Chiefs and Steelers, and the argument can be made that those losses are actually better than any win that Indy has posted. The defensive losses for Baltimore will clearly impact this game, but Indianapolis has some injuries affecting their skill players, and the net effect there could come close to evening things out, at least close enough to let Lamar Jackson have a significant impact on the outcome. Even with one of the strongest statistical defenses, I don’t think the Colts will completely hold down the Ravens run game, and Baltimore gets to 24 points. Indy only gets 20 on the board, and it will be a close cover for the visitors.
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