Baltimore Ravens(8-2SU,5-5ATS) vsSan Diego Chargers(4-6SU,5-5ATS)
Date/Time:November25th, 4:05PM E
Where:QualcommStadium, San Diego, CA
byJeffHochman,Pro Handicapper, JHSportsline.com
Point Spread: Bal Pick’em/SD Pick’em
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The Baltimore Ravens will look to win their fourth straight game, when they face the struggling San Diego Chargers. Last week, the Ravens defeated theSteelers13-10 as 3-point road favorites. It wasn’t easy as they were out-gained by 111 yards. The Ravens have been out-statted in six straight games to drop to 3-7 ITS (in the stats) this season. San Diego lost its secondconsecutivegame last week when they dropped a 23-20decisionto the Denver Broncos. The Chargers were out-gained by 109 yards and are just 5-5 ITS this season. Early money is coming in onBaltimore, but most books still have this line at Pick Em.
If this game seems oddly familiar, that’sbecauseit is. The Ravens were in a near identical scenario last season when they traveled toQualcommto play a struggling Chargers team. Last year’s Ravens were much better on defense and the Chargerscompletelydominated the Ravens, in winning 34-14. Now, the Ravens get a chance to make amends. The Chargers have a big edge in this game at stopping the run. San Diego is ranked No. 3 in rushing yards against at just 87.9 per game. Baltimore is ranked 27th allowing 132 rushing yards per game. The Ravens have been solid in therunning game this year (99 yards per game)but it may not even matter. The Ravens are a passing team now ranked No. 16 while the Chargers pass defense is ranked No. 19 so far this season. At least the Ravens know they won’t have to face Rivers without Ed Reed controlling the last line of defense. The eight-time Pro Bowlcornerbackwassuspendedfor one game but was reduced to a 50,000 fine after his appeal.
One of thepoints ofemphasesfor San Diego will be trying to contain Ray Rice.Ray Riceaccounts for a majority of the Ravens’ offense. He leads the team in rushing with 697 yards and is also the second-leading receiver with 40 catches. He is one of the rare three-down backs and gets better as the game progresses. Although the Ravens may not rely on Rice alone to keep drives alive, he is definitely a major piece of the puzzle. Expect San Diego defensive coordinator JohnPaganoto focus on keeping Rice in check and limiting his overall production. Easier said than done though.
The key to stopping San Diego’s offense this year is to pressure quarterback Philip Rivers, who has struggled to connect with his receivers because of marginal protection up front. The Ravens need to get their pressure package on track, especially now that outside linebacker TerrellSuggsis back in the lineup. Look for a dialed-up pressure package from defensive coordinator Dean Pees and bothSuggsand Linebacker Paul Krugerto come off the edge. San Diego has 22 giveaways through its first10 games, the third-highest total in the NFL. The Ravens are one of the better teams in the league at protecting the ball and have just nine give-aways. The Chargers need to do a better job of protecting the rock, especially in the passing game. Baltimore is also very good at poking the ball out of offensive players hands. They have done that four times this season.
The Chargers have shown a knack for “shooting” themselves in the foot with poor pass protection, penalties,and ill-timed interceptions. If the offensive line can keep Rivers upright, giving him time to go through his progressions and receivers time to finish their routes, the Chargers could thrive at home. The Ravens are missing several key players on defense so look for Baltimore to run a lot and try to shorten the game.
The Ravens are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games after accumulating less than 250 total yards in their previous game. The Ravens are 13-5-2 ATS in their last 20 games after accumulating less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game. The Chargers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games in November. The Home team is 7-2 ATS in their last 9 meetings.
Jeff’s Pick to Cover the Spread:Baltimore RavensPick’em& Under 47
Ginormous revenge game for the Ravens and they should be focused. I really like the Ravenshead coach too. He should have this team fired up after a lackluster win last week.The Under is 6-4 in the last 10 head-to-head to meetings with an average O/U line of just 38. The Over is 13-7 combined when these two teams play, but this game looks like a score in the low 40s. Take Baltimore and Under 47 points.
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