Baltimore Ravens (1-4 SU, 0-4-1 ATS) vs. San Francisco 49ers (1-4 SU, 2-3 ATS)
NFL Week 6
Date/Time: October 18th, 4:25 PM ET
Where: Levi’s Stadium
TV: Direct TV
by Jeff Hochman, Professional Handicapper, jhportsline.com
Point Spread: BALT -2/SF +2
Over/Under Total: 44
The Baltimore Ravens fly west to play the San Francisco 49ers in this non-conference matchup. The good news is that one of these teams will improve to 2-4 and feel somewhat optimistic about their chances going forward. The host is coming off a tough loss against the Giants last Sunday night. San Francisco lost 30-27 as 6-point road dogs on a late touchdown pass from Eli Manning. The 49ers were outgained by 145 yards and have been outgained in every game so far this season. Baltimore was defeated by the Cleveland Browns 33-30 as 6-point home chalk and were outgained by 128 yards. The Ravens are 3-3 ITS (in the stats) this season and will be looking to improve a defense that allowed over 500 total yards in last week’s loss.
It’s really hard to trust NFL teams that play no defense. That’s been the case for the home team. The 49ers are allowing 406 yards per game and 6.6 yards per play while the Ravens are allowing 378 yards per game and 5.8 yards per play. The pass defense has been abysmal for both teams and this could lead to a higher scoring game. The Ravens are allowing 278 passing yards per game, while the host is allowing 298 yards per game through the air. Terrell Suggs was injured in the opening week however the Ravens pass rush (QB sacks) is ranked No. 10, while the overall defense is ranked No. 12. The 49ers pass rush is ranked No. 21 and No. 29 in total defense. San Francisco is also getting out-coached in every game since their opening week victory.
The big advantage for the Ravens will be on special teams. Baltimore brings in the sixth best special teams unit while the 49ers are ranked 26th. San Francisco is ranked second to last in special teams tackling. I think field position will play a big role in this contest along with who can score touchdowns in the red zone. The numbers favor the road team as Baltimore is ranked No. 14 in red zone efficiency, while the 49ers are ranked dead last. San Francisco looked better on offense in last week’s loss. They should have more confidence on that side of the ball going into this game. Baltimore is ranked No. 19 in total offense, while the 49ers check in at No. 31. I have more confidence in John Harbaugh than Jim Tomsula, which is why I am leaning to the road team. It will be a long trip for both teams as the Ravens and 49ers will be flying to San Francisco after playing in the Eastern time zone. Of course, the home team will have the advantage of arriving 6 days before game day.
Joe Flacco is adjusting to a new offensive coordinator while dealing with a depleted receiving corps. Numerous injuries have really hurt the Ravens’ passing attack. The Ravens have yet to see what rookie WR Breshad Perriman (OUT) can do and Steve Smith Sr. is nursing a back injury. Justin Forsett suffered an ankle injury in last week’s game, but Harbaugh thinks he will be able to play against San Francisco. Very tough game to handicap with all the injuries. This will probably be the least bet game on the NFL slate.
The Ravens are 9-5 SU and 9-4-1 ATS after a division game over the last three seasons. The Ravens are 6-2 SU and 6-1-1 ATS in non-conference games over the last three seasons. The 49ers are 6-3 SU and 7-2-1 ATS in October games over the last three seasons. Keep in mind, they had a much better team and head coach to support those numbers. The 49ers are 5-11 SU and 6-10 ATS as home underdogs of 3 point or less since 1993.
Jeff’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Slight lean to the Baltimore Ravens -2
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