Green Bay Packers (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS) vs. Baltimore Ravens (3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS)
NFL Week 6
Date and Time: Sunday, October 13, 1pmET
Where: M&T Bank Stadium
by Evergreen, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: GB -3/BAL +3
Over/Under Total: 47.5
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Get the crabs a steamin and tune it to FOX for a great early slate matchup
between the Green Bay Packers and the Baltimore
Ravens. The defending Superbowl champs welcome the Cheeseheads
with both teams trying to avoid their third loss on the season. These teams
do not tangle often so this pairing is a nice change of pace for the fans,
especially with both squads coming off a win last week and looking for more.
The Packers are 0-2 away from Lambeau and the Ravens 2-0 at M&T so Green
Bay will have to play better than it has on the road so far if they want
to hand Baltimore a home defeat.
The online sportsbooks have installed Green Bay as a 3 point favorite and that is almost a universal point spread with the over/under total set at 47.5 or 48. The Pack are on an 0-4 run against the spread as the visiting team with the Ravens 4-0 ATS in the last four at home so again, Green Bay appears to be getting some easy love from the bookies.
The biggest news entering the game is the absence of Clay Matthews. The Green Bay linebacker will miss this game for sure and could be out a month or more after surgery for a broken thumb. The Packers will miss him as the Claymaker accounted for a quarter of the Packers sacks in 2013 and is simply irreplaceable in Dom Capers 3-4 scheme. Brad Jones is also likely out, further limiting the linebacking corps and defensive back Casey Hayward is again questionable with a hamstring. The Ravens are pretty clean on the injury report but WRs Jacoby Jones and Marlon Brown are both questionable, leaving the Baltimore offense in search of playmakers.
With the defense limited by Matthews injury, the Green Bay offense will need to be at its best and it has been so far with top-5 ranks in total yards, pass yards, rush yards and points per game. The passing yards are no surprise but the Packers have found an effective and versatile run game that nets 141 yards per game. The Ravens have the 6th best rush defense in the NFL so Green Bay may not match that average come Sunday but the presence of a quality run game has kept Aaron Rodgers upright and let the passing game operate freely.
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Baltimore could use some of that run game success as Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce have failed to average three yards per carry and the Ravens sit 27th in rush yards per game. That has put a lot of pressure on Joe Flacco and while there have been good stretches, the mistakes have mounted as well and Flacco enters the week with eight interceptions. Green Bay is pretty weak against the pass and strong versus the run so look for the Ravens to have to air it out again, especially if the Packers get points on the board in a hurry.
It is pretty easy to know what the Pack is going to bring to any game. Rodgers is surgical and no one has proven able to cover all his weapons. Nelson, Cobb, Jones and Finley all have at least two touchdown grabs and while the rookie running backs are mostly untested, they have talent and provide another dimension that Green Bay has lacked in recent years. The Baltimore defense is the deciding unit for this game. If Terrell Suggs (7 sacks) and the Ravens defensive line can get in Rodgers grill, this will be a hardfought game throughout.
Green Bay has struggled on the road, losing to San Francisco and Cincinnati even though Rodgers played well in both games. The Packers have had some issues getting the ball in the endzone this year and that might be what foils them again this week against another good defensive team. Flacco needs to take care of the ball even though Green Bay only has two interceptions as a team so far and the Raven run game needs to get on track, at least enough to control the time of possession and move the chains. A clean game by Baltimore should honestly pull the straight upset here but make sure the wide receivers, especially Marlon Brown, suit up before you hit that money line bet. The Packers will miss Clay Matthews and go to 0-3 on the road and start the season 2-3 for the second straight year. Baltimore 26 Green Bay 24
Evergreens Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting the Baltimore Ravens at +3!