Indianapolis Colts vs. Baltimore Ravens Preview and Pick – Point Spread

Indianapolis Colts (9-0, 5-4 ATS) at Baltimore Ravens (5-4, 6-3 ATS) NFL Week 11,
M&T Stadium Sunday November 22nd, 1:00PM Eastern

By Jay Horne of Predictem.com

Point Spread: Colts +1/Baltimore -1
Over/Under: 44

Bet the Colts at +21 by using a 20 point NFL football teaser at 5Dimes.

The Indianapolis Colts benefited from a Bill Belichick nightmare last week to keep their undefeated campaign alive. In case you somehow missed it, the Patriots were facing 4th and 2 from their own 28 yard line with just under 2 minutes to play against the Colts Sunday night. Instead of punting and giving the Patriots defense the chance to put it away, Belichick kept the offense on the field. However, the Colts defense come up big getting the stop and quarterback Peyton Manning found Reggie Wayne to score a touchdown with just 13 seconds to go in the game.

The big rivalry game did not disappoint as the Colts improved to 9-0 on the season. However, Indianapolis has to avoid any letdown performances as they meet up with the Baltimore Ravens who are trying to emerge as a contender in the AFC. The Ravens defense pitched a shutout last week 16-0 over the Browns and if the defense starts playing even better they are really going to give teams trouble. The Ravens will actually be the slight favorites hosting the contest this week as they are 3-1 at home on the year and have also won 7 of their last 9 games. Baltimore has their chance to prove they can contend with the AFC’s best or feel the disappointment of falling back to the .500 mark.

The Ravens offense has been pretty boring of recent weeks meaning they
are getting some of their identity back. Baltimore strived in 2008 nipping
on the heels of Pittsburgh all year who eventually won the Super Bowl. The
Ravens relied on their defense and running game throughout the 2008 season,
but got away from that style of play early this season. The offense went
to the air more often behind QB Joe Flacco. Flacco is completing
a solid 65% on the season with 12 scores and 7 picks. However, the Ravens
quarterback has had just 1 game in the last 5 outing with more than 200
yards of passing. Running back Ray Rice has seen an increase
in carries and he is becoming a dangerous dual threat in the backfield.

Rice has 668 yards on the ground this season and has added 451 in the receiving game catches passes out of the backfield. It is those simple running plays and short passes that have kept Baltimore in control of the football while putting more importance on the defense. Of course Flacco and WR Derrick Mason can still make plays, but when the Ravens control the field position and time of possession they are very difficult to beat. The Ravens defense has answered as well allowing just 8 point per game in the last 3 contest. The Baltimore pass defense will get a huge challenge taking on Peyton Manning and the Colts offense. However, Baltimore held Tom Brady to 258 yards with just 1 score earlier this season and they will look to keep the Colts out of the end zone in a similar way this Sunday at home.

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Of course Peyton Manning leads the NFL averaging 319 yards per game through the air. Manning is having one of the most impressive seasons in recent memory and is on track to break an NFL record for the most 300 yard passing games in a single season. Manning put up 327 yards and 4 scores to lead the comeback efforts last Sunday night in which the Colts scored two touchdowns in the final 3 minutes of the game.

WR Reggie Wayne and tight end Dallas Clark have been the consistent playmakers. Clark was held to a pretty quiet night against the Patriots, but still caught 4 passes for 65 yards. Clark has posted 768 yards and 3 scores on the year as well. However, if the Baltimore defense is going to steal the show they must make it their primary focus to stop Reggie Wayne. Wayne had 10 catches for 126 yards against the Patriots, but the problem for defenses is Wayne has a knack for scoring touchdowns when he catches the ball and leads the team with 8 touchdowns. If the Ravens are going to keep Indianapolis out of the end zone, they will have to start by using an extra safety to shadow Wayne.

Jay’s Pick - Both defenses have success and scoring should be low. Take the under 44.