New Orleans Saints (10-3 SU, 6-7 ATS)at Baltimore Ravens (8-4 SU, 5-6-1
ATS), Week 15 NFL,1:00 PM EST, December 19th, 2010, M&T Bank Stadium(Natural
Grass), Baltimore, Md.
by Jeff Hochman of JHSportsline.com
Betting Odds:N.O. +1/Bal -1
Over/Under Total: 43.5
The New Orleans Saints will look to win its seventh game in a row when they travel Noth to play the Baltimore Ravens for this crucialweek fifteen match-up.
New Orleans stated the season slow but has sure come on like gangbusters since losing to Cleveland back in October. Last week, the Saints defeated St. Louis 31-13 as 9-point home chalk. Malcolm Jenkins intercepted two passes near the Saints’ goal line and returned one of them 96 yards for his first career touchdown. The Saints defense gave up a lot of yards, but was helped by those two interceptions in the red zone. Chris Ivory rushed for 47 yards before he hurt his right hamstring and than he was rested for the remainder of the game. The Saints rushed for 132 yards as a team, helped by the return of Pierre Thomas, who had missed the last nine games with a sprained left ankle. Thomas rushed for 39 yards and also had 29 receiving yards.
Baltimore got a rare walk-off defensive pick six to end the game last Monday night in Houston. They won despite getting out-gained by a whopping 236 yards. Most of those yards came through the air as Houston did not even try to run the ball all that much. The Ravens stayed one game behind Pittsburgh in the AFC North despite blowing a 28-7 lead in the second half. Matt Schaub threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Andre Johnson and a 2-point conversion to Jacoby Jones with 21 seconds left in regulation to cap the unlikely rally, but threw a bad pass under pressure that ended the game right on the spot.
The Saints are on a 9-1 ITS (in the stats) streak, and it should come to no surprise that they are 8-2 straight-up in those games. Baltimore is 5-5 ITS in their last 10 games, but have managed to win seven of those 10 games. Their defense has struggled against good passing teams so this match-up will surely be a stiff test. The Saints are averaging 285 passing yards per game, and the team scores just under 30 points on the road this season.
Baltimore is averaging 22.6 points and 334.8 yards per game, while the defense is allowing 17.6 points and 319.8 yards per game. They are one of the best teams at forcing turnovers and have great leadership as well. Ray Lewis continues to get it done as one of the top linebackers and he has 117 tackles with two sacks, and Dawan Landry has 88 tackles and a sack. Terrell Suggs has 10 sacks and Haloti Ngata has five and a half as the Ravens have 24 as a team. Ed Reed has four interceptions and Josh Wilson has three as the Ravens have 13 interceptions as a team. They can be scored on and their defense has looked vulnerable against good passing teams.
These two teams have not played each other since 2006, which saw the Ravens defeat New Orleans in the Dome 35-22 as 1-point underdogs. Drew Brees threw for 383 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw three interceptions which is very rare for Brees. The late Steve McNair (R.I.P.)was the QB for Baltimore but it was the running game that stole the show. Marques Colston has two touchdowns to go with his 163 receiving yards for the Saints.
The Saints are 10-2 SU and 10-2 ATS in Non-Conference games over the last three seasons. The Ravens are 29-10 SU and 25-13 ATS in games played on natural grass.
Jeff’sPick to cover the point spread: New Orleans Saints +1 & Over 43.5.
The Saints are playing better and the Ravens are coming off a short week. The Over is cashing a robust 56.8% in all NFL games this season on the blind.Play the Saints and Over!