San Francisco 49ers vs. Baltimore Ravens Pick 12/1/19
San Francisco 49ers (10-1 SU, 6-4-1 ATS) vs. Baltimore Ravens (9-2 SU, 6-5 ATS)
Date/Time: Sunday, December 1, 1:00 PM EST
Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD
Point Spread: SF +6 / Balt -6 (MyBookie - Deposit $500 and get $250 in FREE bets!)
Over/Under Total: 46.5
The 49ers head east this week to battle the Ravens in Baltimore in a game that could be a preview of Super Bowl 53. Both teams are coming off big Week 12 wins, putting themselves in a position to get a playoff bye if they can keep rolling. This game is buried in the early Sunday window but should be the best game of the week. Sportsbooks have made the Ravens 6 point home favorites and set the game total at 46.5. The play is to take the 49ers and the 6 points. Here is the handicap.
SF Offense Has It Together Again
Kyle Shanahan had been putting on an offensive clinic for much of the year, before experiencing some rough sailing during the first part of November. Last week the Niners shifted back into high gear and should be ready for the challenge from a strong Raven defense this week. Tight end George Kittle returned after missing the previous two games with a knee injury. Kittle ties together the complex 49er offense, giving QB Jimmy Garoppolo a big target over the middle of the field and another top-notch blocker in the run game. Kittle led the domination of the Packers last week with 129 yards and a touchdown, and the rushing attack topped 100 yards, which they couldn’t do in the two games Kittle was out. Jimmy G has been playing better as the season rolls on and now boasts 20 touchdown passes but has also thrown ten picks. The running game ranks 2nd in the league in yards, and though they are not as electric as the Ravens attack, it is a running game that can control the game and break off a big play on any snap. All the talk is about how good Baltimore’s offense has been, but SF is just a small step behind. SF will have to be at their best against a red-hot Baltimore defense this week.
The Raven defense has allowed only 46 points in the past four weeks, which includes games against the Patriots, Texans, and Rams. Since Marcus Peters and Jimmy Smith joined the line up in week 7, the Ravens have taken the ball away 11 times. But the defense doesn’t match up great with SF, especially if the Raven offense can’t sprint out to a lead. The strength of the Baltimore defense is its secondary, but the strength of SF offense is their running backs and tight end. Baltimore is only 19th in opponents’ yards per carry, but recently their opponents have fallen behind fast and had to abandon the run. Look for Shanahan to stay committed to running the ball early in the game, and SF to have success and put up points and keep the game close or play with the lead. This will be the toughest challenge of the year for the Raven Defense.
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Can Anyone Stop Lamar Jackson?
If anyone has watched the last 4 Raven games, the easy answer to that question is no. Baltimore averaged 43 points in November, with the majority of those points coming in the first three-quarters of those games. Over their last six games, they have averaged over 200 rushing yards and 200 passing yards, with the most unique attack in the league. Jackson is orchestrating a running game that combines complex motion with smash-mouth running. Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards are the perfect backs for the system as they both run angry, with opponent secondaries often showing very little interest in butting heads with the pair. Jackson may not be a typical pocket passer, but he has completed over 70% of his attempts over the last four weeks, scoring 13 touchdowns in the process. Baltimore makes defenses cover the whole field, and makes all 11 defenders tackle. Over the last month, no defense has had an answer, and this includes 3 of the best defensive minds in the NFL – Bill Belichick, Romeo Crennel, and Wade Phillips.
Of course, anyone that has watched football for longer than four weeks knows every offense – no matter how good they look for one month - can be stopped. Will Baltimore be stopped or slowed down this week is the better question and one that might have a “yes” answer. The 49er defense certainly has a better chance than any defense during this hot streak. SF has talent and speed at all levels of their D. Their front 4 wins the war in the trenches every week and should be able to this week also. SF’s linebackers and secondary will not shy away from tackling Ingram and Edwards and are also 5th in the league with 11 interceptions. Prior to last week, San Fran had a few bad weeks, but last week they rebounded and held Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to 8 points on less than 200 total yards. SF’s D leads the league in sacks and should be able to frustrate Jackson if they can keep in the pocket. SF won’t completely stop Baltimore this week, but they should slow them down and keep the game close.
There Is Line Value With the 49ers
As the case has been made above, these are probably the two best teams in the league right now. With the game being played in Baltimore, the Ravens should be 3 point favorites, maybe 4 points since they are so hot. The line opened at 4½ and has been bet up to 6. The public has cashed Raven tickets the last five weeks, so they will have no hesitancy to let their winnings ride on Jackson and Company this week, potentially driving the line up another half-point. The Ravens have outscored their opponents for the year by 16 points per game while the 49ers are outscoring theirs by 15 points per game. San Fran has only lost one game, a 3 point overtime loss to the Seahawks. Has a 10-1 team ever been 6 point underdogs? This should be a three or four-point spread with money coming in reasonably evenly on both sides, but the recency bias and Jackson’s highlight reel plays have bettors pounding the home team and giving us some good line value.
Play the Road Dogs +6
The play here is to take the 10-1 team that is getting 6 points. The Ravens complete domination of the NFL can’t go on indefinitely, and the 49ers will trade punches with them this week and make this a competitive game. The team that has the ball last may win, and it may be Baltimore, but SF could easily win the game and will stay within the six-point spread. Ad: Make Balt a +25 underdog by placing them into a massive 19 point NFL teaser offered at BetAnySports!
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