Will the Patriots Beat the Ravens? – AFC Title Game

Will The Patriots Beat The Ravens? Eight Solid Reasons Why The Patriots Could Win And Cover On Sunday
by NFL Handicapper Charles Jay - Exclusive to Predictem.com

The New England Patriots are back where they want to be - with a chance to return to the Super Bowl and atone for last season’s loss to the New York Giants. In their way are the Baltimore Ravens, who despite a win over New England earlier in the campaign are still bitter over last year’s AFC title game, when they missed a 32-yard field goal in the waning moments that could have forced overtime. The Pats have the most efficient offense in the NFL, and atBetAnySportsthey are a ten-point favorite to win this Sunday.

It shouldn’t be hard to come up with eight reasons the Pats can not only advance, but of special interest to football bettors, also cover the point spread. Let’s explore:

1. First of all, the Patriots posted a +26 turnover ratio, which was the best in the National Football League. Their defense led the league in turnovers forced per drive (21.5% of the time, in fact). And this team lost only THREE fumbles.

2. The Pats also topped the NFL in points per drive and has scored a touchdown on one-third of its drives this season.

3. Tom Brady is playoff-hardened, and it is not likely that the Ravens are going to rattle him unless they get a better pass rush than they have generally displayed this season. With 4827 yards and 34 TD’s with only eight interceptions, he has an edge over Joe Flacco, no matter what heroics the Baltimore quarterback performed last week. Brady makes a negative play (i.e., an interception, fumble or sack) once for every 18.2 pass attempts, which Flacco has one negative play for every 10.9 attempts.

4. What some people don’t realize is that the Patriots are able to get some balance on offense, averaging 136.5 rushing yards per game. Stevan Ridley had 1263 yards, and Shane Vereen is emerging as a contributor, although it has been more in the role of a receiver.

5. The Pats have converted 49% on third down, which means they put themselves in good position on first and second down, and that will put a lot of pressure on the Baltimore defense.

6. Of special interest tosports gamblers, since the AFL-NFL merger (1970), home favorites have covered 57.6% of the time in the championship round, and favorites of 7 to 9.5 points have been a 75% proposition.

7. If the Ravens want to establish a running game, they may have a harder time than expected. New England limited opposing teams to 3.9 yards per rushing attempt.

8. New England has torched two of the top defenses in the league (Houston & San Francisco) for 117 points in a three games. They have scored 72 touchdowns on the regular season, which is 31 more than they gave up. There isn’t much on the Ravens’ stop unit which is going to intimidate the Pats.

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