The Baltimore Ravens (1-1, 1-1 ATS, 1-1 O/U) head on the road to battle the New England Patriots (1-1, 0-1-1 ATS, 0-2 O/U) in an AFC clash on Sunday afternoon. The Ravens beat the NY Jets and could not hold a fourth-quarter lead in a narrow home defeat against the Dolphins last week. The Patriots rebounded from the week one defeat with a road win against the Steelers.
These AFC rivals last met in 2020 in a game the Patriots won by a 23-17 score.
Ravens Squander Huge Lead in First Loss
The Baltimore Ravens are 1-1 after two games. They covered the 6.5-point spread in a 24-9 road win against the Jets in week one. John Harbaugh’s squad enters their second road game of the season eager to put the last one behind them. They were up big and surrendered 28 points in the fourth quarter in 42-38 home loss to the Dolphins in a game that had the Ravens favored by three points.
Lamar Jackson put forth a valiant effort in the defeat, accumulating 318 passing yards and 119 yards on the ground. The 25-year-old star has 531 passing yards and 136 rushing yards. His performance is encouraging considering he was inconsistent in 2021. Kenyan Drake has received most of the carries but is struggling. The 28-year-old has 39 rushing yards on 17 carries. Baltimore is hoping RB JK Dobbins will be ready to return from a knee injury.
LAMARVELOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 18, 2022
TUNE IN ON CBS! pic.twitter.com/nCyyHMqU0G
Rashod Bateman made four catches leading to 108 receiving yards last week, which included a 75-yard touchdown reception. He will be targeted quite a bit, especially considering Devin Duvernay (head) is questionable. The Baltimore offense accumulated 473 total yards against Miami which is an encouraging sign and they were prepared for the cover-zero blitzing.
The Ravens' defense was solid in week one but had trouble containing Tua Tagovailoa, surrendering a whopping 469 passing yards. They also allowed Miami to score all four times in the red zone. The unit has four sacks in two games. The pass defense stands last in the league while the rush defense is 8th. Cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey (groin) and Marcus Peters (knee) are expected to play . Baltimore has scored 62 points in two games, good for fifth overall. The defense has squandered 51 points, positioning them 23rd in the NFL.
Patriots Rebound in Win vs. Steelers
The New England Patriots enter their home opener with some confidence. They were three-point dogs in an ugly 20-7 defeat in the season opener in Miami and last week were three-point favorites in a 17-14 road win against the Steelers on the road. The Pats have played two strong defensive teams so far and that theme continues against a strong Ravens squad in this matchup.
Mac Jones has been decent in his two performances. He had 213 passing yards in Miami and connected on only 60% of his pass attempts, totaling 252 passing yards with one TD in Pittsburgh. Jones has 465 passing yards with two touchdowns and has tossed one pick in each game. Damien Harris has received a majority of the carries. The 25-year-old RB has been productive, accumulating 119 rushing yards on an average of 5 yards per carry. He has a daunting matchup against a strong Ravens rush defense.
Jakobi Meyers continues to be targeted heavily by Jones. The 25-year-old WR had 55 receiving yards in the opener and 95 against the Steelers. He will play a key factor in this one considering the Ravens are vulnerable against the pass. Meyers is listed as questionable with a knee injury. The Pats' offense was much better in week two and finally don’t have to worry about crowd volume when calling plays at home after two road games to begin the season.
The New England defense has been stellar. They had a bit of trouble defending the pass against the Dolphins but shut down the Steelers, conceding 168 passing yards and 243 total yards. Last season, the Pats were among the best in pass defense and stand ninth against the pass and fifth against the run in two games. New England has scored 24 points in two games, ranking them 30th overall. The defense has allowed 34 points, landing them eighth in the NFL.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
This is an interesting matchup of 1-1 teams. The Baltimore offense is generating yards in the air and on the ground. So far Lamar Jackson has been spectacular. Meanwhile, the New England offense has not been productive or flashy, scoring only seven and 17 points respectively in their two games. Overall I like what I’ve seen from the Ravens more than the Patriots through two games.
Furthermore, the Patriots defense did not fare well in the season opener, squandering 270 passing yards against Tua Tagovailoa. While they were effective last week, it was against a subpar QB in Mitch Trubisky. Lamar 'Action' Jackson feasted on the Dolphins with 318 passing yards along with 119 rushing yards and I expect him to have a strong performance against a pass defense that hasn’t looked as strong as last year through two games.
Full-Game Total Pick
I anticipate points to be at a premium in this matchup. The Ravens' offense will produce after scoring 38 points last week however it’s always different in a tough road environment. They only had 24 points against the Jets in their lone road game. The Patriots' defense is probably a top 10 unit and while Jackson will dazzle again, Baltimore won’t pile on the points.
In addition, the New England offense has yet to reach 20 points and this is an offense that will run frequently. They rushed 31 times last week and had possession for 33 minutes. Let’s not forget about the Ravens' defense. They ranked #1 against the run last year and Damien Harris likely won’t have his usual success. The under has cashed in three of the Ravens’ last four games and is also 4-0 in the Patriots' last four September games.