The premier match-up Monday Night happens in New Orleans where the Baltimore Ravens will take on the Saints. The 6-4 Ravens enter battling for the top spot in the competitive AFC North, while the Saints are still challenging the Falcons for the right to represent the NFC South in the post-season. Even though that division is brutal right now, someone’s gotta win it, and a win on Monday Night Football would put New Orleans in the drivers seat. New Orleans was brutal last week against Cincinnati and will eagerly be looking for a bounceback performance. It’s a double-bill of Monday Night Football to end your betting week and we’ve got you covered here at The Sports Geek. Read on below for full game thoughts and analysis, as well as our featured wager to end your betting week.
Ravens vs. Saints Betting Odds:
Baltimore Ravens +3.5 (-120)
@ New Orleans Saints -3.5 (+100)
Over 51 (-110)
Under 51 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
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Ravens vs. Saints Pick:
Even though New Orleans last outing against the Bengals was just one 60-minute football game, it’s tough to ignore just how awful they were. It was a pivotal clash, on their own turf, and they were completely dismantled by a mediocre football team. While the Bengals have definitely improved their play of late, it’s no excuse for a complete no show from the Saints. Add that in with their collapse the week prior against the 49ers, and a trend of bad performances is starting to shine through. This Saints squad is inconsistent, but lately they’ve been consistently inept at both sides of the game.
Tonight they’ll take on yet another hungry team, as Baltimore enters with the divisional crown firmly on its mind. Look for Baltimore to continue its smashmouth brand and a heavy dosage of Justin Forsett is definitely in the cards tonight. The Saints cannot defend the run very well and his success should in turn open things up for Joe Flacco in the passing game. New Orleans has surrended an abysmal 294 rushing yards to their previous two opponents, and that figure should drastically rise once more tonight.
For New Orleans, the big question will be the health of Jimmy Graham. The star tight end will play but his health remains a big doubt. When he’s been healthy, New Orleans has been great and seemingly moved the football with ease. When he’s not, the team really struggles and doesn’t look dynamic at all. They really rely on him and their success tonight revolves around him. This is especially true when you factor in how dominant Baltimore is at stuffing the run. They only concede 3.6 yards per carry and no team has put up triple digit rushing yards on them since Week 5. It’ll be up to the out-of-form Brees to get points tonight for New Orleans.
Can the Saints possibly lose three home games in a row? Yes, they certainly can because this isn’t a good team and their best players are either regressing (Brees), injured (Graham), or just not very good. Baltimore is a complete team and they should win the battle in the trenches and control the game with their running game. Their versatility on offense will be paramount to moving the chains, and I’ll take the points with the more rested and complete squad tonight. Look for the Ravens to get the cover tonight.
PICK = Ravens +3.5 (-120)