SNF: Week 10 Ravens-Patriots Betting Preview
SNF: Week 10 Ravens-Patriots Betting Preview
Fresh off of squeaking by the NFL’s worst team in a Monday Night Game against the Jets, the Patriots come home to Foxboro for another prime time game to find the one team that has been their Achilles’ heel under coach Bill Belichick. Tom Brady is gone, and Cam Newton is now commanding a locker room while dressed as a fashion model. However, Belichick is still Belichick, and the Ravens have just re-loaded their defense and re-tooled their offense around reigning-MVP Lamar Jackson.
Offensively, those following football know the drill with the Ravens: They lead the league in rushing yards and rushing attempts per game and use a big dose of designed runs for quarterback Lamar Jackson in addition to trying to design chunk run plays for their running backs, Gus Edwards, and the electric rookie J.K. Dobbins. The team’s identity is running the football with sporadic passing attempts from Jackson sprinkled into his pass-catchers: deep-threat Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, tight end Mark Andrews, and supporting wide receivers Miles Boykin and Willie Snead IV. The Ravens do have some notable offensive line issues; however: franchise left tackle Ronnie Stanley was injured and is out for the season, and right guard and Hall-of-Fame lock Marshall Yanda retired from the team after last season. Bill Belichick will likely be spending all week trying to figure out how to get through the Ravens’ offensive line to get to Jackson, now that the line is just league-average instead of top-tier.
The Patriots look….to put this gently, rough. Yes, they beat the Jets 30-27, but it’s fair to question how many points Clemson would put up on the Jets’ secondary. The team still has major offensive issues and relies on a Damien Harris/Rex Burkhead-led run game to supplement quarterback Cam Newton’s rushing attempts. Their lone bright spot of late has been the development of wide receiver Jakobi Meyers, but Meyers is no one’s idea of a primary WR1 in an NFL offense. Julian Edelman has looked washed. Second-year wideout N’keal Harry has disappointed, and the Patriots have no notable tight ends on the roster. Cam Newton admirably put the team on his back prior to his COVID diagnosis, but since he’s been back, the offense has looked anemic at best.
Defensively, the Ravens get their star cornerback Marlon Humphrey back for this game, in addition to another game for newly-acquired edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue to assimilate into the defense. The Ravens are loaded at all three levels of the defense due to shrewd signings by general manager Eric Decosta: Trading for cornerback Marcus Peters last season has paid dividends to pair him with Humphrey, as well as obtaining defensive linemen Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe this offseason. Linebackers Matt Judon and Patrick Queen have also been sturdy in the second-level of the defense. It will be difficult for the Patriots to get much offense going as they’re going to face vastly more difficult pass rush and coverage units than they did against the toothless Jets. The Patriots did not top 20 points against an opponent in the month prior to the Jets game, and this game looks to have the Patriots reverting to having trouble scoring.
The Patriots’ defense is still the same setup as always: They’re built from back to front with reigning Defensive Player of the Year cornerback Stephon Gilmore and twins Jason & Devin McCourty manning the other cornerback slot and safety accordingly. Their front-seven defense is still a lot of players who are unknown to most casual fans as they’ve had numerous players opt out of the season with COVID concerns, like the captain of the defense, Dont’a Hightower. The issue here is that the team doesn’t really have a lot of speedy linebackers to set edges to contain Jackson, Dobbins, or Edwards, so even if Gilmore and the McCourty twins show well in the passing game defensively, it might not make a difference in terms of stopping the Ravens’ offense.
Player Props and Bets
I believe taking Lamar Jackson over 52.5 rushing yards to be the right move here. As I just laid out, the Patriots have had trouble scoring outside of the Jets game, and the Ravens manufacture a lot of rushing attempts just by their offense in general being run-focused and from game-script if they go up on the Patriots by 7-10 points and are just playing keep away.
My betting analysis on the game? I believe the under 43.5 points is the play here as well as Ravens -6.5. I think the game might set some type of record in terms of how quickly it will be from minute one to minute 60: both teams will look to play defense and run the ball to keep the clock running. I just don’t see how Cam Newton and the Patriots run game is going to be able to put points up against a defense that has no discernible weakness other than maybe safety, but the Patriots don’t have the tight end talent to exploit the matchup. Add in a motivated Ravens team still chasing the Steelers for the AFC North title needing every victory they can get. I think this is a 10+ point victory for Baltimore, assuming Lamar Jackson and company play to their average offensive output.