Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots Betting Preview

patriots oddsAfter taking a quick glance at the early NFL Divisional Round betting lines at online betting giant, one thing is obvious – the winners from last weekend’s Wildcard Weekend games will have their work cut out for them.
Three of the for games feature the betting underdog getting at least seven points. And the forth underdog, the Dallas Cowboys, are getting six points. The last time there was this much of a discrepancy in the NFL Divisional Round spreads was back in 2008. For what it’s worth, the dogs went 2-2 straight-up (SU) and 3-1 against the spread (ATS) during the Divisional Round in 2008.
The NFL wagering action kicks-off late Saturday afternoon from New England as the 11-6 wildcard Ravens visit the 12-4 and AFC East champion Patriots. Coming off an impressive 30-17 win in Pittsburgh last Saturday night, the Ravens head to Foxborough as seven-point underdogs. Even though the Patriots were forth in the NFL in scoring, averaging 29.3 points per game, the Tom Brady led offense scored over 24 points just once in their last five games.
Meanwhile, the Ravens ranked No. 6 in the NFL in scoring defense; allowing just 18.9 points per outing during the regular season. More importantly, the Baltimore D is playing their best ball at the right time of the season. Over their last five games, they surrendered more than 17 points only once – a 25-13 loss to the Houston Texans in Week 16.
Just two years removed from winning their second Super Bowl championship, the Joe Flacco led Ravens won’t be intimidated in New England. Besides last weekend’s impressive win at the always hostile Heinz Field, the Ravens have played some of their best ball on the road over the last couple of years. During their Super Bowl run in 2012-13, the Ravens won at Denver in the Divisional Round despite being 9.5-point underdogs. The following week in the AFC Conference Championship, they took out the Patriots on their home turf despite being eight-point underdogs. In other words, the Ravens are no stranger to getting up for a big game.
Looking at recent NFL betting trends, bettors that have taken touchdown or greater underdogs during the Divisional Round have profited quite nicely. Over the last eight seasons, teams getting seven or more points are 12-6 ATS during the second weekend of the NFL Playoffs.
Last but certainly not least, the Ravens traditionally play the Patriots very close. Even though the Patriots were victorious in five out of their last eight meetings and favored in seven of the games, they beat the Ravens by more than six points only once.
Considering the numbers above, in addition to the Ravens recent pedigree for winning big games, Baltimore plus seven points is the obvious play.
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