Baltimore at New England Odds, Expert Pick & TV Info

Posted by Kenny Bell on Friday,December 9, 2016 8:37, EDT in

On Monday night, New England can clinch the AFC East division title for the eighth consecutive season with a win and a Miami loss (on Sunday), which would be the longest streak of division titles in NFL history. Baltimore has won four of its past five games and enters Week 14 tied with Pittsburgh for first place in the AFC North. The Pats are solid favorites on NFL betting.

Baltimore at New England Odds, Expert Pick & TV Info

When: Monday, Dec. 12, 8:30 PM ET
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Mass.
TV: ESPN
Radio: Baltimore / New England
Stream OptionNFL Live
Opening NFL Lines: Patriots -7 (44.5)

Why Bet on Baltimore?

Last week, quarterback Joe Flacco passed for 381 yards and four touchdowns in the Ravens’ 38-6 win over Miami. Baltimore built a 24-0 halftime lead behind the league’s second-ranked defense and Flacco, who went 27 for 34 for 258 yards and three scores. Two of Flacco’s TD passes went to tight end Dennis Pitta, who’s enjoying a fine season in his return from a second hip surgery. Pitta had nine catches for 90 yards and leads Baltimore with 61 receptions, but he hadn’t reached the end zone since December 2013.

Despite sitting on top of the division, the Ravens are given just a 31.6 percent chance of winning it because of their schedule. Baltimore is projected to play the toughest remaining schedule in the NFL. Pittsburgh (7-5), meanwhile, has the sixth-easiest one. If the Ravens don’t win the AFC North, they still have a shot at a wild-card berth. The Denver Broncos currently hold the second wild-card spot, but they have the second-toughest remaining schedule behind Baltimore.

The Ravens know their chances of topping New England are tied to their ability to slow down Tom Brady. They’ve won two of the four postseason games between the teams since 2010, and they allowed an average of 13.5 points in the wins and an average of 29 points in the losses.

Baltimore has held Brady in check despite losing seven of 10 meetings against him (including playoffs). He has completed 58.2 percent of his passes against the Ravens, throwing 12 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions (76.5 rating).

Why Bet on New England?

The Patriots improved to a 10-2 record after a 26-10 win against the Los Angeles Rams last week. The Patriots secured 10 wins for the 14th straight season (2003-2016), second only to the 16 straight 10-win seasons by San Francisco (1983-1998). Brady won his 201st career start (including the postseason), the most victories by a starting QB in NFL history. With a victory here and a Miami loss Sunday, the Patriots as noted will become the first team in NFL history to win eight consecutive division titles.

Brady is 7-1 as a starter this season and his only loss came against the highest-ranked defense he’s faced this season (the Seattle Seahawks, who have the No. 8 defense). This week’s game will feature the Patriots sixth-ranked offense against the Ravens’ top ranked defense.

Tight end Martellus Bennett (ankle, shoulder) returned to practice Thursday. Bennett sat out Wednesday and has been missing practice time for the past several weeks. It’s clear he’s not 100 percent, and Bennett’s role in the passing game has fallen off dramatically even in the absence of Rob Gronkowski

In the Patriots’ two most recent games vs. the Ravens, both wins, Brady and the Patriots put up 41 points in a regular-season contest at M&T Bank Stadium in 2013; and then he passed for 367 yards and three touchdowns as New England scored 35 points and won a 2014 playoff game at Gillette Stadium.

The last time the Patriots and Ravens played, New England cornerback Malcolm Butler totaled zero defensive snaps, as he was fifth on the cornerback depth chart. Now his 14 pass breakups lead the NFL, and he has two interceptions. A potential Butler vs. Steve Smith matchup is compelling.

The Patriots are 7-1 all-time against Baltimore in the regular season, including 4-0 in home games. Brady owns a 14-6 record when playing on Monday Night Football. Brady has thrown three or more touchdowns in a Monday Night game nine times, including four four-touchdown performances. Brady has 44 touchdown passes on Monday Night Football, the fourth most in MNF history.

Baltimore at New England Expert Pick: New England Patriots

Ravens are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games.
Patriots are 9-3- 2 ATS in their last 14 home games.

Patriots and under in NFL betting.