Betting Lines – AFC Ravens at Patriots NFL odds

In Sunday’s AFC wildcard matchup two perennial powerhouses will take the field in Foxborough: the host New England Patriots (10-6) and the visiting Baltimore Ravens (9-7). Both will bring their ‘A’ games but only one team can win. And despite what the early NFL betting lines might say, the Ravens will go back to Baltimore with the win and pull off a minor NFL odds upset.

Heading into the weekend the Pats are 3 ½ point favorites on most sports betting lines. With former recently crowned Comeback Player of the Year Tom Brady at the helm and three Lomardi Trophies in the trophy case it’s easy to see why the team is favored. But the Pats are a shadow of the teams that won three Super Bowls and this could be a very short playoff season for New England.

The Pats have several glaring weaknesses. Foremost the running game which averages just 120 ypg, not terrible, but the hasn’t got a single 1,000 yard rusher and delegates carries by committee. But without top possession receiver Wes Welker the running game will be relied upon even more.

The Ravens have a terrific run defense (5th best in the league at 93 ypg) and should be able to stuff Lawrence Maroney and Co. Obviously Brady will have some success in the passing game but Baltimore’s pass rush should be effective (32 sacks on the year) without Welker in the lineup. On offense the Ravens seem to have the advantage both on the ground and in the air and that’s why this team will come out on top in the sports betting line.

  1. robert chapman
    January 8th, 2010 at 11:03 | #1

    The loss of Welker changes the entire dynamic of the New England Patriots’ offense. The Patriots may be the consumate team players in pro football, but with only one week of practice and no game experience for field testing, one cannot place much confidence in their adjustments to Welker’s absence. The smart money has to be on the Ravens.

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