It’s official. The Baltimore Ravens will face the Los Angeles Chargers in the first round of the playoffs.
For those of you have short memories, or just got so caught up in the dramatic home game against the Cleveland Browns, round-one will be a rematch of Week 16. The Ravens went into StubHub Center and walloped the Chargers 22-10.
After poking around at a few different sportsbooks, we find that the Ravens have opened up as -2.5 favorites at most shops. There are many books to choose from with the same line, so it is going to come down to which online book has the most benefits that you are looking for. Here is a concise Sportsbetting.ag review to help you determine the best book for you.
Los Angeles Chargers @ Baltimore Ravens
Last time around, the Ravens tough defense held Philip Rivers to just 180 passing yards and a pair of INTs. The beauty of this was that it was done in California. Now, the Chargers have to come to Baltimore and play while facing a sea of screaming purple. It’s lucky for the Los Angeles squad that the weather looks like it will be mild this Sunday. The temperature should be about 50 degrees and Justin Berk is calling for clear skies.
As much as I want to say that the 22-10 trouncing is indicative of what we are going to see again, we have to think that the Chargers have learned a thing or two about Baltimore ball from their defeat two weeks ago. And you can bet that revenge will be on their minds.
Reasons the Ravens Need to Lookout
The Chargers have played extremely well on the road this season. The won seven of eight and covered the spread in seven of those eight games as well. Furthermore, Rivers and the Chargers have covered the spread in five out of their last six playoff games where they are listed as road-dogs. Now, this last stat doesn’t necessarily mean that the Chargers would win, even if it came to fruition once more. But it would mean that the game would be uncomfortably close. And given the defensive collapse, the Ravens saw in Week 17, it is cause for concern.
Baker Mayfield and the Browns put up 376 passing yards on the Ravens last week. This is 170 yards more than their season average. We have to give Mayfield some props, but he’s still a rookie and is nowhere near the level of field marshal or passer that Rivers is at. The Ravens need to repeat the pressure that they put on the Chargers offensive line last time around. Because Rivers won’t have to settle for field goal attempts. Lamar Jackson has played fantastically, but he is still a rookie; a rookie in a playoff game. The nerves will be high and over the last six years, when a rookie is playing in a playoff game, they are just 1-5.
Another big factor to look at is the difference between how well the Chargers run the ball while at home, versus while on the road. Los Angeles is over a full yard better per rushing play while out on the highway. At home, they average 4.1 yards per play on the ground, but once they hit the road, that number jumps to 5.3.
A Battle for the Ages
Since Lamar Jackson has taken over, nobody has been able to stop the Baltimore run game. The dynamic, triple threat attack (Kenneth Dixon, Gus Edwards, Jackson) has proven to be deadly to opposing defenses. This game could very well come down to another 2-point ending.
So, I am hesitant to place a bet on the spread. I do believe that the Ravens will get the win, but it could come down to the wire. The TOTAL is the way to go here and you should hop on it fast because it is going to grow. Right now you can still find the TOTAL at 41 points. The Chargers have an average combined score of 47 and change and the Ravens average combined score is a little over 42.
So, taking OVER the total is the best bet. Especially since we could see this one go into overtime.