Ravens-Falcons Betting Preview: Bank on Atlanta Snapping Out of Its Funk?
USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Julio Jones (11), Lamar Jackson (8).
Betting odds: Baltimore Ravens at Atlanta Falcons
- Spread: Falcons -1.5
- Over/Under: 49
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: CBS
>> All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets
Betting market: Despite the Ravens’ big win and cover against the Raiders last week, bettors were not buying the fact that they should’ve opened as road favorites against the Falcons.
Trends to know: This would be the 15th time in the regular season that Matt Ryan has been listed as a home underdog — and the first since Week 4 of the 2016 season (+2.5 vs. Panthers), according to our Bet Labs data.
In the previous 14 games, the Falcons went 9-5 straight up and 11-3 against the spread. — John Ewing
Did you know? The Falcons are falling apart, they have lost three consecutive games SU and ATS and have scored fewer than 20 points in all three games.
Their biggest issue during the losing streak might be their rush defense, which has allowed 493 yards (5.5 yards per attempt).
Under Ryan, the Falcons are 3-9 ATS (25%) after allowing at least 100 rushing yards in three straight games since 2012, losing bettors 6.2 units in that span.
Ryan is the third-least profitable quarterback in the NFL in this spot, ahead of just Jay Cutler and Ben Roethlisberger. — Evan Abrams
Biggest mismatch: Ravens rushing attack vs Falcons defense
The Falcons rank 31st in rush defense DVOA entering Week 13 and are one of four teams to allow five or more yards per carry (Chiefs, Rams, Seahawks).
Per Football Outsiders, the Ravens’ offensive line ranks second in Power Rank, which measures success in short-yardage situations on the ground.
The Ravens’ solid run-blocking offensive line should push around a Falcons D-line that ranks 22nd in that same category and 31st overall against the run, as measured by adjusted line yards.
While you may look at Baltimore’s season rushing numbers and be less than impressed (4.1 yards per carry ranks 26th in the NFL), this is obviously a completely different Ravens rushing offense since Lamar Jackson took over as the starter and undrafted rookie running back Gus Edwards emerged.
In Jackson’s two starts, the Ravens have rushed the ball an astonishing 96 times for 509 yards — that’s an average of 5.3 yards per rush, which is what the Panthers lead the league with.
Yes, those came against two poor run defenses (Raiders and Bengals), but the Falcons have an even worse run defense. Look out for Jackson’s speed on the turf. — Stuckey
Which team is healthier? Falcons
The Falcons are still waiting for stud linebacker Deion Jones (foot) to return to a full practice, so it’s unclear if he’ll be able to play this week. Kicker Matt Bryant (back) and Calvin Ridley (ankle, elbow) also aren’t guaranteed to suit up Sunday.
The Ravens are expected to be without Joe Flacco (hip) for another week, and he could be joined on the bench by safety Tony Jefferson, slot corner Tavon Young (ankle) and right tackle James Hurst (back).
The good news? Running backs Alex Collins (leg) and Gus Edwards (ankle) are tentatively expected to suit up.
DFS edge: The Ravens’ fifth-ranked defense in overall and pass DVOA has spelled trouble for most opposing passing attacks they’ve faced this season.
Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley (ankle, elbow) should see a mix of corners Jimmy Smith and Marlon Humphrey, while Mohamed Sanu will square off the in slot with Brandon Carr if nickel corner Tavon Young (ankle) remains sidelined.
In the four games since his infamous 12-week touchdown drought, Jones found his way back to the end zone while maintaining his dominance.
Week 9 vs. Redskins: 7-121-1
Week 10 vs. Browns: 7-107-1
Week 11 vs. Cowboys: 6-118-1
Week 12 vs. Saints: 11-147-0
Bet to watch: Ravens +1.5
I already mentioned how successful Baltimore can be on the ground, which I think is the ultimate key to the game.
I also think Jackson can have some success when he does need to throw, primarily because he will have time behind an offensive line that ranks fifth in adjusted sack rate.
That unit will take on a Falcons defensive line that rarely generates any pressure, ranking 27th in that same category. Jackson has a long way to go in his development as a passer, but he can still make some throws if given time.
On the other side of the ball, the Ravens also have the personnel in the secondary to match up with the plethora of receiving options Ryan has at his disposal. The Ravens bring a top-five pass defense to Atlanta and their physical corners will go a long way in this one.
Add in a special teams advantage, which the Ravens have over most teams, and I ultimately think Lamar Jackson moves to 3-0 as a starter (a lot of that will have to do with the three favorable matchups he has drawn in his three starts). — Stuckey
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.