Bills vs Ravens Odds, Picks, Prediction for Week 4
Patrick Smith/Getty Images. Pictured: Mark Andrews (left) and Lamar Jackson.
- The Bills are favored by a field goal today in Baltimore.
- Buffalo lost in Miami last week, while the Ravens beat the Patriots.
- Phillip Kall breaks down the game and makes his prediction below.
Bills vs. Ravens Odds
The Bills looked like an unstoppable force, ready to blow through the NFL, until their Week 3 outing against Miami — and an awful conglomeration of injuries — showed they're mortal.
Unfortunately, the injury report hasn't changed this week. Meanwhile, the Ravens have played hopscotch between “Wow!” and “What were you thinking?!?!” plays.
If Baltimore can start limiting those negative plays, it should be able to work its way into the conversation as one of the NFL's best. There's no better time to start that than against the Super Bowl favorites.
Both of these teams suffered heartbreaking losses to the Dolphins, so one will be .500 after this week (barring a tie). Let’s take a deep dive and see if Buffalo reclaims their place atop the league or if Baltimore says, "I’m the captain now."
Bills vs. Ravens Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Bills and Ravens match up statistically:
Bills vs. Ravens DVOA Breakdown
Buffalo produced 497 yards of total offense and held the Dolphins to 212 last week, and lost. How did that defeat happen? Failed execution.
Before halftime, a fumbled snap cost the Bills a field goal. Their third-last drive saw a field goal get blocked. On their second last drive, they failed to convert four times from the 2-yard line. Finally, on their last drive, Isaiah McKenzie failed to get out of bounds, and the game ended.
These all seem like things that simply fell the wrong way for Buffalo and should be correctable. However, the Bills are 0-7 in one-score games since the start of last season. Like Keanu Reeves refers to in "The Replacements," it seems to be a quicksand effect.
The Bills' sitting at first and goal from the 2-yard line is a perfect example. With Josh Allen and their weapons, this should be easy. Instead, they force plays rather than stick to what got them there and fall apart.
In Weeks 1 and 2, Buffalo forced seven turnovers and converted 19 pressures into nine sacks. Against the Dolphins, though, they forced zero turnovers and had one sack on six pressures, per Pro Football Reference.
This defense still may be fierce, but the game-swinging plays may come less often without key players in the secondary. It will be up to the offense to find more stability and consistency to stay among the NFL elite.
Otherwise, Buffalo may become the Mike Tyson of NFL teams. You just need to survive the burst plays and take it down when the pressure mounts.
As for the Ravens, honestly, most of the Bills' notes can be copied and pasted here. Baltimore's offense is dynamic but struggles to find balance and consistency. The defense has built its name on game-swinging plays.
Baltimore's offensive struggles have come from a lack of a true running game. Ravens running backs are averaging just 3.7 yards per carry and 52 per game. This offense has been known over the years for its running game.
There is optimism that as J.K. Dobbins gets re-acclimated to the offense and when Gus Edwards returns that improvement will come. Until then, this offense is Lamar Jackson or bust.
Good news: So far, Jackson has answered the call. He's Pro Football Focus' top-ranked quarterback so far. Even breaking down his play by run and pass, PFF has him as a top-three thrower and runner. If he can keep it up for the entire season, he may go to the negotiation table with another MVP under his belt.
Baltimore's defense does have an excellent ability to force game-changing plays, but it also allows opponents to do whatever they want. We saw the first signs of this against Miami. The Ravens forced two turnovers in the first half before crumbling in the second.
Against New England, Baltimore gave up huge plays the whole first half. However, the Ravens continued to play opportunistically and forced four second-half turnovers. Just like their offense, they need to find consistency to prevent another collapse like they suffered against Miami.
At the start of the week, I had no idea which side to turn to in this game. It felt like picking one team was essentially trying to call who would have the ball last.
Then I hopped to the Action App to see how our experts were picking this game. Astonishingly, it was clear 12-0 that the Ravens were the side they liked. The betting agreed, with 80% of the money is on the Ravens to cover.
After checking for what I had been missing, it was the weather. Rarely, impactful early in the year but in Baltimore there is a 90% chance of rain with 10-15 mph winds.
This pushed the game from who can make more plays to which offense will make fewer mistakes? This made the answer clear: Baltimore.
With wet and windy weather, the Ravens have the edge. Baltimore ranks 13th in run block grade, according to Pro Football Focus, while Buffalo is dead last.
Also, bad weather means your mistakes are amplified. I mentioned Buffalo being beaten up and struggling to force those plays last week. The Bills will also likely put the ball in harm's way more than the Ravens. Jackson's turnover-worthy play rate is only 2.9% compared to Allen’s 5.2% per PFF.
Follow the money and the experts. Trust Baltimore in a weather-stricken game.