Cardinals vs. Ravens Betting Odds & Picks: Is Baltimore Overvalued After Week 1 Blowout?

Cardinals vs. Ravens Betting Odds & Picks: Is Baltimore Overvalued After Week 1 Blowout? article feature image

Photo credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Lamar Jackson

Cardinals at Ravens Betting Odds

  • Odds: Ravens -13
  • Total: 46
  • Time: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: FOX

Odds above as of Thursday afternoon and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can exclusively bet every NFL spread this season at reduced juice (-105).

Lamar Jackson and the Ravens were the biggest surprise of Week 1, absolutely dismantling the Dolphins on the road. They’re now large 13-point favorites in Week 2 against the upstart Cardinals.

Below, our experts break down everything you need to know about this game, including our projected odds, notable mismatches, betting trends and more.

Cardinals-Ravens Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Cardinals

Arizona is dealing with just a few injuries, though none that are noteworthy.

Meanwhile, the Ravens are expected to be without starting CB Jimmy Smith (MCL) for a few weeks. CB Marlon Humphrey also missed practice on Wednesday. The lone absence of Smith is good news for the Cardinals’ past-catchers, but Arizona still owns the second-lowest implied team total (16.5) for Week 2.

Mark Ingram and Marquise Brown also popped up as limited in practice, but there’s nothing to suggest they’ll miss this game. Justin Bailey

Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Ravens -11
  • Projected Total: 46.5

This is one of the most intriguing Week 2 matchups from a handicapping perceptive.

We have to gauge just how much of the Ravens’ 59-10 stomping of Miami was them being way better than we thought vs. the Dolphins being way worse than we thought. I’m going to take the high road here and say both, to a certain extent.

Jackson should be able to torch bad defenses, and he gets another one this week.

But we have an equally challenging team to cap in the Cardinals. We didn’t see flashes of what kind of potential their Air Raid had until late in their Week 1 tie. The Ravens defense will be a much tougher test, but the unpredictability in how to game plan against the Cardinals goes in their favor this week.

It seems as if the market has overcorrected. Despite being as many as 2.5 points off my projected line at some books, it’s across pretty insignificant numbers and is a projection with less predictability, so I’m staying away from this one.

I had this total pegged at 46.5 on Sunday night, so when I saw 42.5 sitting there, I had to pounce as soon as the market opened.

Sure enough, books took a beating on the over — likely from both sharps and public bettors — and now it’s as high as 46.5 at some books. I would say that’s just right: We need to project the Cardinals’ pace to elevate the scoring environment considerably, not to mention that the Ravens offense is much more explosive than we realize and is facing a very vulnerable defense.

Kyler Murray-Kliff Kingsbury
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kyler Murray, Kliff Kingsbury

Unfortunately, I think the value in this market is all but gone. Be sure to follow me in The Action Network app to get alerts when I bet an opening number in the future. Sean Koerner

Biggest Mismatch

Ravens’ Run Offense vs. Cardinals’ Run Defense

In Jackson’s eight starts last year (including playoffs), the Ravens had a 1940s-esque 61.1% run rate and were efficient on the ground, managing 5.0 yards per carry and sporting a 54% rushing success rate.

That ground-based dominance was apparent in Week 1. While Jackson’s aerial exploits grabbed most of the headlines in the team’s 59-10 win, what really stands out is that the team continued to run relentlessly, amassing league-high marks with 46 carries and 265 yards on an aggressive 63.0% run rate.

All of that production came with positive game script against a tanking Dolphins team, but the early action suggests that the Ravens will stick with the ground game whenever they can.

In Ingram — a between-the-tackles grinder with sufficient speed and under-appreciated agility and vision — the Ravens have a player whose skill set matches the strength of their offensive line, which returned all five starters this year and in 2018 ranked No. 1 with a power run-blocking success rate of 78% (per Football Outsiders).

And that’s to say nothing of the rushing threat Jackson presents. While he had just six yards and three carries in Week 1, he’s perhaps the best dual-threat quarterback in the league: In his eight starts last year (including playoffs), he averaged 76.3 yards and 0.5 touchdowns rushing on 16 carries per game.

With Ingram and Jackson spearheading the running attack, supported by Gus Edwards and Justice Hill in the backfield, the Ravens have the means and the will to run the ball as often as possible. Given that run-game aficionado Greg Roman is the offensive coordinator, that’s likely what they will do.

And the Cardinals should be almost powerless to stop them. The Cardinals last year were No. 29 with a 68.5 run-defense grade (per Pro Football Focus), and they were actually dead last with a power run-blocking success rate allowed of 80%.

In other words, in 2018 the Cardinals were the worst team in the league at stopping the kinds of runs the Ravens executed better than any other team.

And it doesn’t help at all that the Cardinals are without their top cornerbacks in Patrick Peterson (suspension) and Robert Alford (leg, injured reserve). Their pass defense is unlikely to lend any support to their run defense.

The Ravens could be looking at yet another game of 40-plus carries. — Matthew Freedman

Expert Pick

PJ Walsh: Cardinals +13

Overreaction season is in full effect, and the market appears to be too high on the Ravens following their dismantling of the Dolphins in Week 1. Koerner projects this line at +11, indicating small line value with Arizona.

In addition, our Bet Labs data reports that bettors are biased by recent results in Weeks 1 and 2 of the NFL season and overly rely on the previous season’s records. Since 2003, underdogs that won six or fewer games the prior year are 119-84-5 (58.6%) against the spread during the first two weeks of the following season.

In fact, I wrote about this as a key mistake to avoid in Week 1, and dogs off six or fewer wins in 2018 went 6-2 ATS last week.

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