Ravens vs Saints Updated Odds, Picks: Monday Night Football
Getty Images. Pictured: Lamar Jackson (No. 8) and Ravens coach John Harbaugh (right).
Ravens vs. Saints Odds
The Ravens have two more wins than the Saints, but both remain very much alive in their respective divisions. Baltimore can maintain its cushion at the top of the AFC North with a victory in the Big Easy on Monday night. Meanwhile, 3-5 New Orleans can move into a three-way tie atop the NFC South.
Let's take a closer look at this Monday night matchup to see where the betting value might lie.
Ravens vs. Saints Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Ravens and Saints match up statistically:
Ravens vs. Saints DVOA Breakdown
Baltimore’s offense came out smoking to start the season, but has been grounded in recent weeks. Overall, the Ravens rank seventh in EPA per Play, but have been just average over the past four weeks.
The biggest difference has been in the passing game. In Weeks 1-4, Baltimore ranked fifth in EPA per dropback. That number has plummeted to 21st in Weeks 5-8, signaling real issues when Lamar Jackson has to throw.
Injuries certainly haven’t helped. Baltimore recently lost No. 1 receiver Rashod Bateman to a season-ending injury, while TE Mark Andrews is out and Gus Edwards is doubtful. The latter would sting even more with J.K. Dobbins already missing in a backfield that can't seem to build any momentum or rhythm.
Ravens -1.5 | Saints +1.5
The Ravens defense has also graded out much poorer (26th in Success Rate and EPA per Play) than most would have expected coming into the year, especially considering positive turnover variance.
Injuries haven’t helped in the secondary and the linebackers have struggled to find consistency, which caused Eric DeCosta to trade for Roquan Smith earlier this week.
Under the tutelage of a new coordinator and scheme, I’d expect this unit to trend up as the season progresses, especially since Smith should provide a boost at a position of need. Marcus Williams' eventual return will also help at safety, but slot cornerback will remain an exploitable area for opposing quarterbacks.
The Saints won’t have any pity for the Ravens injury situation. They’ve also been battered and bruised all year on both sides of the ball. The wide receiver position has been hit particularly hard for an offense that has still run pretty efficiently with backup quarterback Andy Dalton, who recently took over as the full-time starter.
For reference, out of 38 quarterbacks with a minimum of 100 plays this season, Dalton ranks ninth in EPA+CPOE composite, while Jameis Winston sits at 20th. That gap is even wider when you look at Adjusted EPA per play with the edge being seventh to 28th in favor of Dalton.
Overall, the offense has been extremely efficient, but has been burnt by turnovers. If you remove turnover variance, the Saints actually rank sixth in EPA per Play and third in Success Rate on offense.
Meanwhile, the Saints defense has also been unlucky in the turnover department. Their numbers improve from average to a borderline top-five unit if you compare them among the rest of the league without turnovers and adjust for opponent.
As usual, New Orleans has shut down opposing ground games, but has seen a decrease in pressure rate, which is certainly cause for concern moving forward.
It's worth noting Baltimore is coming off extended rest after playing in Tampa Bay on Thursday night in its previous game. That means John Harbaugh has had extra time to prepare, which has usually ended with positive results during his time in the Charm City.
Since his first year in Baltimore, Harbaugh is 16-9-2 ATS (64%) with 10 or more days in between games, covering by more than four points per game. That also includes an 18-8-1 (69.2%) ATS record in the first half with double-digit preparation days. That makes him the most profitable 1H coach (of 126 in our Action Labs database) in this situation since 2003.
In fact, nobody has been more profitable to back than Harbaugh in the first half over the past 20 years at 130-95-8 ATS (57.8%). The same is true for Lamar Jackson (36-19-2 in the 1H) among quarterbacks.
Over 46.5 | Under 46.5
So, what does all of that mean? Trends are completely useless without any causation. In this case, I believe the Ravens usually have an excellent game plan, especially in the scripted portion and even more so with extra time in between games. Jackson's speed also can take some time to adjust to for opposing defenses, who simply can't simulate it in a practice setting.
The scripted portion will be even more critical for the Ravens in this particular game since they will not be at full strength in the passing game and will be facing a stingy Saints run defense.
From a live betting perspective, I'd target a live under at 50.5 or better, especially if the Ravens jump out to a fast start.