Ravens vs Patriots NFL Week 3 Picks, Prediction

Ravens vs Patriots NFL Week 3 Picks, Prediction article feature image

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: Lamar Jackson.

  • AFC powers face off today when the Patriots host the Ravens.
  • Baltimore blew a late lead last week against Miami, while New England won in Pittsburgh.
  • Phillip Kall breaks down the matchup and makes his betting pick below.

Ravens vs. Patriots Odds

Sunday, Sept. 25
1 p.m. ET
Ravens Odds
-112o / -109u
Patriots Odds
-112o / -109u
Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

It is hard to start a breakdown featuring the Ravens this week without addressing the elephant in the room. The blown 21-point fourth-quarter lead in Week 2 was atrocious. The offense could not sustain drives and the defense just made mistake after mistake. However, taking a glass half full view, to blow a big lead you have to build up a sizable one.

While Baltimore was in its score fest, New England was fighting its way out of a defensive struggle with Pittsburgh. After two weeks, it looks like this will need to be the Patriots' path to victory each week too.

They have yet to score over 20 points on the season but haven't given up 20 points in a game either. They held Miami’s explosive offense to 13 points and will need to recreate that success against Baltimore’s speed-filled offense.

Let’s take a deeper look to see if the Ravens will run away with this one or if the Patriots will force them into a smash-mouth style.

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Ravens vs. Patriots Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Ravens and Patriots match up statistically:

Ravens vs. Patriots DVOA Breakdown
Overall DVOA111
Pass DVOA111
Rush DVOA3217
Overall DVOA1121
Pass DVOA1625
Rush DVOA714

Baltimore’s offense, since Lamar Jackson was named the starter, has terrified opponents with its dynamic run game. A combination of scheme, speed, power, and misdirection made the Ravens nearly unstoppable. That has not been the case this season. If you exclude Jackson's 79-yard run against Miami, the Ravens would have the third-fewest rushing yards in the NFL.

Despite lacking a run game, they still rank seventh in yards per drive. This should be a hats-off moment to Jackson’s development as a passer as he ranks second in yards per attempt. This success has come even after the Ravens traded away Hollywood Brown this offseason, which raised questions about receiving depth.

However, they have managed to stress defenses by stretching the field with speed and utilizing Mark Andrews in the middle of the field. This will be a major problem for New England’s seventh-worst coverage unit per PFF.

As for the Ravens defense, it is hard to get a feel for where they are. They played well through seven quarters, but that last quarter against the Dolphins was horrific.

Their defensive front has been able to create pressure, ranking third in pressure grade per PFF. The coverage unit bears the blame for the broken coverages against Miami, though there is still reason to be optimistic. They have a new scheme and three of their starting defensive backs did not play last year. The talent is there and as the year goes on they should tighten things up.

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Turning to the Patriots' offense, there are a lot of questions they will need to answer. The Pats have managed to be productive as they rank ninth in yards per drive but not successful as they rank 27th in points per drive. A discrepancy like this comes down to where the Patriots typically held an advantage and that is situational football. This is where the lack of an offensive coordinator has come back to bite them.

Per Pro Football Reference, when the Pats cross into opponent territory they drop from 6.4 yards per play to 3.9. This is even worse in the red zone where they average just 1.4. The Patriots lack the dynamic playmakers teams rely on when they are at a coaching disadvantage. We saw last week Nelson Agholor made the play to swing things their way but it’s hard to imagine anyone on their offense regularly turning a 50/50 situation into a big play.

For the troubles their offense has converting yards to points, their defense has managed to be the inverse. They rank 18th yards per drive allowed but 10th in points allowed per drive.

Similarly, to their offense, this mismatch of production and success comes down to which side of the field they are on. When their opponent is in their own territory they average 5.1 yards per play but once they cross the 50 that plummets to 3.7, per Pro Football Reference.

Betting Picks

The Patriots want to play in low-scoring physical games so they can rely on their defense and running game. This allows them to stay on schedule and not have to push the ball downfield to their typically overmatched receivers.

The Ravens, on the other hand, feel like any play can blow the game open. This explosiveness is even more valuable against the Patriots who lack that burst ability. Even if the Patriots are controlling this game and playing their brand of football, it is hard to imagine Baltimore ever being more than one big play from flipping the script.

A field goal spread is a complete shock to me in this game. My only thought is this must be an overreaction to what happened last week against Miami. We saw New England have a good outing on offense against a T.J. Watt-less Steelers team and still managed to score just 17 points. As long as the Ravens' defense doesn’t blow coverage, they should be a tougher challenge.

The only question mark for Baltimore is the status of Jackson's elbow. Fortunately, in what is unlikely to be a shootout, this matters much less. Plus we saw last week he still is a menace using his legs.

This spread looks too good to be true, but I am going to be hammering it. Trust Baltimore to make up for its only quarter of bad football and take down the Patriots.

FanDuel Quickslip: Ravens -2.5 | Bet to -5.5

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