The Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots have played in plenty of playoff games that will headline the NFL Films archive and I don’t expect anything less this weekend when they meet for the AFC divisional round in the NFL playoffs at 4:35 PM ET at Gillette Stadium.
A Closer Look At My Baltimore Vs New England NFL Divisional Playoff ATS Upset Pick & TV Schedule
Baltimore’s front seven pounded the snot out of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in their AFC wild card matchup a week ago, sacking the league’s passing yards leader a whopping six times while picking him off twice en route to a commanding 30-17 upset win.
If the Ravens want to pull off another upset of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in this intriguing AFC divisional pairing, they’re going to need a similar effort on defense.
Brady threw for less than 250 yards, tossed more interceptions than touchdowns or completed less than 52 percent of his passes in every Patriots loss this season except for the team’s meaningless finale against AFC East rival Buffalo. The good news for Baltimore betting backers is that the Ravens tied for 14th in the league with a +2 turnover differential.
Matchup: Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots
Date: Jan. 10, 2015
Start Time: 4:35 p.m. ET
Location: Foxboro, Massachusetts
Stadium: Gillette Stadium
TV Info: NBC
Radio: Baltimore Vs New England
Point Spread: Patriots -8.5
Game Total: 47.5
Since 2009, these two January juggernauts have met three times in the postseason, each game played in New England, with the balance leaning 2-1 towards the visiting dirty birds. There’s a sense the Ravens don’t mind playing the Patriots in Foxborough, but this time I expect Bill Belichick and the Pats to flip the script this time.
— PFTonNBCSN (@PFTonNBCSN) January 5, 2015
“Everything’s different at this point,” New England Patriots QB Tom Brady said on WEEI. “We can never change anything that’s happened in the past, nor can they. You can’t bring players out of retirement; they can’t either. It’s the guys we’ve got vs. the guys they’ve got, which that’s an entirely new team that we have and an entirely new team that they have. There’s some carryover, there’s some characteristics that are the same, but these teams have established their own identities. It’s going to be the Patriots’ 2014 version vs. the Ravens’ 2014 version, and we go from there. We’ll be able to evaluate some stuff scheme-wise that they could possibly do vs. us, that’s always helpful. But it will be determined by what happens on the field Saturday night, not anything that’s happened in the past.”
Back in 2012, the Ravens slapped the Patriots around by a score 28-13 in the AFC Championship game. However, these are two very different squads now. Ravens’ WR Anquan Bolding went off in the second half against the Patriots in that game. The Pats secondary that lost top tier CB Aqib Talib due to injury by halftime. Both are on different teams this year. Ravens also lost lynchpins TE Dennis Pitta (injury) and RB Ray Rice (you know), who had great games against New England, won’t play on Saturday.
Another kicker (pun intended), the Patriots have a more than capable secondary defense with the offseason additions of dynamic corners Darrell Revis and Brandon Browner. However, the biggest impact player in this game will be TE Rob Gronkowski, who wasn’t available in 2012, is fully healthy to play this matchup.
Most postseason wins (QB) – NFL History: Tom Brady: 18 Joe Montana: 16 Terry Bradshaw: 14 John Elway: 14 pic.twitter.com/UFMxznpyvY
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) January 10, 2015
The Patriots have the 9th best passing offense in the NFL averaging 257.6 yards per game and Gronk is Tom Brady’s top dog with 82 receptions, 1124 yards & 12 TDs on the season. Deep threat WR Brandon LaFell gained Brady’s trust half way through the season and ended 2014 with 92 receptions, 972 yards & 4 TDs.
The only way the pesky Baltimore Ravens leave Boston with a win is by attacking the Patriots suspect offensive line and putting the heat on Brady on a a cold, cold Foxboro day. Terrific Tom was sacked a measly 21 times this season. Ravens defensive ends Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs had stellar performances last week as the Ravens combined for 5 sacks over Big Ben. Throw in last weeks return of top dog DT Haloti Ngata and the Pats are in for a rough afternoon, as Ngata hurried Big Ben 4 times and knocked down a pass, according to ProFootballFocus.com.
The Ravens are oozing confidence which will be dangerous for the Pats. Last week’s victory over the Steelers was the worst thing that could of happened to the Pats this weekend.
Since John Harbaugh took over for Baltimore in 2008 he has faced Bill Belichick win three wins and four losses, but two of three wins came during the playoffs.
The NFL betting odds for this NFL playoff divisional matchup has the Patriots favored by 8.5 points over the Ravens and the game total is at 47.5 points.
The Patriots are:
- 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS loss,
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games,
- 8-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning record,
- but 3-10 ATS in their last 13 playoff games
The Ravens are:
- 5-0 ATS in their last 5 playoff road games,
- 6-0 ATS in their last 6 playoff games,
- 13-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record
I see the Patriots in the AFC Championship game, but the Ravens are my ATS upset pick today in their AFC divisional playoff.