The AFC Divisional Round betting odds have been set. The Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots will go head-to-head in the NFL post-season for the fourth time since the 2010 postseason, and the stakes couldn’t be any higher.
— PFTonNBCSN (@PFTonNBCSN) January 5, 2015
Baltimore is a 7 point underdog to beat New England on the road. Being an underdog didn’t hurt Baltimore in the AFC Wild Card Round as the team from the home of Edgar Allan Poe beat bitter AFC North rival Pittsburgh 30 to 17. Can Baltimore make it two in a row, this time against the AFC’s number one seed?
Analyzing The Baltimore Vs. New England AFC Divisional Playoff Betting Odds, Predictions & TV Schedule
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: BaltimoreVs New England
Point Spread: Patriots -7
Game Total: 47.5
The Ravens’ 30 to 17 road dismantling of Pittsburgh was huge. It was much bigger than many realize because Pittsburgh beat Baltimore 43 to 23 earlier in the year. Of course, in that game Pitt had Le’Veon Bell, one of the best running backs in the NFL, carrying the ball for them and catching it out of the backfield.
Without Bell, Pittsburgh really couldn’t do much against Baltimore offensively in terms of scoring. Big Ben Roethlisberger did pass for 334 yards, though, and that has to be taken into account when handicapping the Ravens’ matchup against New England.
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) January 5, 2015
In fact, when facing the best quarterbacks in the league, Baltimore’s defense has been downright awful this season. Phillip Rivers passed for 383 yards and 3 touchdowns against Baltimore. Andrew Luck passed for 312 yards and a TD and Drew Brees passed for 420 yards and 3 touchdowns.
One thing to note is that Baltimore does force quarterbacks to throw interceptions, but it has to be a scary thought if you are a Ravens fan to see the above number knowing that Baltimore faces arguably the top QB in the NFL this Saturday in Tom Brady. Brady’s been deadly at home this season although he didn’t look all that sharp in Week 17.
— America's Pregame (@AmericasPregame) January 5, 2015
But in Week 17, Brady was without both Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman. The New England offense figures to be at full strength this Saturday when they host Baltimore who should take a step back after such an emotional victory over Pittsburgh.
On defense, New England might have the answer to put the clamps on the Ravens’ offense. The Patriots can cover a team’s two best wide receivers one on one with Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner. That will allow the rest of New England’s defense to get creative. As good as Joe Flaaco looked against Pittsburgh, he faces an entirely different defense on Saturday. Don’t be surprised if New England forces Flaaco to throw an interception or two.
The Patriots are 5 and 3 against the spread at home this season, but the other trends actually point to a Ravens’ victory against the spread. Baltimore is 5 and 0 ATS in their last 5 playoff road games and 3-0-1 against the spread in their last 4 meetings in New England. The Patriots are 8 and 0 against the spread in their last 8 home games versus a team with a winning record.
— FOX Sports NFL (@NFLonFOX) January 5, 2015
The last time that these two teams met in the playoffs, Baltimore upset New England to go on to the Super Bowl where they subsequently won. Things don’t set up as well for Baltimore in this matchup. New England is much stronger on defense than many realize and should have the answer to the Ravens’ offense.