Joe Flacco, Terrell Suggs and the sixth seed Baltimore Ravens went on the road to take down Big Ben, and the Steelers, and now they head to Foxboro to take on Tom Brady, Gronk and the New England Patriots on Saturday. Just thinking about which team to pick to wager on to win this AFC Divisional playoff matchup sends chills up my spine.
Of the possible four teams that the Patriots could of hosted after into the AFC Wild Card games, the last team they wanted to face in the AFC Divisional Playoffs were the Ravens. The very secretive Pats head-coach Bill Belichick won’t admit it to his priest, but the Steelers heading to Denver and the Patriots hosting the Indianapolis Colts (who defeated the Cincinnati Bengals) would have been much more preferable.
The Patriots at home vs the Ravens in the playoffs is much different compared to the rest of the AFC. pic.twitter.com/QLMvb63n6Q
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) January 6, 2015
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 -7.5
Game Total: 47.5
Analyzing My Ravens Vs Patriots AFC Divisional Playoff Free Pick & Wagering Tips
The Baltimore Ravens will win this AFC divisional playoff game if
It’s business as usual!
The Pats will go only as far as veteran quarterback Tom Brady can take them and the Ravens have had have veteran quarterback’s number. Just look back to the 2009 AFC Wild Card Game (Ravens 33, Patriots 14) or 2012 AFC Championship Game (Ravens 28, Patriots 13).
Are the Ravens Tom Brady's kryptonite? pic.twitter.com/uyXcDSN8OP
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) January 7, 2015
If last week’s heroics continue, Brady is in for a long afternoon. In the AFC Wild Card game, Baltimore’s defensive front seven harassed Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger into a miserable, one-touchdown, two-interception performance in their commanding 30-17 Wild Card win on Saturday and they’ll need to do the same in this affair against Brady.
In every Patriots loss this season except for the team’s meaningless finale against Buffalo, Brady either, completed less than 52 percent of his passes, threw for less than 250 yards or tossed more interceptions than touchdowns.
— PFTonNBCSN (@PFTonNBCSN) January 6, 2015
In addition to harassing Brady, the Ravens will also need to win the turnover battle against New England. Baltimore tied for 14th in the league with a +2 turnover differential. Of course, beating the Patriots at their own game could be a bit tough, seeing as how New England finished second in the league at +12 in the turnover department.
Including the playoffs, the Ravens are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 meetings in New England and the road team is 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
The New England Patriots will win this AFC divisional playoff game if
They let loose Gronk, while keeping Steve Smith from burning them!
New England has won seven of the last 10 meetings against Baltimore and held the Ravens to 24 points or less in every game while keeping Baltimore from reaching the 10-point plateau in three of those matchups. The Pats won each of their last eight regular season games by limiting their opponent to 25 points or less while also failing to score more than 21 points in each of their four losses.
Tom Brady has 18 postseason wins, most by any QB in NFL history. pic.twitter.com/81XDyFZTxp
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) January 5, 2015
The Patriots will also need to keep a keen eye on rejuvenated veteran wide receiver Steve Smith, arguably the biggest ‘game-breaker’ playing in this matchup. In 10 career playoff games, Smith has racked up eight touchdown grabs and four 100-yard receiving games while torching Chicago for 12 catches for 218 yards and two scores back in a 2005 NFC playoff pairing. The diminutive, but gutsy, wideout caught five balls for 101 yards against the Steelers in the wild card round and made the play of the game when he caught a 40-yard pass from Cam Newton that hurt their AFC North division rivals in a big way.
Who will win this AFC divisional playoff game?
I picked the Patriots to reach the Super Bowl this season and I guess I’m going to stick with that selection, but the fact of the matter is that right now, the Ravens are the easy pick to wager on to cover the point spread in this AFC Divisional Playoff game .
Not only could Baltimore’s defense could give Brady some problems, but
I’m not overly enamored with Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco, but the former Delaware star has been quite impressive come playoff time, not to mention the fact that the Ravens certainly will not be intimidated by playing on thee road in Foxborough Stadium.
"We all know the matchup the NFL wants to see," Terrell Suggs told reporters on Sunday. "Something for the TV, for the sponsors. We’ve got faith in ourselves and Ravens Nation, and we’ll see if we can disrupt some people’s plans."
The Ravens are a perfect 5-0 ATS in their last 5 playoff road games and an even more impressive 6-0 ATS in their last half-dozen playoff games.
The Patriots have compiled an unblemished 8-0 ATS mark in their last eight home games against a team with a winning road record while also going 4-1 ATS in their last five home games.
Still, with Baltimore going 3-0-1 ATS in their last four road games against New England and the road team in this rivalry going 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings, I say Baltimore covers the spread with ease – and could very well win outright!