With two positively star-studded offenses squaring off, there are bound to be some fireworks in this week’s cross-conference matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and the Seattle Seahawks. Let’s take a look at some Ravens vs. Seahawks player props, focusing on the passing game and key players like Geno Smith and Zay Flowers.
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This game should be a hard-fought but fairly high-flying affair, with two offenses that throw the ball well. Let’s take a look at some of the most key contributors in the passing game on both sides.
Zay Flowers Over 55.5 Receiving Yards (-120)
Above all else, this is an absolutely great spot to buy low on Flowers after he only put up 19 yards in a weird game against the Cardinals. Before that game, he had been cracking this number very routinely; he’d reached it in three of the four previous games, and he came close with 50 yards in the fourth, so he wasn’t particularly far off.
Part of the reason Flowers wasn’t too productive against Arizona was that the Ravens simply didn’t lean on the air game too hard in that contest. Lamar Jackson threw the ball 27 times for 157 yards, so it’s not exactly like Flowers was neglected. He actually had five receptions on seven targets, so he was a major part of the passing attack, he just didn’t get much out of each catch, which is uncharacteristic based on his overall track record, and it wasn’t a huge passing game overall for Baltimore.
The game against the Seahawks should be different, as it should be a hard-fought contest all the way through, and Baltimore will have to go to the air to keep pace. The Cardinals made it seem close with two scores after the two minute warning, but Baltimore entered the fourth quarter with a lead of 21-7, and didn’t have much of a need to push the ball downfield.
The Seattle run defense has been excellent this season, as they rank fourth in the league in both success rate and adjusted line yards, so the Ravens won’t be able to move the ball just by running it; they’re going to the air. They don’t really have the secondary to stop a route running machine like Flowers, so he should have a really nice day as he once again commands a serious target share.
Geno Smith Longest Completion Under 34.5 Yards (-115)
Betting against the Seahawks big-play offense might seem a little bit crazy, but they’re going up against a defense that can absolutely limit their high end production. He’s cracked this number in two of the last four games, but those were against the Panthers and Lions, not exactly world-beaters secondary wise. The two other games were against the Giants and Rams, also not elite pass-stopping units, so it’s quite believable that he could be slowed down by a much higher-caliber Baltimore group.
The Ravens pass defense is the league’s best by DVOA but a slightly lower fourth in success rate, a nod to their willingness to sometimes sacrifice short gains in order to limit explosivity. They don’t blitz too much, just about a league-average rate, so they should be dropping plenty of players back into coverage and prevent the big play.
PFF considers the Ravens to be the best coverage team in the entire league, so if they’re dropping players back into coverage, it’s most likely going to be a capable bunch. They have stars at all levels; Roquan Smith is one of the best coverage linebackers in the sport, Geno Stone and Kyle Hamilton make up a great safety duo, and Rock Ya-Sin has broken out at cornerback this season.
The Baltimore secondary is extremely talented and even more well-coached. Seattle’s pass offense is a great unit, but less big-play oriented than last season, and this is definitely a day where we can expect Smith to do his best work underneath rather than looking for “home run” plays.
Justin Tucker Over 2.5 Extra Points Made (+125)
Kicker props are game flow props, and this one is no exception, but it isn’t the worst thing in the World to back the best kicker of all time, Baltimore’s Justin Tucker. He’s 21 for 22 on extra points this year, and due to the strength of the Baltimore offense, has hit over 2.5 four times in the eight games so far this season.
Baltimore’s offense is also particularly well-suited to score on Seattle’s defense.The Seahawks do a great job of generating pressure without blitzing- they’re 26th in the league in blitz rate but an impressive 11th in pressure rate.
That being said, Lamar Jackson is the league’s best passer under pressure according to PFF, with a completion rate of 54% and nine big time throws to three turnover worthy plays on those snaps. Interestingly enough, blitzing works well against Jackson; he’s PFF’s third-highest graded passer when not blitzed, but 13th when he is, so the Seattle defensive approach, while a solid one in the macro, is not ideal for slowing the Ravens’ dynamic, unique MVP candidate.
Even if you can move the ball, you have to finish your drives, and due in enormous part to the dual threat posed by Jackson, the Ravens are great at doing that too. They have the third best offensive red zone percentage in the league, compared to Seattle’s defense which ranks 30th in red zone defense; 73.33% of Seahawks opponents’ drives inside the 20 have resulted in a touchdown this year, despite having played the league’s easiest schedule so far.
Tucker should have plenty of opportunities with Baltimore fully capable of scoring several touchdowns in this one, and while they can sometimes be a team that goes for two, the math in this one shouldn’t insist upon that kind of decision to be made.