Los Angeles Rams vs. Baltimore Ravens (11/22/2019): NFL Betting Picks, Lines II

This Week: 6-2
All Time Results: 77-70-1, +11.31 Units

Los Angeles Rams +3.5 vs. Baltimore Ravens -.5 Units

Last week I made a case for the Under in this game, and I still think that is the slightly better bet. (The Marketplace, by the ways, disagrees with me as the Total has drifted up to 47/47.5).

I also like the Rams here to keep their season alive and bring the Ravens down to earth.  Nobody has stifled the highest-scoring team in the league lately.  Back in week 3, the Browns beat them by 15 in Baltimore.  The Ravens squeaked out a narrow overtime-win in Pittsburgh the next week, (a game that foreshadowed the Duck>Mason prophecy) and have been off to the races ever since.  Baltimore has gained an unreasonable 215 rushing yards per game against their last 5 opponents, going 5-0.

Tlos angeles ramshe Rams, #3 in rush-defense according to DVOA, have the best shot in the league right now at slowing Lamar Jackson and company down. The Rams, like the Browns with Myles Garrett back in week 4, have a game-changing defensive lineman in Aaron Donald, one that can catch up to the speedy MVP favorite.  With much more to gain from the game, I think the defensive line gets up and gets home tonight.

Los Angeles Rams -2.5 (+190) vs. Baltimore Ravens -.1 Units

On a macro-level, I think the Rams are discounted here because of two key losses in division.  The NFC West, in my opinion, is the best in football, and their games against each other are skewing how good we think each team is.

Better teams will knock each other’s expectations lower when they play each other. If the 49ers had leg an egg in LA in Week 6, the Rams would be 7-3.  They would be me favorites to make the playoffs and the boy-genius moniker for McVay would ring apt.

Additionally, if the Seahawks hadn’t mounted that 4th quarter comeback at home on Thursday Night Football – winning in the end by a half a football length – the Rams would be 8-2 and still be considered a Super Bowl contender.

Since October 1st, NFC West teams have won 14 of 18 (78%)  against Non-NFC West opponents.  For the season, NFC West teams are 22-8-1 (73%) SU when playing outside of the division.

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Baltimore Ravens -9.5 (+195) @ Los Angeles Rams – .1 Units

I’m betting on the Rams tonight because I think they will be able to stop the run and keep the Ravens under 20 points.  However, if they can’t stop the run and get down early, I think it could turn ugly for the home team quickly.  Hence the hedge.

baltimore ravensThe wheels might come off for Sean McVay and the Rams offense in this one.  If they get behind and have to rely on Jared Goff dropback 25 times in the 2nd half, I could see a Marcus Peters touchdown…or two.  The Ravens zone defense can expose Goff’s tendency to react haphazardly when under pressure.  I could see a 34-0 final if things start badly in LA.

The Rams have averaged only 19 points per game over their last 5 games, a number that includes 3 return touchdowns.  Back out the return touchdown scoring and the Rams are scoring just 14.8 points per game over their last 5.

Offensive-line injuries have pilled up, LA has lost a key downfield receiver in Brandon Cooks, and Jared Goff has not taken the leap into elite status.

In summation: With extra time to prepare, against a team that doesn’t need a win that badly, I like the chances the Rams correct some of their issues and put on a solid offensive display.  However, if their issues continue, I fear they might worsen tonight under the bright lights.

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Born in Chicago, born for Las Vegas, Mackenzie is a graduate of Yale University with a BA in English & Creative Writting. Mackenzie runs AlternativeStats.blog, which seeks to by-pass the minutiae of commonly cited sports statistics and expose the heart of what drives athletic success. After several successful years investing in Las Vegas real estate, Mackenzie is excited to transition in 2019 into betting on sports full time, as well as documenting his thought process as he further learns the craft.

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