One of the more intriguing matchups in the NFL and one of the most crucial to the AFC playoff picture will take place at New Era Field when Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills host Lamar Jackson and the red hot Baltimore Ravens.
The Bills are coming off their 26-15 Thanksgiving victory over the Dallas Cowboys, and the Ravens, led by MVP candidate Lamar Jackson, have won eight in a row. Their most recent win was against one of the NFC’s best, coming against the San Francisco 49ers. So who will have the edge in this one? Here’s a breakdown of the game followed by trends and our prediction.
The Bills will be looking to show that they’re for real–and beating the hottest team in football is a great way to do that. The majority of their wins have come against losing teams, but handing the Ravens a loss would make the league sit up and take notice.
Quarterback Josh Allen has shown great strides in his second year. Allen has 2,591 yards, 16 touchdowns, and eight interceptions on the season, and he will have to take excellent care of the ball if the Bills want a chance in this one. Allen threw seven of his eight interceptions over the first five games, however, and two of this three fumbles came in Week 1, so he has been much better lately at making good decisions. He’ll likely lean on his star running back tandem of veteran Frank Gore and rookie Devin Singletary, who will try for success against a Ravens defense that is allowing just over 94 rushing yards per game.
The Bills defense is the third-best in the league (allowing 15.7 points and just over 300 total yards per game), and they’re facing the NFL’s #2 ranked offense at home. They are giving up 4.5 yards per carry, however, which doesn’t bode well with Baltimore being the NFL’s best rushing team. This will be the ultimate test for the Bills’ defense.
The Ravens seem near-unstoppable at present. Led by the dynamic Jackson, they have put up a league-best 406 points in 12 games. They’re firing on all cylinders, and they’re playing well on both sides of the ball. Lamar Jackson has faced the two defenses ranked ahead of the Bills–the New England Patriots and the San Francisco 49ers–and he has beaten them both while running for over 162 yards and two touchdowns against them.
On defense, the Ravens are giving up 18.2 points a game, which is the fifth-lowest in the league. They will be looking to get after Allen, who is one of the best rushing quarterbacks in the league behind Jackson.
Most experts are picking the Ravens to win, and we agree. But by how much?
Trends, Pick and Predictions:
*NOTE: the following numbers and trends are all courtesy of Odds Shark.
Spread: Buffalo +6
Odds Shark currently have the Ravens winning the game by a projected score of 25.6-18.4, with the Ravens covering the spread and the point total being a push.
Some relevant trends surrounding the game:
- Baltimore is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games.
- The Ravens are 8-0 SU in their last 8 games.
- Baltimore is 5-2 SU in their last 7 games against Buffalo.
- The Ravens are 6-1 SU in their last 7 games on the road.
- Buffalo is 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games.
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Buffalo’s last 5 games.
- The Bills are 4-1 SU in their last 5 games.
- The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Buffalo’s last 8 games against Baltimore.
We’re going to go against Odds Shark for the most part here. The Ravens should win this one, but we’re taking the Bills with the points. Defense should be a huge factor in this game, but Jackson and the Ravens have scored a combined 57 points in two games against the league’s top two defenses, so we think this one could go OVER 44 points.
Final Prediction: Ravens 27, Bills 21 (Bills +6)