The two favored teams when it comes to online betting to win the AFC all season is now vying for the championship this Sunday. The patriots will host Baltimore with a spot in the Super Bowl on the line. The New England’s future Hall of Fame quarterback has been extraordinary as of late and he’ll do enough ot outduel his Baltimore counterpart.
Free Superbowl Picks: New England Patriots -7.5 When: Sunday, January 22nd, 3:00 PM ET Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough
Why the Baltimore’s a Good Bet (13-4 SU, 8-8-1 ATS) The Ravens may have been a bit lucky to move on to the next round as they needed their defense to carry them to a 20-13 win at home over Houston, forcing four turnovers along the way. Safety Ed Reed managed to have six tackles, a pick and four passes defensed, and he had to be carried off at the end of the game because he sold his body out to knock down the Texans’ final heave to the end zone. LaDarius Webb had a pair of picks for the Ravens, who allowed Arian Foster to run for 132 yards and Andre Johnson had 111 receiving yards, but Baltimore made stops when they had to. The offense was just bad and Joe Flacco was 14-of-27 for 176 yards, although he did throw two touchdown passes. The line couldn’t open any holes for the running game (87 yards on 31 attempts), and they couldn’t protect Flacco, who was sacked five times and pressured many more. The offense is just bad and it almost cost them this game.
For injuries, Reed’s Knee MRI returned with a negative remark so you can expect the future Hall of Famer to be in the lineup and the Ravens will need him at the back of the defense, playing center field against the vaunted Patriots offense. However, it wouldn’t matter how well the defense perform because if Flacco and the offense don’t improve, they might as well just stay at home. Getting Ray Rice going is essential to keep the opposition off-balance, but New England’s secondary isn’t that good, so they can be attacked.
Why the New England Patriots should be Wagered On (14-3 SU, 10-6-1 ATS) The Patriots guaranteed that by the end of the first half there would be no NFL betting upsets as they rolled to a 35-10 halftime lead and cruised to a 45-10 romp of Denver at home. Tom Brady was 26-0f-34 for 363 yards and a pick, and his six touchdown passes tied an NFL record. Three of them went to tight end Rob Gronkowski, which was also a record, and Brady set a new mark with five touchdowns in the first half. New England also threw a wrinkle into their offense by putting tight end Aaron Hernandez in the backfield and he responded with 61 yards on five carries. Hernandez ran occasionally when he was at Florida (where he was a teammate of Denver quarterback Tim Tebow), and it just shows the versatility of this high-powered unit. The defense gave up 144 yards on the ground, but they did a better job of controlling Denver’s read-option offense than their first meeting and once they got out to a big lead, the Broncos had to throw it and that played into New England’s hands.
Hernandez had a possible head injury or concussion but the tests came back negative and he was able to pass early tests so you can see him in the lineup this week. The Patriots have now won nine in a row outright and only once have they scored less than 30 points (27 in a Week 16 come-from-behind win over Miami). And for all of the yards that the Patriots give up, they’re 15th in the league in points allowed. The patchwork secondary has come together in recent weeks and they can also stop the run, thanks to stoppers like Vince Wilfork on the line and Jerod Mayo at linebacker. Combine all of that with Brady’s solid focus and the Patriots are going to be hard to beat, especially at home.
How Will It Turn Out? NFL betting odds favored the Patriots by 7.5 points at home, where they are 4-1 SU and 3-1 ATS in their last five meetings with the Ravens, with three games falling under the posted total. However, the only loss came in the playoffs two years ago, when the Ravens stomped the Patriots 33-14 at “The Razor” and they have enough veteran players that the crowd should be a major factor. This could really go down to the play of the quarterbacks. Flacco will certainly need to play better on Sunday than he did back against with the Texans because we all know that the Patriots will put up points. New England needs to protect Brady from the Baltimore pass rush. Stick to the free superbowl picks with the Patriots.