NFL gambling handicappers will have their choice of two high caliber playoff contenders that lead their respective divisions to start the football betting season.
The New England Patriots opened at Sports-Gambling as a 2.5 point home favorite and with an over/under of 44.5. Kickoff on CBS is set for 1:05 PM Eastern.
The Baltimore Ravens lead the AFC North Division with a record of 4-1 straight up and 3-2 with the NFL odds. The Ravens are coming off a 31-17 home win and payout over the Denver Broncos. Baltimore stampeded the Broncos with 233 yards rushing and took at 17-0 lead before cruising to victory.
The Ravens rank 19th overall for total offense and 3rd in the NFL for total defense. Ray Rice leads the Ravens offense with 363 yards rushing and a 4.2 yards per carry average. Quarterback Joe Flacco is improving after a slow start and has a 72.1 QB rating.
The New England Patriots have a record of 3-1 straight up and 2-2 with the NFL lines. The Patriots are coming off a bye week that followed a 41-14 Monday Night Football win at Miami. New England has gone over the total in all 4 of their games this year. The Patriots rank 11th in total offense and are the highest scoring team in the NFL.
New England ranks 28th overall for total defense as they are a young and retooled unit that is yet to jell. Tom Brady has been lights out at quarterback with a 109 QB rating and a 9/2 touchdown/interception ratio.
One concern for the passing attack is that deep threat Randy Moss was traded after the Miami game and now Brady has receiver with a proven ability to stretch the field.
This is a classic matchup of a powerhouse defensive team against a prolific offensive attack with the question being which will side’s strength can overcome its weakness. Baltimore should have just enough offense to work against the Pats defense while New England should find the Ravens defense rough and ready.
The Ravens humiliated the Patriots in a 33-14 NFL gambling payout as 3.5 point road dogs last year in the playoffs. Baltimore has paid out in 3 of their last 4 matchups with New England.