The New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens have met for some great games in recent seasons, with Baltimore holding the upper hand, winning three of the last five meetings, two of those victories coming in the playoffs.
New England and the Ravens get together for the seventh time in the last five seasons Sunday at The Bank with the Patriots riding one money-losing streak and one profitable streak.
Point spread: Ravens opened as 1.5-point favorites but bet to -2.5 as of Wednesday; the total was hovering around 45. (Line updates and matchup report)
Odds Shark computer prediction: 24.7-22.0 Patriots
Why the Patriots can cover the spread
Yes, losing Rob Gronkowski hurts, but Tom Brady almost pulled off the comeback Sunday in Miami, getting New England within a red-zone conversion of victory.
New England's never dead as long as Touchdown Tommy has one more chance.
Also, the Patriots catch Baltimore on the short week, after their tough win at Detroit on Monday night, when they pulled off a late rally of their own.
Why the Ravens can cover the spread
Baltimore has won four games in a row, the last three in cardiac fashion. The Ravens still own the six seed in the AFC, and have to keep winning because Miami keeps winning, too. Offensively, Baltimore is still struggling a bit to find itself, but defensively it ranks ninth overall and seventh against the run.
The Ravens know what it takes to beat New England, having done so twice last year on their way toward winning the Super Bowl, including a 28-13 AFC Championship Game victory in Foxboro last January. And they also know the Pats are riding a 1-7 ATS road streak into this game.
The computer is predicting a New England win on Sunday, but that pick might not make enough of Gronkowski's absence, which was definitely felt in the loss at Miami. The Ravens, meanwhile, look like they're on one of those rolls. Brady can cover for a lot of team faults, but he just doesn't have enough offensive options to work with. Back Baltimore.
- New England is 1-4 ATS in its last five games
- Baltimore is 8-1 SU in its last nine games at home
- Patriots are 1-7 ATS past eight road games
- UNDER is 7-2 past nine Raven home games
- Patriots 9-3 ATS past 12 games as underdogs