Baltimore Ravens vs Los Angeles Rams betting guide

Monday, Nov. 25, 2019 — 8:15 p.m. ET

Opening odds: Ravens -2.5

The Ravens are the best team in the NFL

If the Baltimore Ravens haven’t proven that over the last month than who else do they have to beat to prove it to you? They have been a favorite in cappers Get the latest NFL odds & betting advice at Sportsbook Review

">NFL picks each week. They have comfortably beat the S

eahawks, Patriots and Texans last month and if they aren’t the best team in the league, they are certainly the best team in the AFC.

For my money, Lamar Jackson is the MVP of the NFL through 11 weeks. The kid is special and his dual threat capability has been a dagger in the heart of multiple playoff contenders this season. The Baltimore running game has shown up and shown out this season, especially the last month. They brutalized the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks in back to back weeks and continued their dominance the last two weeks against Cincinnati and Houston.

Everyone talks about the weak link in this offense being Jackson’s arm, but he has done enough this season. Is Jackson the type of quarterback to throw darts all game and compile 300 yard passing games week in and week out? No, he isn’t, but he doesn’t have to be. Jackson has done enough through the air to get the job done.

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The biggest factor that I see in the Ravens success this season is the decision that head coach John Harbaugh made in realizing that this team will go as far as Jackson’s legs will take them. He designed an offense around the strengths of Jackson and didn’t force Jackson to play inside the conventional quarterback box. Making that decision has paid off in spades thus far, and I don’t see the game plan changing any time soon.

Over the last six weeks the offense has not been the only unit playing well. The Ravens have built their legacy on dominant defenses but that was not the case earlier in the season. It was only six weeks ago that the Ravens defense was giving up the most yards per play in the National Football League, but that would be short lived. They have really picked up the slack and are now 10th in the league in defensive DVOA. If this Ravens defense continues to play well, the rest of the league is in trouble.

If this team is elite, they need to win games against good teams on the road and they will have that chance Monday night against the Los Angeles Rams. Can they continue to ascend and get the job done against the defending NFC champs?

The Rams have not looked right all season

It is crazy to think that this time last season Jared Goff was one of the leading candidates for NFL MVP. Fast forward one year and there is a 0% chance he wins the award this season. The Los Angeles Rams have not looked right all year, and one of the reasons has been the inconsistent play of the young QB. The Rams have managed to win three of their last four games, but they are just 3-3 over the last 6 weeks. Although they have won 3 of 4 they have not looked good doing it. 

Last weekend the Rams looked awful and were very lucky to escape with a victory against the Chicago Bears. I had thought that Goff’s struggles were primarily on the road this season. I also thought that Goff would play well at home last week coming in off the road loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was wrong on both accounts.

If there has been a bright spot for this Rams offense the past few weeks it’s been a resurgence of Rams running back Todd Gurley. He has been a nonfactor for most of the season, but his production has improved the last two weeks. It’s probably because McVay doesn’t trust Jared Goff behind center right now, and he is forced to lean harder on Gurley but the question is, will Gurley’s legs be able to withstand the heavier load.

While the offense has struggled this season, the defense has remained pretty solid. In multiple defensive efficiency ratings that I use, the Rams are still a top 10 defense. Football Outsiders currently has the Rams as the 8th best defense in football. I’m not sure if the eye test says the same thing but we all know that these games are played out on spreadsheets and the numbers matter, so if the numbers say they are a top 10 defense, that is what they are.

The Rams are at serious risk of making the playoffs this season. While technically they might not be in a must-win position yet, when you take a look at the NFC championship landscape they are going to have to win almost all their remaining games to realistically make the playoffs.

Rams vs. Ravens prediction

So, who wins this game? Based on what we’ve seen the last month, you have to think the Ravens win on Monday night but the problem is, it’s not always that easy. Does anyone really want to step in front of this Baltimore Ravens team right now? The playoff picture has basically forced the Rams into desperation mode, and I understand why people would want to take the desperate team getting a field goal at home, but I just can’t step in front of this Baltimore Ravens team considering how well they have played the last 4 weeks.

I don’t really a thought on the total, but it is interesting to note that this total opened in the NFL odds board at 49 and is down to 46.5. I have to contribute that to how bad the Rams offense has looked this season and how improved the Ravens defense has looked the last month. I am off the total, but I will bite the bullet and lay the field goal on Monday night.

I am not stepping in front of this train. Had the Ravens defense not improved, I would have been on the other side Monday. Now, that the Ravens are locked in defensively I feel comfortable with my NFL pick laying the number because the Ravens are going to get their points Monday. The way this defense is playing they should further expose Jared Goff for the mediocre quarterback he has come to be this season.

NFL pick: Baltimore Ravens -3 (-110)


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