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REDSKINS AT RAVENS
This is the time of year in the NFL where the cream rises to the top. Teams can have similar records yet at the same time can be so far apart as far as where they are as a team right now. That would appear to be the case between these two teams as the Skins at 7-5 look to be stumbling down the stretch while the Ravens appear to be peaking at just the right time. As a matter of fact, if we break this game down based on what each team has done over the last 7 games, it looks like a complete mismatch. The Ravens side is not without concerns though, which will address further down this page.
Let's first take a look at each teams performance over the last 7 games. The Ravens started the season like many expected. Two wins and only giving up 10 points per game. They then lost 3 in a row, but it's important to note who they lost to. They lost by a field goal in back to back games to two of the NFL's best, the Titans and Steelers. Then they failed to show up against the Colts and were spanked to the tune of 31-3.
But since that Colts loss, they have responded by going 6-1 with their only loss to the Giants. In that 7 game stretch they have outscored their opponents 31-14. They haven't allowed more than 13 points in a game at home all season, outscoring their opponents 24-10 at home. In their last 7 games they have an offensive yards per point number of 11.5 and a defensive yards per point number 18.7. These are some strong numbers at a time of year where it counts the most.
The Redskins on the other hand shocked everyone and started the year 4-1. But since that 4-1 start they are 3-4 and the numbers don't look very good. They have managed to average only 14 points per game over their last 7 games, although their defense has played well giving up on average 17 points per game. Their yards per point numbers over the last 7 games can only be described as horrendous on offense with a 23.3 while their defensive number is an average 15.3. Again, to put these ypp numbers in perspective, the Ravens, over the last 7 games, are scoring one point every 11.5 yards while the Redskins are scoring one point every 23.3 yards. Wow.
The Ravens defense has always been a good one. What makes this team scary right now is that they have an offense to go along with that great defense. It's the complete package. Realize that over the last 7 games the Redskins have scored 17 points or less in 5 of those games. The Ravens on the other hand have scored 27 points or more in 6 of the last 7 games.
We mentioned some concerns we had with the Ravens this week. We have concerns in two areas. One being the strength of opposition over the last 7 games. It's safe to say the Skins have had a tougher schedule over that stretch, but really, not by much. They other concern is what lies ahead. The Ravens have a HUGE game on tap next week with the Steelers. The look ahead angle is more of a factor in college ball than it is in the NFL though. That's not to say that an NFL team can't get caught looking ahead, or can't get caught taking a team lightly. It's just not as likely at this level.
The NFL is a wacky league from a betting standpoint. Often times throughout the year you simply can't break games down by the numbers and gain an edge. There is so much parity that often times, what should happen doesn't. But once you get to December, the cream starts to rise and the talent takes over. From here forward you can break games down based on the facts and have a much better chance at success than say, week 4 or 5.
So with that in mind, we're going to lay the 5 points here with the superior team. The team that's playing exceptionally well defensively that finally has an offense to match. The Team that's dominating opponents at home and is going to be a major threat and a team to watch this year in the playoffs. We're backing them against a Redskins team that's having major problems offensively and is left to relying on an injured Clinton Portis to carry the load.
As a side note, if you're looking for teams to use in teaser wagers this week, consider the Ravens. We just don't see them losing this game. +1 on a teaser looks too good to pass up.
2* RAVENS -5 OVER REDSKINS
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