NFL Betting Picks Week 14: Baltimore Ravens at Washington Redskins

Baltimore Ravens at Washington Redskins
Sunday, December 9, 2012, 1:00 pm Eastern, TV: CBS, NFL Sunday Ticket
FedEx Field – Landover, Maryland
Opening Line: Pick
Current Line: Washington -2 1/2
Opening Total: 47
Current Total: 47 1/2
Opening Money Line: Redskins -140 / Ravens +120
Current Money Line: Redskins -135 / Ravens +115

The Washington Redskins host the Baltimore Ravens Sunday in a game with playoff implications for both teams. Washington is a 2.5 point favorite at home.

The 9-3 Baltimore Ravens make the 32 mile trip South to take on beltway rival the 6-6 Washington Redskins Sunday. The game has serious playoff implications for both teams. The Ravens, coached by John  Harbaugh, lead the AFC North by two games over the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals. Baltimore will clinch the division with a win and losses by the Steelers and Bengals this week. The Ravens are also tied with the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos for the #2 seed in the AFC and the first round playoff bye that comes with it. All three teams trail the 11-1 Houston Texans for the #1 seed.

Three weeks ago the Redskins were 3-6 and coach Mike Shanahan was talking about evaluating talent for next season. However, three straight wins over NFC East opponents have brought the ‘Skins back to .500 and in the thick of the NFC playoff race. The Redskins are tied with the Dallas Cowboys, and both teams are a game behind the 7-5 New York Giants for the NFC East lead. The Redskins and Cowboys are also tied with the Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. All four are a game behind the Seattle Seahawks for the last wild card spot in the playoffs.

Baltimore lost at home week to the rival Steelers 23-20. The loss snapped a 4 game winning streak for the Ravens. Baltimore has a good shot of going to the playoffs but they have a tough remaining schedule. After this game, the Ravens host the Broncos and Giants, before closing the season at the Bengals. All four teams are in playoff contention. Baltimore is 5-6-1 ATS and the total is 7-5 this season.

Washington beat the Giants at home Monday night 17-16. The Redskins travel to the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles before closing at home against the Cowboys. The Redskins are looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 2007. Washington is 7-5 ATS and the total is 6-6 this season.

Washington and Baltimore play every year in the pre-season but only play in the regular season every four years. The Ravens have won 3 of the 4 meetings overall in the series, including the last 2 in 2004 and 2008.

Baltimore is averaging 343.2 yards per game including 240.8 passing yards and 102.4 rushing yards. The Ravens are outscoring teams 25-20 this season. The Ravens have forced 25 sacks and allowed 29 this season. Baltimore is 58/156 on third and fourth down conversions. The Ravens are +12 in turnovers this season. On defense, Baltimore is allowing 372.2 yards per game including 246.5 passing and 125.8 rushing yards. The Ravens have 5 defensive/special teams touchdowns this year.

Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco has completed 59.2% of his passes for 3,038 yards with 15 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Flacco has been sacked 29 times and has 2 rushing touchdowns. Running back Ray Rice has 198 carries, 872 carries, and 8 touchdowns, along with 49 catches for 409 yards. Bernard Pierce will also get some carries, but Rice is the feature back. Receiver Anquan Boldin has 55 catches, 750 yards and 2 touchdowns. Torrey Smith has 42 catches, 732 yards and 7 touchdowns. Tight end Dennis Pitta has 45 catches, 442 yards and 4 touchdowns. Jacoby Jones has 23 catches, 312 yards and a touchdown. He is more dangerous as a returner though. Jones has 2 kick returns for touchdowns, and a punt return for a touchdown. The Ravens defense is banged up with 12 players listed as questionable or on injured reserve. Linebacker Terrell Suggs is questionable with a torn biceps, and Ray Lewis returned to practice this week with a torn triceps. He is still a couple of weeks away from returning to game action after suffering the injury in the Dallas game October 14.

Washington is averaging 383.7 yards per game on offense, including 216.5 passing and 167.2 rushing yards. The Redskins lead the league in rushing. Washington is outscoring teams 26-25 this season. The Redskins are +10 in turnovers this season. Washington has forced 21 sacks and allowed 26 this season. The Redskins are 58/158 on third and fourth down conversions. On defense, Washington is allowing 390.5 yards per game on defense including 299 passing yards and 91.5 rushing yards. The Redskins are #29 in total defense and #31 against the pass, but #4 in the league against the run. The Redskins have 6 defensive touchdowns this season.

Rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III is locked in a tight battle for Rookie of the Year with Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback Andrew Luck. Griffin has completed 67.1% of his passes for 2,660 yards with 17 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. He became the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to throw 4 or more touchdown passes in two consecutive games against the Eagles and Cowboys recently. Griffin also broke Cam Newton’s rookie record for rushing yards in a season in the win over the Giants Monday night. RG3 has 105 carries, 714 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Running back Alfred Morris has 230 carries, 1,106 yards and 6 touchdowns, along with a handful of catches. Besides Morris and Griffin, no other Washington back has more than 14 carries this season. Receiver Santana Moss has 29 catches, 416 yards and 7 touchdowns. Josh Morgan has 39 catches for 399 yards. Leonard Hankerson has 30 catches, 398 yards and a  touchdown. Pierre Garcon has 23 catches, 350 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Tight end Fred Davis is out for the season. Logan Paulsen and Aldrick Robinson will also get some catches. Robinson has 3 touchdown catches. The Redskin defense is also banged up with 10 players listed on the injury report.

Baltimore is 7-2 ATS in Week 14 games, 3-1-1 overall, 5-2 after allowing more than 350 total yards, 5-2-1 in road games, 1-4 after a cover, 0-4 in December, and 0-5-1 after allowing more than 250 passing yards. The last 4 games in this series have gone under the total.

Washington is 5-1-3 ATS in Week 14 games, 5-1 against teams with winning records, 5-2 after gaining more than 350 yards and overall, 5-2-1 in December, 11-5 after allowing more than 250 passing yards, and 2-5 in Sunday games after playing on Monday night the week before.

Both defenses are banged up right now, so this could be a high scoring game. Last week Baltimore struggled to stop Charlie Batch, the 37 year old third string quarterback for the Steelers. Now they get the electrifying RG3. I think the redskins pull it out in the end in front of a frenzied home crowd.

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