NFL Monday Night Football Betting Picks: Baltimore Ravens at Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens at Arizona Cardinals
University of Phoenix Stadium – Glendale, Arizona
Monday, October 26, 2015, 7:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Arizona -7
Current Line: Arizona -8 1/2
Opening Total: 49
Current Total: 49
Opening Money Line: Cardinals -400 / Ravens +325
Current Money Line: Cardinals -425 / Ravens +340

Arizona is an 8.5 point favorite against Baltimore Monday night.
Arizona is an 8.5 point favorite against Baltimore Monday night.

The 4-2 Arizona Cardinals host the 1-5 Baltimore Ravens Monday night. Arizona is in first place in the NFC West over the 3-3 St. Louis Rams. Baltimore is one of three teams with one win this season along with the Detroit Lions and Tennessee Titans. The Ravens are in last place in the AFC North.

Baltimore leads the series 4-1 against Arizona since the Ravens relocated from Cleveland. The Ravens have won 4 straight games in the series including 30-27 in  Baltimore in 2011. This is the first meeting between the teams in Arizona since 2003. The Cardinals only win in this series came in 1997.

Baltimore is coached by John Harbaugh. The Ravens’ only win came 23-20 in overtime over the rival Pittsburgh Steelers. Baltimore has road losses at the Denver Broncos 19-13, Oakland Raiders 37-33, and last week against the San Francisco 49ers 25-20, along with home losses to the Cincinnati Bengals 28-24 and Cleveland Browns 33-30 in overtime. Every game this season has been decided by six points or less.

Baltimore was a 2.5 point favorite against San Francisco and the total was 43.5. Despite meeting in the Super Bowl three seasons ago, both teams entered the game with only one win. The 49ers took a 16-6 lead at halftime. Baltimore cut the lead to 19-13 going into the fourth. The Ravens cut it to 25-20 with five minutes to go. The Ravens got the ball back with just over a minute left at their own 20. However, they couldn’t get past the San Francisco 35 before time ran out. The Ravens had the only two turnovers of the game. Baltimore is 0-5-1 ATS and the total is 4-2 this season.

Arizona is coached by Bruce Arians. The Cardinals have a home loss against the Rams 24-22 and last week at the Pittsburgh Steelers 25-13. Arizona has home wins over the New Orleans Saints 31-19, 49ers 47-7 and Lions 42-17, along with a road win at the Chicago Bears 48-23.

Arizona was a 5.5 point favorite against Pittsburgh and the total was 45. Arizona led 10-3 at halftime. The Steelers would score 12 points in the third to take a 15-10 lead. After an Arizona field goal made it 15-13 early in the fourth, Pittsburgh scored the last 10 points of the game to seal the upset. The Cardinals had 469 total yards to just 310 for the Steelers, but three Arizona turnovers doomed them. The Cardinals are 4-2 ATS and the total is 5-1 this season.

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Baltimore is being outscored 27-24 this season. Baltimore is #26 in points allowed.  The Ravens average 370 total yards including 258 passing and 111 rushing yards. Baltimore is #10 in passing and #9 in total offense. On defense, Baltimore is allowing 381 yards per game including 286 passing and 95 rushing yards. The Ravens are #7 in rush defense but #25 or worse in total and pass defense The Ravens are 35/95 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 45/96. Baltimore has forced 8 sacks and allowed 18 this season. Baltimore is -5 in turnovers. The Ravens have two defensive touchdowns and have allowed one this season.

Quarterback Joe Flacco has completed 62.3% of his passes for 1,605 yards with 8 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, and also has 2 rushing touchdowns. Running back Justin Forsett has 104 carries for 457 yards and a touchdown, along with 23 catches for 129 yards. He is questionable with an ankle injury. Javorius Allen has 30 carries for 137 yards, along with 3 catches. Lorenzo Taliaferro has 13 carries for 47 yards and a touchdown, along with 5 catches. He is out for the season with a foot injury. If Forsett can’t go rookies Raheem Mostert and Terrence McGee will likely split the back-up carries.

Receiver Steve Smith, Sr. has 36 catches for 510 yards and three touchdowns. Kamar Aiken has 18 catches for 265 yards and 2 catches. Crockett Gilmore has 13 catches for 181 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tight end Maxx Williams has 12 catches for 108 yards. He is questionable with an ankle injury.  Marlon Brown and Kyle Juszczyk will also get some targets. Tight ends Allen Reisner and Dennis Pitta are both on injured reserve.  Nine defensive players are listed on the injury report, including star linebacker Terrell Suggs who is out for the season with a torn Achilles’ tendon.

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Arizona is outscoring teams 34-19 this season. The Cardinals are #3 in scoring and #8 in points allowed. The Cardinals are averaging 406 total yards per game on offense including 284 passing and 122 rushing yards. The Cardinals are #6 or better in total and passing defense. Arizona is allowing 329 total yards per game including 224 passing and 105 rushing yards. The Cardinals are #7 in pass defense and #6 in total defense. Arizona is 27/68 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 29/87. The Cardinals have forced 8 sacks and have allowed 9 this season. Arizona is +3 in turnovers. The Cardinals have a special teams touchdown and three defensive touchdowns.

Quarterback Carson Palmer has completed 64.8% of his passes for 1,737 yards with 14 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, along with 10 rushing yards. Running back Andre Ellington has 16 carries for 139 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 3 catches for 54 yards. Chris Johnson has 93 carries for 445 yards with 2 touchdowns, along with 5 catches for 56 yards. David Johnson has 21 carries for 100 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 10 catches for 145 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Receiver Larry Fitzgerald has 43 catches for 583 yards and 6 touchdowns. John Brown has 33 catches for 497 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is questionable with a hip injury. Michael Floyd has 13 catches for 154 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Darren Fells has 9 catches for 146 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is out until early November with a hip injury.  Jaron Brown has 4 catches for 48 yards and a touchdown.  Four defensive players are listed on the injury report.

Baltimore is 4-0-1 ATS against teams with winning home records, 5-1 in Monday games, 3-1-1 against teams with winning records, 2-5-1 after rushing for 90 yards or less, 1-3-1 after passing for 250 yards or more, 1-4 in week seven, 2-11-1 after allowing 350 total yards or more, 0-5-1 after a straight up loss and overall, 0-3-1 after failing to cover, after allowing less than 90 rushing yards, in October, in road games, on grass, and after allowing 250 passing yards or more. The underdog and road team are both 4-1 ATS in this series.

Arizona is 12-3-1 ATS after failing to cover, 8-2 at home, 7-2 after rushing for less than 90 yards, 6-2 against teams with losing road records, 8-3 after gaining 350 total yards or more, 10-4 after a straight up loss, 20-8 against teams with losing records, 10-4 on grass, 21-9 overall, 1-3-1 in week seven, and 0-5 in Monday games. The Cardinals have covered four of the five games against the Ravens.

Baltimore isn’t as bad as their record would indicate with so many close losses. Still, I think Arizona is just a better team and should win this game at home in a high scoring game.

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