Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens
Saturday, December 23, 2017, 4:35 pm Eastern, TV: NFL Network
M&T Bank Stadium – Baltimore, Maryland
Opening Line: Baltimore -12 1/2
Current Line: Baltimore -13 1/2
Opening Total: 41 1/2
Current Total: 41
Opening Money Line: Ravens -900 / Colts +600
Current Money Line: Ravens -1000 / Colts +650
The 8-6 Baltimore Ravens are part of a three way tie for the two wild card playoff spots in the AFC with the Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills. The Ravens are currently the odd team out but could jump over the Bills for the last spot with a home win Saturday night over the 3-11 Indianapolis Colts. Baltimore is in second place in the AFC North behind the 11-3 Pittsburgh Steelers who have already clinched the division. Indianapolis is in last place in the AFC South.
The Colts lead the series 10-4 against the Ravens. Indianapolis won the last meeting 20-13 at home in 2014 to snap a two game losing streak to the Ravens. The Colts had won eight straight games in the series before that. The Colts played in Baltimore for many seasons before moving to the Midwest in the mid-80’s.
Indianapolis is coached by Chuck Pagano. The Colts have home wins over the Cleveland Browns 31-28 and San Francisco 49ers 26-23 in overtime, and a road win over the Houston Texans 20-14. Indianapolis has road losses at the Los Angeles Rams 46-9, Seattle Seahawks 46-18, Tennessee Titans 36-22, Cincinnati Bengals 24-23, Jacksonville Jaguars 30-10 and Buffalo Bills 13-7 in overtime. The Colts have home losses to the Arizona Cardinals 16-13 in overtime, Jaguars 27-0, Pittsburgh Steelers 20-17 Titans 20-16 and Denver Broncos 25-13 last Thursday. Indianapolis has lost five straight games. The Colts were 3 point underdogs against the Broncos and the total was 40.5. Indianapolis is 6-8 ATS and the total is 6-8 as well.
Baltimore is coached by John Harbaugh. The Ravens have road wins at the Cincinnati Bengals 20-0, Oakland Raiders 30-17, Green Bay Packers 23-0 and Cleveland Browns 27-10 last week, and home wins over the Browns 24-10, Miami Dolphins 40-0, Houston Texans 23-16 and Detroit Lions 44-20. The Ravens have won five of the last seven games. Baltimore lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars 44-7 in London. The Ravens have home losses to the Pittsburgh Steelers 26-9 and Chicago Bears 27-24 in overtime, plus road losses to the Minnesota Vikings 24-16, Tennessee Titans 23-20 and Steelers 39-38. Baltimore was a 6.5 point favorite against Cleveland and the total was 42. The Ravens are 8-5-1 ATS and the total is 8-6 this season.
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Indianapolis is being outscored 26-16 this season. The Colts are #31 in points allowed and #31 in scoring. Indianapolis averages 286 yards per game on offense including 185 passing and 102 rushing yards. The Colts are #31 in total offense and #30 in passing. Indianapolis allows 382 total yards per game including 257 passing and 124 rushing yards. The Colts are #29 or worse in all three categories. Indianapolis is 83/217 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 92/205. The Colts have forced 22 sacks and allowed 53 this season. The Colts are +4 in turnovers but have allowed six defensive touchdowns this season.
Quarterback Andrew Luck is out for the season with a shoulder injury. Jaboby Brissett took over as the quarterback for an ineffective Scott Tolzien. Brissett has completed 59.6% of his passes for 2,769 yards with 11 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, and also has 55 carries for 234 yards and four touchdowns. He has been sacked 49 times. Tolzien has thrown for 128 yards with two interceptions.
Running back Frank Gore has 220 carries for 793 yards and 3 touchdowns, and also has 24 catches for 216 yards. Marlon Mack has 313 rushing yards on 82 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 17 catches for 178 yards and a touchdown. Robert Turbin has 23 carries for 53 yards and a touchdown, along with 9 catches for 56 yards. He is out for the season with an arm injury. Two other running backs George Winn and Christine Michael are also on injured reserved.
Receiver T.Y. Hilton has 48 catches for 852 yards and 4 touchdowns. He is probable with a hand injury. Tight end Jack Doyle has 71 catches for 611 yards and 3 touchdowns. Donte Moncrieff has 26 catches for 391 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is out with an ankle injury. Chester Rogers has 20 carries for 226 yards and a touchdown. Kamar Aiken has 14 catches for 131 yards. Brandon Williams has 13 catches for 121 yards. He is out with a concussion. Ten defensive players and four offensive linemen are on the injury report.
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Baltimore is outscoring teams 25-18 this season. Baltimore is #8 in scoring and #4 in points allowed. The Ravens average 304 total yards including 187 passing and 117 rushing yards. Baltimore is #27 in passing and #29 in total offense, but the rush offense is #12. On defense, Baltimore is allowing 325 yards per game including 215 passing and 110 rushing yards. The Ravens are in the top ten in total and pass defense. The Ravens are 73/205 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 76/207. Baltimore has forced 38 sacks and allowed 25 this season. Baltimore is +17 in turnovers. The Ravens have two special teams and six defensive touchdowns.
Quarterback Joe Flacco has completed 64.2% of his passes for 2,701 yards with 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, and has been sacked 25 times. He has 21 carries for 56 yards and a touchdown. Ryan Mallett has thrown for 56 yards with two touchdowns.
Running back Alex Collins has 174 carries for 844 yards and five touchdowns, plus 18 catches for 154 yards. Javorius Allen has 140 carries for 517 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 45 catches for 240 yards and 2 touchdowns. Terrance West has 39 carries for 138 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 2 catches. Danny Woodhead will also get some carries. He has 24 catches for 151 yards. Kenneth Dixon is out for the season with a knee injury.
Receiver Mike Wallace has 43 catches for 648 yards and 3 touchdowns. Receiver Jeremy Maclin has 40 catches for 440 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is doubtful with a knee injury. Tight end Benjamin Watson has 49 catches for 421 yards and 4 touchdowns. Chris Moore has 15 catches for 213 yards and 2 touchdowns. Nick Boyle has 23 catches for 170 yards. Tight end Maxx Williams will also get some catches. Tight ends Darren Waller and Crockett Gilmore are both out for the season. Ten defensive players and five offensive linemen are listed on the injury report.
The under is 10-1 in this series recently, including 5-1 in Baltimore. The favorite is 9-1 ATS in the series. The Colts are 9-1 ATS against the Ravens, including 5-1 in Baltimore recently.
The Ravens have two very winnable games left at home against the Colts and Bengals. They definitely have an easier schedule than the Bills and Titans. In fact if Baltimore doesn’t beat both Indianapolis and Cincinnati, they probably don’t deserve to go to the playoffs. While temperatures will be warm in the low 60’s, it is expected to be raining all day in Baltimore Saturday with a little wind as well. The Colts are playing out the string for a lame duck coach in Pagano. I like Baltimore to win handily in a low scoring game.