NFL Week 8 Against the Spread Picks: Arizona Cardinals at Baltimore Ravens

Arizona Cardinals at Baltimore Ravens
Sunday, 10/30/11, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  FOX
Opening Point Spread:  Baltimore -13
Current Betting Line:  Baltimore -13
Opening Total:  44.5
Current Total:  44
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Chiefs Ravens NFL Preview
The Baltimore Ravens will need to get the ball in running back Ray Rice's hands more often Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals

Arizona has dropped five consecutive games since a 28-21 season-opening win over the Carolina Panthers as 6.5-point home favorites, which came against rookie quarterback Cam Newton making his first career start.  The Cardinals came out of a bye week only to drop a 32-20 decision to the Pittsburgh Steelers as four-point home underdogs.  “When you have lost five games in a row, I don’t think anybody is progressing at the rate we need to,” stated Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt after the game.  Arizona is 2-7 ATS after two or more consecutive losses and the ‘over’ is 5-4 in those contests.

The Cardinals’ defense allowed Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to throw for 361 yards past week, with two opposing receivers going over the century mark in terms of yardage.  Arizona’s quarterback Kevin Kolb came away with decent numbers, completing 18-of-34 passes for 272 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, but he found star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald just four times for 78 yards.  The running game never materialized with starter Beanie Wells gaining 42 yards on 12 carries, backed up by Alfonso Smith’s 17 yards on five attempts.

Baltimore dropped a 12-7 contest to the Jacksonville Jaguars as 10-point road favorites, ending its current win streak at three games straight-up and against the spread.  The Ravens are now 4-2 on the season and looking up at the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC North division, something that head coach John Harbaugh isn’t pleased about.  “If we don’t get consistency on offense we’re not going anywhere,” he commented after the loss on Monday Night Football.  The team managed just 16 total offensive yards in the first half, while being held to 146 for the game.  Baltimore is 2-2 ATS after playing in the prime-time event and 4-2 ATS as a home favorite of 10.5 to 14 points.

The Ravens have won three consecutive meetings with the Arizona Cardinals, but haven’t met on a football field since a 26-23 win as seven-point favorites on Sept. 23, 2007.  Baltimore has the league’s best scoring defense, holding Jacksonville to four field goals in Week 7, with three coming from over 50 yards.  Many players commented in the locker room that running back Ray Rice needs to get more touches, gaining just 28 yards on eight carries, while also losing his first fumble in 522 consecutive regular-season touches.

Bettors will likely back the Cardinals due to their 4-0 ATS mark as a underdog of 10.5 or more points, while the Ravens are 2-7 ATS when playing on Sunday after an appearance on Monday Night Football.

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