|3 BAL (-117) @ Draftkings|
My 9* "Battle of the Bs" is on the Bal Ravens at 8:15 ET.
The Baltimore Ravens ended last season on a 12-game winning streak and entered the 2019 postseason 14-2 as the AFC's No. 1 seed. However, the Ravens lost 28-12 at home to the Titans as 10-point favorites. The two teams met in Week 11 of the 2020 season (again in Baltimore) and even with that playoff revenge, the Ravens blew a 21-10 third-quarter lead in a 30-24 OT loss. The Ravens were just 6-5 after their Week 12 loss to Pittsburgh but would go on a 5-0 SU & ATS run to finish 11-5 and earn the AFC's No. 5 seed. The Ravens drew the 4th-seeded Titans in the Wild Card round last Sunday and the THIRD time was 'the charm!' The Ravens fell behind 10-0 in the first quarter but dominated the rest of the way in winning 20-13. Lamar Jackson finally got his first postseason victory (0-2), running for 136 yards and a 48-yard TD while throwing for 179 yards. The Baltimore D held Tennessee to its fewest points all season and smothered 2,000-yard rusher Derrick Henry. Henry had run all over the Ravens with 328 yards rushing combined in the last two meetings but had his worst performance of the season, gaining only 40 yards on 18 carries.
It's been a season to remember for Buffalo in 2020. QB Josh Allen set franchise records of 4,544 passing yards and 37 TDs as well as helping provide a new identity to a rising team that posted the franchise's best victory total since 1991 in going 13-3. The Bills won the AFC East for the first time since 1995 but entered their game with the Colts having lost their last SIX playoff contests since last winning a postseason game following the 1995 season. The Bills' 27-24 win over the Colts snapped that 0-6 postseason skid, winning their first playoff game since a 37-22 win over Miami on Dec 30, 1995. Allen passed for 324 yards with two TDs and zero INTs (121.6 QB rating), while leading the team in rushing with 54 yards and a TD. He's in just this third season but in two playoff games, has become only the FIFTH player since at least 1940 to score a touchdown rushing, passing and receiving in his playoff career (he scored on a 16-yard catch from John Brown in a 22-19 OT loss at Houston a year ago).
Baltimore's Jackson became the first QB in NFL history to rush for at least 1,000 yards in multiple seasons in Baltimore's 38-3 win at Cincinnati in Week 17. Jackson rushed for 97 yards on 11 carries to give him 1,005 yards for the season. The Ravens finished with 404 rushing yards in that contest and led the NFL in rushing for the second straight season (191.9 YPG). How good is the Ravens' running game? It ran for 1,573 yards during its current 6-0 SU & ATS streak, which is more than SIX teams ran for all season! The Ravens are only the third team in NFL history to have three players top 700 yards rushing in a single season with Jackson (1,005 yards), rookie J.K. Dobbins (805) and Gus Edwards (723). Baltimore's defense finished second to the Rams in allowing just 18.9 PPG on the season.
Allen's OUTSTANDING season was sure helped by the signing of WR Stefon Diggs, who caught 127 passes for 1,535 yards and eight TDs in the regular season. He then caught six passes for 128 yards (one TD) vs Indy. Fellow WR Beasley had a career season, catching 82 passes (4 TDs) for 967 yards. Beasley caught seven passes vs the Colts. However, there is a slight concern that BOTH Diggs (oblique) and Beasley (knee) have been somewhat limited this week in practice.
It's true that Buffalo enters on a SEVEN-game winning streak and has won 10 of 11, losing only at Arizona when Murray and Hopkins connected on that improbable "Hail Mary." That said, Baltimore has been playing with a win-or-done urgency since early December, following a 1-4 skid that dropped it to 6-5. The Ravens were depleted by a COVID-19 outbreak in a 19-14 loss at Pittsburgh (but covered), before reeling off six consecutive wins and seven straight ATS wins. The Ravens are 'on a mission of redemption' from last season and it WON'T end here in Buffalo. Hey, maybe the Ravens can get the Browns to upset the Chiefs, meaning Baltimore would host the AFC championship game.