|-2.5 BAL (103) @ pinnacle|
8* Take Baltimore (#459)
The Indianapolis Colts have faced the single weakest schedule in the NFL through the first half of the campaign. They’ve faced the 1-6 Jags, the 2-5 Vikings (on a bad day for Minnesota), the 0-8 Jets, the 2-4-1 Bengals and the 3-4 Lions. Indy’s ‘step-up’ games have come against the Bears and Browns; not exactly elite competition. Baltimore will be, by far, this toughest opponent yet this season. The Ravens are road chalk here for a reason.
The Ravens have COVID issues this week – a big part of the reason why they are such a short favorite here – but those issues don’t appear serious. CB Marlon Humphrey won’t play on Sunday. Seven other players from their linebacking corps and secondary are all in quarantine after being in meetings with Humphrey. Head coach John Harbaugh said that he expects all the quarantine guys except Humphrey to play this week. His quote: “You look at it as an opportunity to create versatility within your defense.” Safety Chuck Clark didn’t seem overly concerned either: “We’ve had rough patches around here before, worse than this. We re tough here. We are overcomers and we fight through adversity.”
From a situational standpoint and a matchup standpoint, the Ravens are a clear choice in this pointspread range. Philip Rivers has not responded well to pressure this season; the Ravens pass rush ranks #4 in the NFL in sacks per game. Indy’s defense has put up excellent numbers, but they’ve yet to face an elite power rushing team like Baltimore. And with the Ravens coming off a tough loss while the Colts are coming off a blowout win, I’m expecting an ‘A’ level effort from the road favorite here. John Harbaugh was pointing to this game immediately after last week’s loss: “This is where our season begins, and we go from here; the very best football team we can be starting in Indianapolis next weekend.” They’re the better team in the better spot this weekend! Take the Ravens.