The New England Patriots opened as 8-point home favorites at SBR's best sportsbooks for the Week 14 Monday night game against the Baltimore Ravens, but it's the visiting team that's drawing the lean and has helped bring the number down to as low as 6.
You may have noticed the weather at some of the NFL games in the Midwest and Northeast on Sunday. The Steelers and Bills, for example, played in a mini-snowstorm in Buffalo -- although it didn't slow Pittsburgh running back Le'Veon Bell. It appears weather won't be much of a factor in Foxboro. It might have been if it were a bit colder as it was expected to rain early in the day but it's above freezing. Around kickoff, temperatures are forecast for around 34 degrees with no rain or snow. The total Monday is set at 45 on NFL odds -- Baltimore has the NFL's No. 1 defense.
The Ravens (7-5) are now a half-game behind Pittsburgh for first place in the AFC North after the Steelers took care of business in Buffalo. Baltimore has won two games in a row and four of its past five contests. Last week, quarterback Joe Flacco passed for 381 yards and four touchdowns in the Ravens’ 38-6 win over Miami. That impressive win no doubt got the attention of plenty of bettors this week, with many thinking the Ravens were getting too many points at +8.
The Patriots (10-2) have reached 10 wins for the 14th consecutive season, the second-longest streak in NFL history. They also caught a break last Thursday when Oakland lost in Kansas City. Why? The Raiders (10-3) would have held the tiebreaker against New England for the top overall seed in the AFC playoffs, but now the Patriots will get that if they win out.
Last Sunday, New England defeated Los Angeles 26-10 as Tom Brady won his 201st career start (including the postseason), the most victories by a starting QB in NFL history. The Patriots would have had a shot to become the first team to win its division eight years in a row, but they can't clinch the AFC East yet on Monday with a win because Miami (8-5) won on Sunday against Arizona.
The Patriots are 7-1 all-time against Baltimore in the regular season, including 4-0 in home games. The two teams have played in four postseason contests since 2010, including two AFC Championship Games. They last met in the 2014 AFC Divisional Playoff game when the Patriots erased two different 14-point deficits -- an NFL playoff first -- in a 35-31 victory on Jan. 10, 2015. New England would go on to win the Super Bowl.
The road team is 6-0-1 ATS on NFL picks in the past seven meetings.