Oakland Raiders vs. Baltimore Ravens - Predictions & Free Picks

Baltimore Ravens players getting instructions from coach

Nikki Adams

Thursday, September 29, 2016 2:16 PM GMT

Thursday, Sep. 29, 2016 2:16 PM GMT

Baltimore Ravens look to continue their undefeated run at the expense of the Oakland Raiders. We look at this week 4 matchup and analyse the odds concluding with a winning NFL picks.

 

Is anybody buying what the Raiders are selling?
Oakland’s two wins on the season both came on the road – a rollicking come-from-behind win over the New Orleans Saints and a narrow 17-10 win over the Tennessee Titans in week 3 NFL betting. As a result of this positive record, the Raiders are tied for 2nd in the AFC West with the Kansas City Chiefs and improve to +500 at Bet365, now offering 100% Cash welcome bonus, to win the AFC West. That said, the Broncos (3-0 SU) have this market well and truly cornered at -138 NFL odds and the Kansas City Chiefs (2-1 SU) come up a close enough second best bet at +210 odds.

By the NFL betting outlook for the AFC West, it’s clear the Raiders have some way to go before perceptions change. One thing that might be taking the shine off of their 2-1 SU record is that the two teams they beat have a combined 1-5 SU record for the first three weeks of the season. To put it simply, when the Raiders win a big game against a perceived contender they might start to gain respect.

Baltimore Ravens are such contenders because of their winning record (3-0 SU), which has them also holding court in the AFC North, ahead of preseason favorites Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals. Curiously, though, they aren’t the faves to win the division. That nod remains with the Steelers at -125 odds while the Ravens are second faves at +240 odds.

Putting a forgettable 2015 season firmly in the rear-view mirror, John Harbaugh’s side reeled off three straight wins over Buffalo, Cleveland and Jacksonville. Granted the combined winning record of these opponents is 1-8 SU on the season, but unlike the Raiders the Ravens are perennial contenders in the league and established dangerous floaters with championship credentials (2012 Super Bowl).

Where the Ravens stack up well is on the defensive side of the ball. Indeed, the shored up defense is largely responsible for their positive run of form and it’s sure to pose a huge obstacle for the Raiders offense to overcome. In fact, it will test the merit of the Raiders’ offense that is ranked second in the league for total offense and is the 8th highest scoring offense with 26.7 points scored per game. There are those that would argue those lofty numbers came at the expense of questionable defenses, prompting speculation whether the Raiders offense is really as good as the stats say it is.

 

Oakland Raiders vs Baltimore Ravens  
Consider the Raiders offense was challenged significantly by a stout Titans defense, it’s reasonable to assume they’ll be just as challenged if not more by the Baltimore defense that ranks second in the league in total defense and fourth in points allowed. The Ravens haven’t been blowing the opposition off the field at all though – they are 2-1 ATS this season with a 4.3 winning margin on average and +1.2 differential versus the spread. On that score alone bankrolling the Raiders as the 3.5-point road underdogs has some appeal. That said, the Ravens offense hasn’t faced a defense quite as porous as the Raiders defense is – the worst in the league right now. This could be the game that sees the Ravens finally click offensively making their spread my NFL week 4 pick. Keep in mind Joe Flacco and his wife just welcomed their first daughter (fourth child in five years) into the world this week. A happy new daddy could make for quite an inspired performance.

 

Free NFL Picks: Ravens -3.5 +108 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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