With NFL odds already in swing for Week 13, here's our pre-game analysis and free NFL picks for the San Diego Chargers vs. Baltimore Ravens matchup.
Baltimore Ravens Hopes Run High
In a highly competitive AFC North division, Baltimore Ravens are tied for second place with Pittsburgh Steelers, both 7-4 SU going into week 13 NFL betting. Postseason hopes given a significant boost after running away with a victory at the Superdome, all while matched as the +155 SU underdogs and as the 3-point road pups in Monday Night Football betting.
Ravens' ran riot over the Saints in a 34-27 victory. The highly entertaining and competitive clash saw Joe Flacco complete 18-of-24 passes for 243 yards and a touchdown, but top performer honours went to Justin Forsett. The running back was a game-changer on the night, running for 182 yards and two touchdowns, including the game sealer that handed the Saints their third straight home loss.
The victory over the Saints marked a clean sweep against the hapless NFC South division. It was a pivotal win, needless to say. Ravens dropped back-to-back games to their divisional foes – 27-24 to the Bengals and 43-23 to the Steelers in week 8 and 9, respectively, and have been playing catch-up since then.
They bounced back with a win over the Tennessee Titans in week 10 NFL betting before going into their bye week. Now with a second straight win, not to mention a quality road win, which they haven't enjoyed this season, the Ravens are back on pace with the Steelers and Bengals as the season hurtles towards the business end. From here and onwards, all their games will be must-win games if they want to be orchestrators of their own destiny.
San Diego Chargers Flatter To Deceive
San Diego Chargers are enjoying a positive season; by the numbers, they are 7-4 SU and sat in second place in a highly competitive AFC West division. Most recently, they are riding a two-game winning streak. They look to have form going into week 13 NFL betting, which underscores their +215 SU odds to mastermind the upset in Baltimore, as well the 5.5-point underdog spread rolled out onto the NFL odds board.
Are the Chargers as good as their 7-4 SU record suggests or are they only as good as the strength of their schedule? To take a closer look at their schedule so far, is to suggest the latter is the more accurate assessment of the Chargers this season.
Chargers lost almost all games against quality opponents, beginning with Arizona in week 1 to three straight against Kansas City, Denver and Miami (weeks 7-to-9), the latter of which was 37-0 blowout on the road. To date, the only legitimate team they beat are the Seahawks, week 2's stunning 30-21 upset. Remaining victories have come at the expense of middleweights and the season's underachievers: Buffalo, Jacksonville, New York Jets, Oakland (twice) and St. Louis. The lack of true quality wins doesn't bode well for Chargers or the notion they would mastermind the upset in Baltimore, a side that boasts a strong home record.
NFL Betting Verdict: Ravens -5.5 over Chargers
Chargers flatter to deceive, particularly on the road where they are 2-3 SU and ATS with a 7.4-point margin of defeat. Most importantly, the Chargers have failed to cover in their last six straight games, as recently as the 5-point favourites at home to the St. Louis Rams in week 12 NFL betting.
Ravens are 7-4 SU and 6-4-1 ATS this season with a 7.9-point margin of victory. At home, the numbers are even better reading with a 4-1 SU and ATS record, comprised of a 15.4-point margin of victory. The two-game winning streak they are riding sends them into this clash with measured optimism and confidence as the -260 NFL odds favourites. What's more, they've cashed against the spread in their last four home games and in their last two overall games against the spread. All in all, the NFL betting trends and Ravens' form suggest the Ravens are not only the better NFL pick to win SU but also the smart NFL pick against the spread.
Free NFL Pick: Ravens -260 to win SU and to cover at -5.5 at BetOnline