Ravens Defense to Prevail Over Bucs for Week 6 NFL Picks

Swinging Johnson

Monday, October 6, 2014 3:00 PM GMT

Both teams are coming off grueling losses as the Ravens dust themselves off after faltering from too much Luck while the Bucs unraveled in New Orleans. But which side will rebound and cash as one of our NFL picks on Sunday?

Baltimore Ravens (3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS)
Last Sunday the Ravens were a victim of a defense that was eerily reminiscent of their own and it proved to be the root cause of a 20-13 defeat and a blown ATS cover in NFL odds. The Colts made all the right moves defensively and limited Joe Flacco to 235 yards with no touchdowns and sacked the Baltimore signal caller on four occasions while putting him under duress throughout. Though Baltimore’s offense was stuck in neutral due to the swarming Indianapolis defensive front and solid coverage in the secondary their defense did a solid job in defeat. They picked off two Andrew Luck passes and contained a ground and pound attack mounted by the Colts. However, it was simply not enough.

After reviewing this game against a burgeoning AFC powerhouse it is important to note that Baltimore could have turned the tide if not for a few crucial mistakes. Veteran receiver Steve Smith who was indispensable the week before in their 38-10 win over the Carolina Panthers accrued just 34 yards receiving and was responsible for a critical fumble that set the stage for an Indianapolis field goal. Special teams receiver Jacoby Jones mishandled a punt and Joe Flacco took a sack on fourth-and-one.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-4 SU, 2-3 ATS)
The few who decided to go where angels fear to tread and bet the Bucs +460 in NFL odds to win this one outright had to be grinning like a Cheshire cat when Tampa took an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter against a Saints team that ironically many believed would wind up cashing as 11-point favorites in their NFL picks. But ultimately the Saints marched on to tie the game and won it in overtime 37-31 on an 18-yard scamper into the endzone by Khiry Robinson.

If there is a bright spot for the Bucs it would be the play of quarterback Mike Glennon who went 19-of-32 for 249 yards including two touchdown strikes and only one interception. The interception in question could be attributed more to a sensational play on the part of veteran cornerback Patrick Robinson than a bad pass by Glennon. The Bucs once again could not get their rushing attack in motion as Doug Martin continued to struggle, picking up only 45 yards on 14 carries. Tampa Bay currently ranks 30th in passing yards, 24th in rushing, 30th defending the pass and 18th against the run.

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The Bucs could have won their game on Sunday on the road against a formidable offense and a future Hall-of-Fame quarterback but instead unraveled like a Kardashian in a spelling bee contest. But let’s keep this one in perspective. The New Orleans Saints will never be confused with the Steel Curtain, the Doomsday Defense or the Orange Crush. The Bucs had an opportunity to exploit this weakness and they actually did just that until the end when a slew of penalties and an ill-advised safety proved to be one mistake too many.

The Ravens may have lost but they played well defensively against a talented Colts offense yet were more than unlucky to run into an underrated Indianapolis defense that could not have played better and probably won’t throughout the rest of this season. While parity reigns supreme in the NFL I cannot envision a scenario in which Joe Flacco and the boys on offense don’t get all giddy against a Bucs defense that simply cannot stop anyone. Moreover, the Bucs will find that the Ravens’ defense hits harder, plays faster and covers tighter than anything the Saints could trot out onto the field. My NFL pick in this one is square biz to be sure but I’m going with the travelin’ favorite.

NFL Picks: Ravens -3 (-125) at Bet365.com.

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