Jason The Contrarian: Ravens Getting Just Enough Points Vs. Chiefs

Jason Lake

Tuesday, December 4, 2018 9:59 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 9:59 PM UTC

The Baltimore Ravens are the obvious Contrarian choice for Sunday’s road game against the Kansas City Chiefs – but as Jason Lake reports, you’d better act fast.

Jason’s 2018-19 NFL picks record through Week 13: 6-13 ATS, 3-5 Totals

Baltimore (7-5 SU, 6-6 ATS) at Kansas City (10-2 SU, 8-3-1 ATS)Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET (CBS)Free NFL Pick: Ravens ATSBest Line Offered: Bovada

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Are you ready to fade the Kansas City Chiefs this week? It’ll be an adventure, that’s for sure. The Contrarian choice for this Week 14 game is obvious: It’s the Baltimore Ravens, who have all the earmarks of a classic “fade the public” NFL pick. They’re road dogs, from a small market, with an emphasis on running and defense. Crom! All we need is the right price to make it happen.

And we may be getting that price in the nick of time. The Ravens opened as 9-point underdogs (–130) on the NFL odds board, which is about the same as –7.5 at the standard –110 vigorish. Alas, the best price on Baltimore at press time is –7 (–115), thanks to all those sharp bettors who pounced on the Ravens at the open. But we’ll take it anyway for a small sum. Where’s my flagon of wine?!

The Green Raven

There should still be some betting value on Baltimore at this new price. FiveThirtyEight project the Chiefs as 6-point favorites for Sunday’s game, using their Elo-based alchemy; that single point (minus five cents in juice) doesn’t offer much of a profit margin, but we are dealing with the magick number 7, so there’s a higher chance than usual that we’ll get at least a push out of this endeavor.

Of course, it’s the Chiefs supplying the opposition, and they’re playing some very good football this year. They might even be the “true” sharp pick, judging by these expanded consensus figures. At press time, 46.69 percent of bettors are on Kansas City, but they’re supplying 64.59 percent of the amount wagered, for an average bet of $75 on the home faves. For the Ravens? A mere $36 per ticket. I might cry.

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Ravens with Joe Flacco
4-5 Record
23.6 Points Per Game
366.5 Yards Per Game

Ravens with Lamar Jackson
3-0 Record
28 Points Per Game
395 Yards Per Game pic.twitter.com/LyZOaw8iLQ

— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) 2 de dezembro de 2018
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The Temple of Frost

Here’s the wonderful thing about the Ravens, though: They’re a different team with Lamar Jackson at quarterback. Joe Flacco wasn’t awful or anything, but he was playing at a league-average level this year, and Jackson – well, his contributions are harder to measure, because he’s more of a runner (4.9 yards per carry) than a passer.

All that running around serves a dual purpose for the Ravens. Not only do they move the chains, they also keep the clock ticking, which means the other team’s offense is waiting on the sidelines for their turn. That’s exactly where Baltimore supporters want Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes to be this Sunday. Plus, the Ravens defense will be well-rested when the time finally comes to face Mahomes. And it’s going to be just below the freezing mark at Arrowhead Stadium by the time they kick off. Bring on the Frost Giants, and may the prolate spheroid be with you on your travels.

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