The Baltimore Ravens host the Minnesota Vikings in Week 9. We dive into the cross-conference battle with our top Vikings vs Ravens picks.
The Ravens lead the AFC North at 5-2, but they were embarrassed by the rival Cincinnati Bengals in Week 7 before last week's bye. Although the final score of 41-17 was bad enough, the performance may have been worse. Baltimore was up 17-13 early in the third quarter before being outscored 28-0 in the final 26:06 of the game.
The Vikings suffered a humbling 20-16 loss at home on Sunday Night Football against the Dallas Cowboys and backup QB Cooper Rush in Week 8. The loss followed Minnesota's bye week and snapped a mini two-game winning streak.
Here are my picks and predictions for the NFL Week 9 matchup between the Vikings and Ravens (odds via BetMGM; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5 star scale).
Vikings vs. Ravens Week 9 Game Info
Date/Time: Sunday, November 7, 1 p.m. ETTV: FOXLocation: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MDWeather: 57 degrees, 10 percent chance of precipitation
Vikings vs. Ravens Odds Analysis
There has been some movement since this line opened at Ravens -6. At one point on Monday it was available at -5 at some of the top online sportsbooks. Since then it has settled back at the original number.
The total opened at 50 with some action seeing it go down to 49.5. Both numbers are available depending on which sportsbook you choose.
Vikings vs. Ravens Picks
Vikings +6 (-110) ???Over 49.5 (-110) ?
SEE ALSO: Top 3 Underdog Picks of NFL Week 9
Vikings vs. Ravens Predictions
Vikings +6 (-110)
The real battle for me is the Ravens blitz against Vikings QB Kirk Cousins. Baltimore ranks seventh in the league with a 27.0 percent pressure rate and has 18 sacks through seven games. However, for all the criticism he tends to receive, Cousins has been really good against the blitz this season.
He has taken just 10 sacks and is averaging a career-best 9.4 yards per scramble attempt. That will also leave WRs Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson in one-on-one situations where I expect them to excel. They have 471 and 563 yards, respectively, and a total of 10 touchdowns through seven games.
The Ravens might be able to stop one but without CB Marcus Peters, they won't be able to stop both if Cousins continues to have the same success against the blitz on Sunday that he has had so far this season.
Over 49.5 (-110)
Both of these teams allow opponents to move the ball against them and rank in the bottom 12 of the league in yards allowed per game. While I expect the Ravens to run the ball down the Vikings' throats with their third-ranked rushing attack by yards per game, if Minnesota were to take an early lead, Baltimore is more than capable of hurting them with their aerial attack as well.
I don't see the Ravens scoring fewer than 28 points, which they've done only three times this season. Since I expect the Vikings to cover, I'm taking the Over.
Vikings-Ravens picks made 11/04/21 at 4:20 p.m. ET.