Week 11 NFL Picks: Back Home Faves Ravens to Win Over Anemic Rams

Kevin Stott

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 2:11 PM GMT

Is this Week 11 meeting with the Ravens in Baltimore a must-win situation for the Rams? Let’s take a look at the NFL odds to choose a side and back them with our NFL picks.

Odds Overview
St. Louis Rams at Baltimore Ravens: The St. Louis Rams (4-5 SU, 4-5 ATS) and sensational Rookie RB Todd Gurley head to M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on Sunday to face the Ravens (2-7 SU, 1-7-1 ATS) in a Week 11 meeting, which is surprisingly only important to the visitors from the NFC. Oddsmakers have made this game a Pick ‘Em—both sides Even, -110—(Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)—the Las Vegas SuperBook Advanced Line here was Rams -2—with the Total (Points) posted at 42 (Pinnacle) and 42½ in most sportsbooks. Because of the dead-even Odds in this one, both the Rams and Ravens are -110 Favorites in the Money Line (Winner) marketplace. The St. Louis Rams Total Team Points has been set at 21 (Ladbrokes) while the Baltimore Ravens Total Team Points is at 21 (PaddyPower) for this game. For now, this is one of those rare mathematical oddities where Oddsmakers perceive an even game with the Point Spread essentially at 0 and both teams’ Team Total Points exactly the same (21). Is there any doubt one team wins by double-digits? Well, with the way these two teams are scoring, the answer to that sarcastic question would have to be “Yes.” This should be close like the Point Spread itself.

St. Louis Rams
The St. Louis Rams (166 PF-183 PA) are now sitting at 4-5 after Sunday’s pivotal 37-13 Loss at Home at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, so back-to-back setbacks to NFC North sides Minnesota (Week 9) and Chicago (Week 10) has pretty much put Head Coach, Jeff Fisher (29-28 ATS), and the Rams in a must-win situation here in Baltimore. The St. Louis Defense (20.3 ppg, #8 in NFL) has been wonderful this season, only allowing 183 Points to date but even with Georgia Rookie Gurley tearing things up, QB Nick Foles and the Rams Offense can only be described as anemic (St. Louis Unders 6-3). And with skilled guys like Gurley (130 rushes, 709 yards, 5 TDs), Tavon Austin, Kenny Britt, Brian Quick, Tre Mason and Jared Cook, the Rams have way too much trouble scoring and no one would be surprised if both HC Fisher and QB Foles were let go in the Offseason. This sentiment apparently is also being felt today (Monday) in the Gateway City where backup Case Keenum was named starter for this game, immediately improving the Rams chances and making for a completely different handicap (No NFL Offense should approach  a game “defensively.”) The Rams (125/1 to win Super Bowl, Ladbrokes) have some Injury concerns here with DE Chris Long (Knee) listed as Questionable, T Jamon Brown (Leg) as Doubtful while WR Stedman Bailey (Suspension) will be eligible Week 14 and RB Trey Watts (Suspension) is out for the season. St. Louis has three players on the Injured-Reserve List in G Rodger Saffold (Shoulder), CB EJ Gaines (Foot) and LB Alec Ogletree (Leg).

 

Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens (210 PF-236 PA) brutal schedule has seemingly finally done them in, but losing guys like TE Owen Daniels (Broncos), NT Haloti Ngata (Lions) and WR Torrey Smith (49ers) was never going to be easy for QB Joe Flacco and Head Coach John Harbaugh (69-62-5 ATS) this season, let alone playing in the rugged AFC North where Baltimore has to deal with playing Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals, and Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers twice each season. This is like having to fight a mean Tiger to start each morning. Here, with veteran star and future Hall of Famer Steve Smith injure and out for the season, Flacco will look to get RB Justin Forsett (615 yards), WR Kamar Aiken (32 receptions, 406 yards, 2 TDs, 12.7 ypc), TE Crockett Gilmore (24 receptions, 284 yards, 11.8 ypc, 4 TDs) and FB Kyle Juszczyk (23 receptions, 196 yards, 2 TDs) into the mix but the bottom line is that the cupboard is really bare here and without the prolific Smith & Smith WR combination and TE Daniels to throw to like last season, that Flacco is making the best out of what’s left in Crab City. On the Ravens (500/1 to win Super Bowl, Betfred) Injury front, CB Tray Walker (Concussion) is listed as Questionable and WR Breshad Perriman (Knee) is Out Indefinitely while Baltimore has a mind-boggling 11 guys now stuck on the Injured-Reserve List in aforementioned WR Smith (Achilles), LB Terrell Suggs (Achilles), TE Dennis Pitta (Hip), RB Lorenzo Taliaferro (Foot), DB Will Davis (Knee), WR Michael Campanaro (Back), WR Darren Walker (Hamstring), DE Brent Urban (Bicep) and S Matt Elam (Bicep), TE Allen Reisner (Ankle) and CB Julian Wilson (Leg). No team has been hurt by the Offseason and Injuries like the Baltimore Ravens.

 

Recent Series Trends and Best Betting Approach
Both of these slumping teams lost on Sunday in Week 10 play but in different manners: Baltimore fell victim to a Facemask Penalty with no time left, then lost on a FG with no Time left on the clock to the Jaguars, 22-20, and the Rams were blasted by Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, 37-13. The last time these two played, the Ravens won 37-7 in St. Louis, easily covering as 5½-point chalks while the last meeting here in Maryland, the Ravens won 22-3 and got their backers the money as 9-point favorites in 2007. Baltimore and Flacco (31-26-2 ATS) may be worth backing at -2 this inter-conference tilt and will be in a very foul mood after the way the Jacksonville game ended, although the news that the Rams will be starting Keenum at QB is good for the visitors. The Advanced Line from the SuperBook here in now windy Sin City actually had the Rams as 2-point favorites, so you can see how the Bears blowout in St. Louis affected perceptions of this Point Spread and the NFL odds, actually flipping the favorite, even if just barely. But what to expect? Much of QB Keenum handing the pigskin to Gurley for the Rams early on, while the Ravens also try to scrape out points in a game where scoring may be difficult with the Weather forecast (The Weather Channel) of Showers and a High temperature of just 48°. These two teams have only played 5 times ever—Baltimore lead, 32-2—and the only meeting ever here at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore saw the Ravens win that aforementioned 22-3 game in 2007 which (obviously) went well under the low posted closing Total of 37. The other four meetings have all seen 37 or more points (44, 55, 37 and 68—OT), but with these game being played from 1996 to 2011 in four different stadiums, these are exactly the type of Series Trends which can be rendered useless in a handicap. After all the analyzing, research, Injuries, expectations and reality where St. Louis (6-14 SU L20 Road games) must win here, it honestly seems like the three biggest things here to keep in mind for our NFL picks are that the Ravens—who have the worst ATS Record in the NFL at 1-7-1—are coming a freak last-second loss and will be driven by that recent memory; that the Rams are going with Keenum over Foles at QB; and, maybe the most important thing here: That the game is in Baltimore.

PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: Ravens 20 Rams 17 
NFL WEEK 11 FREE PICK: Ravens Moneyline -110 (Sky Bet)

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