Too Risky to Bet in Week 8: Ravens, Panthers Pose Too Many Questions

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, October 25, 2018 3:41 PM UTC

Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018 3:41 PM UTC

Each week during the NFL season there is at least one game on the slate that is just too hot to handle. That game this week concerns the Ravens and Panthers. If you have to bet this, the total looks promising!

Baltimore at CarolinaSunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)If You Must Bet: UnderBest Line Offered: Sportsbetting

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The NFL odds board initially posted a line of a "pick’ em" on this game which gave me a slight inkling to back the Ravens, but it was probably going to be a pass game for me, nonetheless. But now the number has crept to Baltimore -2½ and any perceived value has evaporated. The Ravens are coming off a 24-23 loss to New Orleans, while the Panthers mustered a solid 21-17 win over the Eagles.

It seems to me that a week after defeating the defending Super Bowl champions on their own turf might set up as a trap game for the Cats, as it usually does for any team following a huge victory. However, Baltimore has been hopscotching wins and losses when on the road. If the pattern of win one, lose one, continues then they are due for a loss in this spot. And after watching a 10-point lead melt away to Drew Brees and company, they could very well be due for a letdown themselves. It’s all a bit confusing and a wager on either side would be akin to manufacturing an opinion just for the sake of a little action. Not a good way to manage your bankroll, my friends.

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\"Make sure you mow my lawn too while you're out there!\"

There's only one Agent 89. 🕵 pic.twitter.com/DVDbXU9MeV

— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) October 24, 2018
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However, this does look like an opportunity to include the total in our NFL picks. The Baltimore defense has been the primary reason the Ravens are above .500 at this point in the season as evidenced by their No. 1 ranking in points allowed. Meanwhile, their opponents this week are no slouch on defense either, surrendering an average of 21.8 PPG and 10th in the league in that category.

Cam Newton has one main weapon, Christian McCaffrey, but his offensive line is not stout and oftentimes we see Newton without options except to bolt for the sidelines. Imagine how tough he’ll have it against the Ravens’ defense. Similarly, the Ravens’ offensive line will be challenged to suppress the onslaught from Carolina’s pass rush, which means Joe Flacco may be running for his life as well.

This is setting up as a game being played between the 30s with plenty of three-and-outs leading to punts where the offenses begin deep in their own zone. If you need more convincing then take a peek at these trends:

  • Under is 5-0 in Ravens' last five games overall.
  • Under is 4-0 in Ravens' last four games on grass.
  • Under is 4-0 in Ravens' last four games following a straight-up loss.
  • Under is 4-1 in Ravens' last five road games.
  • Under is 4-1 in Panthers' last five games in October.

Stay away from either side here and go low, my friends. Include "under" in the Ravens-Panthers tilt in your NFL picks this Sunday. You won’t be sorry.

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