This Sunday two of the AFC’s top teams will face off as the Buffalo Bills are set to host the Baltimore Ravens. Kickoff is set for 1:00 EST at New Era Field and will be televised locally on CBS.
Oddsmakers opened up this line at Ravens -6 and while several books are still sitting on that number, a few have dropped it down to Baltimore -5.5. The total opened at 44 and is down to either 43.5 or 43 depending on where you shop.
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Bills vs Ravens Point Spread Preview
Baltimore Ravens (10-2 SU, 6-5 ATS)
Baltimore comes into this one off a hard fought 20-17 win over the 49ers, but did fail to cover as a 6.5-point favorite. Snapping a streak of five straight covers for the Ravens. It did however, extend their overall winning streak to 8 games.
The game against San Francisco could have went either way as neither team led by more than a touchdown and the two were tied 17-17 for the majority of the 2nd half. Baltimore ultimately won the game on field goal in the final seconds, capping off an impressive 12-play 34-yard drive that took the final 6:28 off the clock.
With New England losing at Houston, Baltimore is now in a position to where they can win out and get the No. 1 seed in the AFC. They also have a 2-game lead over both the Chiefs and Texans for the other first round bye.
Buffalo Bills (9-3 SU, 8-3-1 ATS)
The Bills are also coming off a statement win in Week 13. There’s just came a little earlier, as they went on the road and beat the Cowboys 26-15 as a 6.5-point underdog. It was Buffalo’s third straight win and improved them to 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games.
Don’t let the fact that the Bills were outgained 426 to 356 by Dallas fool you into thinking they got lucky. After giving up an opening drive TD to the Cowboys, Buffalo’s defense made life miserable for one of the league’s better offenses. Josh Allen might be considered a “game manager,” but he was sensational in the win, completing 19 of 24 attempts for 231 yards and a score, while also rushing for 43 yards and a touchdown.
The Patriots setback against the Texans was also huge for Buffalo. The Bills are now just 1-game back of New England in the AFC East race and the Pats have a big test on their hands this week with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs coming to town. If NE loses and the Bills pull off the upset against Baltimore, there’s a good chance their Week 16 matchup at New England could decide the division.
These two teams played in Week 1 last year, which the Ravens won 47-3. The big thing to note is that win came with Lamar Jackson on the sidelines and it was Nathan Peterman who started for the Bills. Josh Allen did play the final 5 series for Buffalo, but when he entered the game it was already 40-0 in favor of Baltimore.
Vegas Free Pick & Predictions: Bills +6
My early lean here would be to take the points with Buffalo at home, as it just feels like the line here has been inflated pretty heavily on Baltimore because of how much a public play they have become. We saw this last week when they really had no business being a near touchdown favorite over the 49ers.
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With that said, just because the line is inflated doesn’t mean that a team can’t cover. I want to say Baltimore is going to come out flat after such a big game where they had to gut it out for a full 60 minutes, but there is reason to believe they will show up with a max effort.
For one, a win here and it feels like the Ravens would lock up at least one of the two top spots in the AFC and a first round bye, as they would be at worst be two-games up on the Chiefs and Texans and would need to win just 2 of their final 3. Something that seems pretty likely with two home games against the Jets and Steelers, as well as a favorable matchup at Cleveland. The other big motivator is Lamar Jackson is just 63-yards away from breaking Michael Vicks rushing record for a single season by a QB.
One big positive for Buffalo is that we know they have a really good defense and we just saw the Ravens high-powered offense struggle a strong 49ers defense. This will also be a much fresher Bills teams, as they get three extra days off to prepare and rest up having played on Thanksgiving. Buffalo is also much more difficult place to play than a lot of people realize.
This is one that I’ll probably end up staying away from, but I would definitely take a shot with Buffalo if I had to play it right now.