This Sunday the Baltimore Ravens (6-5) will host the Detroit Lions (6-5). It’s a matchup of two teams fighting to earn one of the Wild Card spots in their respective conferences. Kickoff is set for 1:00 EST M&T Bank Stadium and will be televised locally on FOX.
Oddsmakers currently have Baltimore listed as a 3-point home favorite with the total set at 43.5 points. Check out our Week 13 NFL odds page for a full betting schedule and for more links to our game previews.
Lions vs Ravens NFL Game Preview & Vegas Betting Odds
Detroit comes in off a 23-30 loss to the Vikings as a 2.5-point home dog on Thanksgiving Day. The Lions were fortunate to not lose by more. Detroit has a -2 turnover differential and were outgained by Minnesota by nearly 120 yards. The loss snapped a 3-game winning streak for the Lions. It also put them 3-back of the Vikings for the NFC North crown, likely leaving a Wild Card as their only path to the playoffs.
Baltimore enters off a 23-16 home win over the Texans on Monday Night Football. The Ravens either pushed as a 7-point favorite or loss as a 7.5-point favorite depending on when you bet them. Baltimore’s defense was the story, as they held the Texans to 303 yards and forced 3 turnovers. As for the offense, it showed some flashes, but wasn’t pretty for the majority of the game. The Ravens have now won 3 of 4 and would be in as a Wild Card in the AFC if the season were to end today.
Free Betting Pick & NFL ATS Predictions: Ravens -3
I would have to lean here towards taking Baltimore and would strongly consider buying it down to 2.5 or wait it out and see if it doesn’t drop (public is on the Lions). I personally am just not all that impressed with Detroit. They are 3-4 in their last 7 and those 3 wins came against the Packers without Aaron Rodgers, Browns at home and at Chicago. Keep in mind that was Green Bay’s first game without Rodgers and they were outgained and trailed by double-digits to both Cleveland and Chicago. The loss to the Vikings last week isn’t a shocker, but note Detroit had a big edge in that game playing at home on a short week of rest.
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As for the Ravens, I’m not exactly sold on this team either. The big reason for that is the offense is one of the worst in the league. Defensively they are elite in my eyes, especially now that they are healthy. They had a stretch during the middle of the season where they didn’t play great on that side of the ball, but were missing some key guys. Baltimore is also one of the best in the league at special teams, which can win you a lot of games in this league.
I think this is a game where they can get some offense going. The Lions rank 26th in the league, giving up 359.4 ypg and are in the bottom 10 against both the run (24th, 116.2) and the pass (23rd, 243.2 ypg). Hard to trust a team that doesn’t play defense on the road. It’s also worth pointing out that their run defense has really struggled away from home, as they are giving up 5.2 yards/carry on the road. Getting the run game going will do wonders for this Ravens offense.
I also give Baltimore an edge when Detroit has the ball. It’s no secret that the Lions’ offense is built around Matthew Stafford and their passing attack. That plays right into the strength of this Ravens stop unit. Baltimore is 2nd in the NFL when it comes to holding opposing quarterbacks in check, as they are allowing just 189.9 ypg through the air. Look for Terrell Suggs and the rest of the Ravens front to live in the Lions backfield.
That should be a recipe for at least a couple turnovers to help set up the offense with some short fields. Note that Baltimore leads the NFL with 26 takeaways. They have forced 2 or more in 6 of their 11 games and have 13 in their 5 home games this season. Detroit has committed at least 1 turnover in 7 straight games.
I just think there’s too much here pointing in favor of the Ravens and with the short price I think we are getting great value. It’s also worth noting that I also considered the UNDER here. Baltimore’s just not built to score a ton, so even with a good matchup, I don’t think they are going to light up the scoreboard.