This Sunday the late game features the Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots in a rematch of the AFC Championship game. Last year the Ravens dropped a chance to go to the Super Bowl and the Patriots squeaked away with yet another trip to the big game.
This year the Baltimore Ravens seem like a team of destiny as they head to New England to take on the Patriots. Motivated by the impending retirement of Ray Lewis, the Ravens are out to take down Tom Brady and the Patriots and advance to the Super bowl. However, the Ravens will soon find out that the Patriots are in another class as they fall victim yet again.
Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots odds: The impressive win by the Ravens over the Broncos did not impress the odds makers. The Patriots opened up as (-9) point favorites over the Ravens for the AFC Championship game.
The odds are rising and can be found as high as (-10) at some of the top-rated sports books as kickoff approaches. This move is surprising considering that over 65 percent of the public is betting on the Ravens. Wanna Bet On the AFC Championship Game? Click here for a $50 – $1000 free play
The rematch will be intriguing, but if history tells us anything, the Patriots will win again. The teams that won the first meeting in the championship game are 5-0 in the rematch. The Ravens are 1-2 in AFC championship games, beating the Raiders in the 2000 season before losing to the Steelers in the 2008 season and the Patriots last year.
The Ravens defense may be inspired by Ray Lewis, but they are also old. They head north to face the Pats after playing in a double overtime affair in the Mile High thin air. The Patriots will not help as they run a fast-paced offense that is pressing all game long. Fatigue will play an issue for this aging defense.
The Ravens defense has proven to be a bad bet after giving up a bevy of yards in the last outing. The Ravens are 1-6-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last 8 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game and 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games after scoring more than 30 points in their previous game.
The Patriots offense is unstoppable. Even with the injury to tight end Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots offense did not skip a beat and made superstars out of unfamiliar names like running back Shane Vereen. When the Patriots ate clicking on offense, bettors get paid.
The Patriots are 63-28-2 ATS in their last 93 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game, 5-2 ATS in their last seven games against the AFC and 4-1 ATS in the last five home games.
The Patriots defense is vastly improved and now blitz much more since acquiring Aqib Talib. Talib will be matched up against Torrey Smith in a battle for the ages. The Patriots defense has a way of taking away the best weapon on any offense and that will mean Ray Rice is in for a long day. The Pats proved they could stop Rice in the AFC Championship game a year ago. Rice was held to 67 yards on 21 carries, a 3.2-yard average and that will put all the pressure on Joe Flacco.
Flacco deserves credit for improving his game and becoming suddenly accurate with the deep ball. However, with the focus on Flacco, Bill Belichick will have his defense dialed in and ready to dominate.
The Ravens are an entertaining feel-good story for the playoffs but the Ravens run and the career of Ray Lewis ends here. The New England Patriots move on to Super Bowl XLVII.
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