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Friday, October 3, 2014

NFL Predictions 2014 Week 5: Ravens Vs. Colts

Baltimore Ravens Vs. Indianapolis Colts: BAL +3.5 (Pinnacle)

Market Watch

This is an interesting point spread to talk about. A week ago in the Westgate look-ahead line, the Colts were -3.5 point favorites. Both teams won convincingly in Week 4, and the line re-opened at -3 (-120). Given how well the Ravens have played in the last three weeks, I'd say that is a smart adjustment, but for whatever reason money came in on the Colts. The general community agrees with that as 62% of the bets are on the home team.

Bottom Line

It's still too early to be making strong, definitive statements about teams, but someone needs to explain to me why the Colts would be rated higher than the Ravens in the power rankings.  Perhaps Andrew Luck is a more appealing QB than Joe Flacco, but the numbers certainly don't say there is a huge gap between these offenses - especially when you factor in the strength of opponent. I'm not even a Flacco supporter, but his play over the last three weeks speaks for itself.

One thing that I think is undeniable is which defensive unit is the better of the two. You have to scroll way down the page to find where Indy is ranked, while the Ravens are safely in the top half of the list.

Yes, it's a concern that Baltimore will be without their starting LT, but can you name Indy's best pass rusher?  The best hope that the Colts defense has is if Luck can built them a two or three score lead. It's entirely possible that happens since the Ravens front seven is stronger than their secondary, but overall this is a much, much better defense than the last two Colts opponents, the Titans and Jaguars.

For me, the Ravens are the better overall team, so the line should be -2.5. This gives us a full point of value through the key number of three. It should be a really good game, and it could very well come down to the last possession of the game, but in that scenario I like the team that offers the hook even more.

NFL Pick: BAL +3.5.

Read more: Week 5 picks
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