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Ravens at Patriots Money Line Value Bet for MNF

Baltimore Ravens(7-5) @ New England Patriots(10-2)

  • Where: Gillette Stadium. Foxboro, MA
  • When: December 12, 2016 8:30 pm EST
  • Spread: Ravens (+7) at Patriots (-7)
  • Moneyline: Ravens (+240) at Patriots (-280)
  • Over / Under: Over 45 (-110) vs. Under 45 (-110)

Just as the Thursday Night Football franchise received a sorely-needed shot in the arm from Thursday’s dramatic battle of AFC contenders, Week 14’s installment of Monday Night Football features the highly anticipated match-up of 7-5 Baltimore traveling to face 10-2 New England.

The Patriots have been uncharacteristically noisy in the press this season, with Tom Brady’s controversial “Deflate-Gate” suspension leading to a series of TV commercials for Foot Locker in which the star veteran QB gives a thinly-veiled eye poke to commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL front office.

But 1 thing has remained constant – the Pats keep on winning. Victorious in 7 of their last 8 games, Belichick’s Batallion has continued to play blue-collar team defense and has improved its ground game as a dynamic compliment to Brady’s precision passes. In Week 13, the team rushed for 133 yards on 29 carries in their 3rd win in a row, 26-10 over Los Angeles.

By contrast, the Ravens have relied on aggressive ‘D and coaching to remain in contention. Impressively, Baltimore has held its 2016-17 opponents to only 207 points, a better points-against performance than even Pittsburgh’s venerable defense has mustered. The Ravens and Steelers are tied for 1st place in the AFC North with 4 regular-season games to go, making each week crucial for both squads as the season draws to a close.

Bovada Sportsbook (Use this link to get up to $250 free) has New England listed as a money line favorite at -280, while the over/under has been set at an even 45 points.

Patriots – balance, Daniel-San!

Ravens vs. Patriots Preview2016’s injuries and suspensions have created a few chinks in the proud Patriots’ armor on offense. Tom Brady sat out suspended in Weeks 1 through 4, while monstrous and deadly-fast TE Rob Gronkowski has been banged up repeatedly and will miss Monday night’s clash altogether. That plays a key role for gamblers wagering on spreads and O/U lines as New England’s overall point production has seen a down-turn from seasons past.

But the Pats have found a way to remain atop the AFC, largely due to a hot running game and balance when moving the football. Swift, agile LeGarrette Blount has been a dynamite #1 RB, rushing for 957 yards and 13 touchdowns over 12 games. The Patriots’ only loss with Brady at the helm was a 31-24 defeat at the hands of powerful Seattle, but the ‘Hawks needed a last-ditch goal-line stand to emerge victorious.

Baltimore – is Flacco slowing down?

Former Super Bowl champion QB Joe Flacco may be showing a few signs of wear and tear, as the Baltimore signal-caller has struggled against fierce pass rushes despite throwing for a healthy 3258 yards in 12 games. In a dismal October 16th loss to the New York Jets, Joe “Cool” was intercepted twice and finished with a lowly passer rating of 54.0.

After a mid-season losing streak and Week 11 loss to Dallas put the Ravens’ season on the brink, the team found itself dangerously punting out of its own end zone while nursing a 1-touchdown lead over the Bengals with time running out. HC John Harbaugh dialed up a clever “hold for gold” gambit in which Baltimore blockers simply grappled Cincy punt-rushers to the turf, allowing punter Sam Koch to take an uneventful safety that ended the contest. Week 13 then saw a potential return to championship form as Baltimore beat Miami 38-6, holding the Dolphins to a scant 62 yards rushing.

An in-play bet in the forecast

Watch the weather in Boston on Monday night. Given clear, dry conditions the 2 offenses could be electric, but a cold windy rain is currently forecast for Monday afternoon. If the precipitation arrives later than expected, snow or ice could ravage the outdoor field at Gillette Stadium and hamper both sets of wide receivers in running routes and catching passes.

If Northeastern skies look foreboding during ESPN’s broadcast of the opening kickoff, quickly find your bookie and wager the under before the line has a chance to shrink.

BAL vs. NE week 14 winner predictions

The Ravens have simply not shown enough consistency in 2016-17 to provide value in an upset wager. Though the Patriots are not known as a great pass-rushing team, the deafening home throng should allow DE’s to pressure a slow-footed Flacco into making mistakes.

Meanwhile, New England will use Blount’s steady ground attack to bolster an offense missing its most potent receiving weapon. While playing the under might be tempting (each team’s last 7 games include a majority of under finishes), if the forecast holds out an excellent Gillette field crew will have the turf primed for scoring with the storm having blown over during the day.

The Patriots will win again – and likely gloat in future Foot Locker commercials.

Get the best value ML odds (-280) on the Patriots with Bovada.

Kurt BoyerThis article was written by Kurt Boyer

A freelance sportswriter from Missouri, Kurt has covered court, gridiron, rink and ring for 10+ years. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.

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