25* NFL Playoffs GAME OF THE YEAR on Baltimore Ravens +9
Baltimore vs. New England,
01/20/2013 18:30 EDT,
Score: 28 - 13
Point Spread: +9/-108 Baltimore
The Ravens have really come together as a team in the playoffs after a tough finish to the regular season. It all coincided with the return of Ray Lewis from injury. Lewis announced that he would be retiring after this season a few weeks back, and this team has completely rallied behind him because of it.
Baltimore went into Denver and came away with a 38-35 overtime victory as a 9.5-point underdog. It overcame two special teams touchdowns by Broncos’ return man Trindon Holliday, as well as a 7-point deficit over the final two minutes of regulation with no timeouts.
Joe Flacco hit Jacoby Jones on a 70-yard touchdown pass to tie it, while Justin Tucker booted a game-winning 47-yard field goal in overtime. Baltimore outplayed Denver, outgaining it 479-398 for the game. It comes in with a lot of momentum after such a big road win over the AFC's No. 1 seed.
This has been a very tightly contested series in six meetings dating back to 2007. While New England has won four of the six, all four of its victories came by 6 points or less, including three by exactly 3 points.
Baltimore beat New England 31-30 at home earlier this season, and it should have won in the AFC Championship last year as a 7-point underdog. It lost 20-23 at New England after a dropped touchdown pass by Lee Evans, and a missed chip shot field goal by Billy Cundiff in the closing seconds. It certainly wants revenge in this one.
New England will now be without arguably its biggest playmakers in tight end Rob Gronkowski for the remainder of the postseason after he re-injured his forearm last week. Gronk has a team-high 11 touchdown receptions and is simply irreplaceable.
This play falls into a system that is 24-5 (82.8%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. It tells us to bet against home favorites (NEW ENGLAND) - revenging a loss against opponent, after 2 consecutive covers as a favorite.
The Ravens are 10-4 against the spread in their last 14 playoff road games. The Patriots are 2-8 against the spread in their last 10 playoff games, including 2-7 ATS in their last 9 playoff home games. New England is clearly overvalued here against a Baltimore team that has proven it matches up well with the Patriots over the past six meetings. Bet the Ravens Sunday.