Baltimore Ravens vs. New Orleans Saints (11/7 @ 8:15 PM EST)
Spread: Ravens -2
Money Line: Ravens -130 / Saints +110
Overview and Betting Info
The Baltimore Ravens (5-3) will head to New Orleans Monday night to take on the Saints (3-5) in a prime-time matchup. The Ravens sit atop the AFC North, while the Saints are just a game back in the NFC South, making this a critical mid-season matchup.
The Ravens have struggled to cover against the spread this year, sitting at 3-4-1 on the season. They’ve been better on the road, covering three of their four games. Injuries have affected their scoring, causing them to go under the total in four of their last five games.
The Saints are 3-5 versus the spread, covering two of their four home games. They’ve been the opposite of the Ravens, going over the point total in four of their last five games.
The Raven’s offense has taken a step back this season due to a slew of injuries to top playmakers. Even with the injuries, quarterback Lamar Jackson has been great again this year. He’s done it all, with 1635 passing yards, 553 rushing yards, and 17 combined touchdowns. He’s done so despite losing Marquise Brown in the off-season and injuries to three top pass catchers (Mark Andrews, Demarcus Robinson, and Rashod Bateman). This week, he’ll have Devin Duvernay as his top option. Tight end Isaiah Likely could see a lot of targets, but behind him and Duvernay are inexperienced receivers (James Proche II and Tylan Wallace) that have a combined 7 receptions and 52 yards. They may get a boost as newly signed Desean Jackson could suit up Monday.
Kenyan Drake will start at running back on Monday, with Gus Edwards doubtful to suit up. He’s done well with limited carries, topping 100 yards in his last game as the lead back. Look for the veteran to be more involved in the passing game as a safety blanket for Lamar Jackson. Jackson is also the leading rusher for the team, with over 555 yards and two touchdowns. He’s averaging 7.4 yards per carry and should build on that against a Saints defense that struggles with dual-threat quarterbacks.
The Raven’s secondary has struggled, giving up the third most passing yards in the league. They’ve been better against the run, allowing under 100 rushing yards per game. This is thanks in part to their stellar defensive line. The line is led by Justin Houston (6 sacks) and Patrick Queen (team-high 53 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 1 INT). Look for them to clamp down this week with newly acquired Roquan Smith set to play, along with Tyus Bowser and David Ojaboo set to return from injury. Adding these pieces to this defense will give them a new look, meaning the Saints will have to adjust on the fly.
New Orleans Saints
The Saint’s offense is led by veteran Andy Dalton, who took over for Jameis Winston earlier this season. He’s been better than expected, with 1,175 passing yards in just five games and nine touchdowns in five games. He’s coming off his best game of the season and seems to be getting comfortable running this offense. He’s helped in part by a fantastic season from rookie Chris Olave. The receiver has 547 yards to go along with two touchdowns. He’s stepped up with Michael Thomas out and has become this team’s top receiving threat. They have other weapons that Dalton spreads the ball out with, but he should look Olave’s way a lot tonight against a struggling Raven’s secondary.
The running game is once again led by Pro Bowler Alvin Kamara. While he struggled to start the season, he’s settled in nicely since Dalton took over. He’s rushed for 313 yards in his last four games, accounting for most of his 413 total yards. Kamara has also been the second-leading receiver, with 33 receptions. He’s been a big reason for Dalton’s success, as has second-leading rusher Taysom Hill. The tight end has 337 yards and five touchdowns on the ground, averaging 8.6 yards per carry. He’s deadly in the red zone and will test the Raven’s new linebackers on Monday.
The Saint’s defense allows 338 yards per game to opposing teams and has given up 30 or more points in three of their last four games. They still have one of the best pass-rushing duos in the NFL with Cam Jordan and Demario Davis, who leads the team with five sacks. They’re supported in the secondary by veteran safety Tyrann Mathieu who has two interceptions and 38 tackles to his name. They’ll be getting a break with the injuries to Raven’s pass catchers, but they’ve struggled against dual-threat quarterbacks this season (Mariota and Murray). They are coming off their best week (shut out Raiders), giving fans hope they may have turned a corner.