Bills vs Ravens – NFL Pick for Sunday, November 9th

by Rick Rockwell
on September 5, 2018
6

Minute Read

On Sunday, the Buffalo Bills and the Baltimore Ravens open up their NFL seasons in an early AFC showdown. The Bills are looking to build off their playoff appearance last year, while the Ravens are hoping to make the playoffs this year. Both teams feature questionable offenses and stout defenses. Kickoff inside M&T Bank Stadium is at 1 PM ET.

Betting Data History Buffalo Bills Baltimore Ravens
Current S/U record 0-0 0-0
S/U in 2017 9-8 9-7
2017 ATS 10-6-1 8-7-1
2017 ATS Home 5-2-1 3-5
2017 ATS Away 5-4 5-1-1
2017 O/U 8-9 9-7
2017 O/U Home 5-3 4-4
2017 O/U Away 3-6 4-3

Buffalo Bills vs Baltimore Ravens AFC Game Preview

Since 1999, these two teams have played 7 times. The Ravens hold the advantage with a 4-3 record. Two years ago, Buffalo opened up the 2016 season with a 13-7 loss at Baltimore.

Buffalo has been lambasted in the media for their porous offensive line, inexperience at QB and a perceived lack of depth at the wide receiver position. Many oddsmakers actually have Buffalo as the odds on favorite to finish 2018 with the worst record in the NFL. Will the Bills prove oddsmakers and NFL pundits wrong by upsetting the Ravens this weekend?

Baltimore also comes into this game with question marks at the QB position and their secondary. The Ravens’ top corner is suspended, which will have an impact on who covers Bills receiver Kelvin Benjamin. Joe Flacco has been uninspiring the last two years and he will need a big game this weekend against a tough Bills defense.

Last week, the spread was -7 in favor of the Ravens. Since then, it has gone up to -8.5 for Baltimore. The Over/Under was at 41 points, but has come down slightly to 40.5 total points.

NFL Spread Bet and Game Prediction

Buffalo is the biggest underdog in the AFC this weekend and it’s largely due to the uncertainties with their QB play. Nathan Peterman was named the starter after a stellar preseason by the second year QB. The Bills will rely heavily on the running game, so you can expect a large dosage of McCoy, Ivory and Murphy. That’s not a bad matchup for Buffalo as they did finish with the #6 rushing attack in 2017.

Last year, the Ravens finished 12th in the league allowing 325.1 total ypg. They finished 15th in rushing defense at 111.2 ypg and they finished 10th in passing at 213.8 ypg. This defense looked good in the preseason, but have they done enough to morph back into a Top 10 defense that we’re accustomed to seeing? If Peterman has another meltdown like he did against the Chargers last year in his first ever start, then the Ravens will be well on their way to being a Top 10 defense this year.

I like the Kelvin Benjamin factor in this game. Baltimore is going to be without Jimmy Smith. He’s the team’s best corner and he’s suspended for the first 4 games. I don’t see Baltimore having anyone else that can physically matchup with Benjamin. If Peterman has enough time to throw the ball, Kelvin could have a big game.

The Ravens offense hopes that their rebuilt group of receivers can give Flacco the weapons that he needs to be successful. Additionally, they will be riding Alex Collins, who could have a big game if Buffalo didn’t truly fix their rush defense. In the offseason, the Bills added some key pieces to shore up this defense, especially against the run. As for Flacco, he’s going up against one of the league’s Top 10 secondaries led by White at corner and the duo of Poyer and Hyde at safeties. They could make it a long day for Flacco and the receivers this weekend.

Buffalo is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games, 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games during September, and 3-0 ATS as a road underdog of 7.5 to 10 points. In games where the total is between 35.5 and 42 points, the Bills are 8-3 ATS in the last 3 years. Furthermore, in road games where the total is between 38.5 and 42 points, the Bills are 4-2 ATS over the last 3 years.

The Ravens are 4-5 ATS when a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points. They’re also 3-6 ATS when a home game total is between 38.5 and 42 points. Baltimore is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 home games and 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games on field turf.

I like Buffalo’s 6th ranked rush offense against Baltimore’s 15th ranked rush defense. Although Buffalo’s line looked bad in the preseason, it was in pass protection where they struggled. In their run blocking, Buffalo’s offensive line looked solid. I also like Buffalo’s secondary against an unproven group of talented receivers. I don’t trust Flacco at all.

Ultimately, I think this is going to be a smash mouth football game where two defenses dictate the pace, action and scoring. I give the edge to Baltimore at home as we don’t know if Peterman can handle the pressure and if the Bills o-line can hold up against the blitz. With that said, I do like Buffalo’s chances at covering the spread. I’m going Ravens 23 – Bills 17.

Bills vs Ravens Betting Recap

  • Oddsmaker: 5Dimes
  • Money lines: Bills (+270) and Ravens (-330)
  • Spread: Bills +8.5 (-130)
  • Over/Under: Over 40.5 points (-110)
  • Prediction: Ravens 23 – Bills 17
Pick: Buffalo Bills +8.5
(-130)

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