NFL Football Betting Preview
Indianapolis Colts (9-0) at Baltimore Ravens (5-4)
Sunday November 22nd, 1:00PM Eastern
Betus.com betting line – Indianapolis Colts -1.5, 44.5 O/U
If not for a failed attempt from a Bill Belichick decision to go for a 4th and 2 from the Patriots own 28 yard line last week, the Indianapolis Colts may have finally been knocked from the unbeaten ranks in the NFL. However, the Colts defense withstood the challenge and Peyton Manning rallied to hookup with WR Reggie Wayne with just 13 seconds to go which improved the Colts unblemished mark to 9-0. The Colts now have to regain focus quickly as they travel to Baltimore to take on the 5-4 Ravens who always seem to play well both against the Colts and at home.
Betus.com opened the betting line favoring the Baltimore Ravens early in the week by 1 point and 2 points at some of the off shore betting lines. However, through the week the line has consistently shifted into the Colts favor and they now are favored by 1.5. In fact, the betting public is still at a hefty 90% in favoring the undefeated Colts which may not be a bad bet considering Indianapolis has won the last 6 straight over Baltimore. The over/under total has not changed throughout the week holding at the 44 mark, but early actions shows that nearly 3 to 1 bettors favor the over total.
If the Ravens are to upset bettors this week, they will have to get a ton of help from their pass defense mainly from the safeties that will be responsible for keeping WR Reggie Wayne contained. The Ravens are allowing 209 yards per game through the air this season, but Peyton Manning is averaging 319 yards on the season. Baltimore will need to get good safety help from the corners and get their stellar linebacker group to cut off the under routes. On offense, the passing game will love to see Joe Flacco get the hot arm again.
Flacco started off the year very strong, but has not passed for over 200 yards in 3 straight games which has in result produced a lot less scoring for the Ravens. If Flacco can not get hooked up with playmaker Derrick Mason, the offense may rely on running back Ray Rice to continue to pick up the slack. Rice has been effective in the backfield as well as rolling out and catching passes. Rice has over 650 yards on the ground and adding an additional 450 plus receiving. The Ravens will need all their playmakers to contribute this weekend if they are to avoid falling back to the .500 mark on the year.
On offense, Manning has just had 1 game this year where he has not thrown for 300 plus yards which is simply incredible. The Colts quarterback is completing 70% with 20 touchdowns on the season. If Baltimore is not able to pick off some passes, I’m not sure they can stop the Colts so they must look to capitalize on any mistakes if possible. Wide receivers Reggie Wayne and tight end Dallas Clark both have over 60 catches and have combined for 1,647 yards. Wayne will be the x factor considering some of the Baltimore linebackers should be able to stay with Clark on most cases. If Baltimore can also keep Wayne retained they will have a chance, if not then it will be a long day.
Luckily for Indianapolis, they have a premier pass defense that should help in continuing Flacco’s decreasing numbers. The Colts pass defense has given up just 7 scores through the air all season and they are a hard hitting group that will make you pay for catching the football. If Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis can continue to get pressure in the backfield, Flacco is not very good when under fire. Expect that to be the case here and the Colts offense will take care of the rest.
Pick – Colts -1.5