(2-2, 2-2 ATS)
(3-1, 2-2 ATS)
Two teams that are trying to get into the AFC playoffs are going to square off at M&T Bank Field, as the Baltimore Ravens duke it out with the Denver Broncos in NFL betting action.
The Broncos came up with a tremendous win last week at LP Field against the Tennessee Titans. The play of QB Kyle Orton has been outstanding this year. He is throwing the ball all over the field and is doing it with great success. Orton has completed 67.4 percent of his passes for 1,419 yards and six scores against just three picks. The trio of WR Brandon Lloyd, WR Eddie Royal, and WR Jabar Gaffney have all caught at least 22 passes and have at least 240 yards in receiving this year. Lloyd has been particularly outstanding, as he has 454 receiving yards. The problem has come on the ground in a regular basis, as the only man that has more than 50 yards on the ground is RB Knowshon Moreno, who has 111 yards. Moreno is going to miss a third straight game this week, which is going to really leave Orton on an island by himself against one of the most ferocious defenses in the league. The defense has been respectable at 322.8 yards per game allowed, though a 21.2 points per game average isn’t exactly phenomenal.
There is no team in the NFL that has a better pass defense than the Ravens. This squad is only allowing 119.0 yards per game to opposing aerial assaults. Baltimore has allowed 235.8 yards per game this year, and this defense has to be licking its chops about facing a totally one dimensional offense. The ‘D’ hasn’t allowed a single foe get past 17 points on the season. The offense has a bit of an issue, though. This unit has only passed the 17 point barrier once this season. This was supposed to be a fantastic offense with a number of threats, but things just haven’t panned out quite yet. WR Anquan Boldin has caught 27 passes for 355 yards and three TDs this year, making him the most effective player on the offense. WR TJ Houshmanzadeh has only caught five passes, but he made a huge statement last week by catching the game winning TD pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers. RB Ray Rice, coming off of a fantastic season, has only rushed for 230 yards in four games, while his counterpart, RB Willis McGahee has 30 carries for 76 yards and two scores. Rice has yet to find the end zone.
This is a bad, bad matchup for the Broncos. No team in the league is going to be able to stand there and just leave their quarterback in the pocket 45-50 times and live to tell about it against this defense. Orton is lucky if he survives this game, let alone trying to win it. Baltimore will run away from this game very early and won’t look back.
College Football Free Pick: Baltimore Ravens -7