It seems that with Tom Brady likely entering into the “I Suck” phase of his career and Peyton Manning seeming not as much a cyborg this season the NFL pundits are all to eager to get that QB gauntlet changed ASAP. This season a scruffy predecessors has staked his rightful claim as the heir apparent and it’s not the Texans’ Ryan Fitzpatrick. Colts (2-2) QB Andrew Luck has surged out of the gate at an MVP-like pace this season, leading the NFL in passing yards (1,305) and TD’s (13) as Indianapolis has breezed their way through two straight blowout victories. That being said a man who knows a thing or two about people questioning his eliteness comes to town Sunday and Joe Flacco and the Ravens(3-1) might just be in tune for the upset.
Baltimore has shifted their focus this season from being in the news for player personnel reasons to becoming one of the under-the-radar championship contenders. The Ravens suffered an opening season loss, but it was to a great Cincinnati team and Baltimore has since taken out the likes of quality opponents in the Steelers, Browns, and Panthers. Baltimore has shown a potent offensive attack as Flacco is the 8th leading passer in the NFL and the ageless Steve Smith is the 3rd leading receiver. A ground game that was supposed to be an Achilles heal behind a makeshift offensive line and without Ray Rice is actually the 9th best rushing attack in the NFL. Combined with a defense that has been efficient at stopping the run, allowing only 82.5 YPG Baltimore has the formula down for a highly successful season.
The Colts have been impressive in back-to-back weeks, yeah, but the wins came 44-17 to Jacksonville and 41-17 to Tennessee – two teams in turmoil. Luck has not only padded his stats in recent games, but the threat of the passing game has opened up lanes for Trent Richardson (203 yards) and Ahmad Bradshaw (182 yards) to have resurgent years for the 18th best rushing attack in the NFL. Something hidden in a mirage though of playing bad teams is the Colts defense, which on paper looks impressive after dominating the Jaguars and Titans but was exploited in season opening losses to Philadelphia and Denver. Baltimore’s offense actually ranks higher than both the Eagles’ and Broncos’ so the Colts may need to score a bunch to get the win.
The line opened at Indianapolis -3 and hasn’t moved a muscle which means nobody really has a read on this game and it could legitimately go either way. Sometimes in those instances you have to put your faith on the home team and rely on some trends, most of which are going against the Ravens:
- Baltimore is 0-3-1 ATS in their last four following an ATS win
- Baltimore is 1-7 ATS their last eight games in October
- Baltimore is 1-8 ATS their last 9 meetings with Indianapolis
- Indianapolis is 4-0 ATS their last four against teams with a winning record
Of course trends are made to be broken, but they’re also made to be ridden.
Pick: Indianapolis -3