Baltimore Ravens A Two-Touchdown Favorite Over Buffalo Bills
October 20th, 2010-  By Bryan Cross

Arguably one of the best teams in the NFL matches up agaisnt one of the worst teams in the NFL this week when the Baltimore Ravens (4-2) clash with the Buffalo Bills (0-5).  Baltimore comes in after a loss in overtime on the road to New England, while the Bills had a bye in Week six.

Against the Patriots, the Ravens controlled a lead at halftime, through the third quarter and into the fourth.  It was then however, that the Ravens were unable to fend off a New England rally, which ultimately cost them a win in overtime.  Quarterback Joe Flacco played well, throwing for 285 yards and two touchdowns, but couldn’t come up with the plays in the overtime period to secure a Raven win.  As a result, Baltimore slips to 4-2, but gets a Bills team this week still looking to find its first win of the NFL season.

Looking ahead at this one for the Raven on offense, running back Ray Rice could be poised for a big game against a Bills’ defense that ranks 32nd in the league against the run, surrendering 182 yards per game.  Rice ran for 88 yards last week against New England.  He has 451 yards on 115 carries so far this season, but has only reached the end zone twice.  That could change this week if the trend continues for the Buffalo defense.

Defensively for the Bills, figuring out a way to defend against the run is going to be key.  They gave up 216 yards rushing two weeks ago to Maurice Jones-Drew and the rushing offense of the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Teams know that the can run the ball on them, and the Bills will likely have to commit seven and eight players to try and stop Rice and the Baltimore rushing attack.

Offensively for the Bills, the successes and failures start with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.  Buffalo has been outscored 146-77 in their last four games, failing to put up enough points to be competitive aside from a performance against New England earlier in the season.  Buffalo ranks 31st in the NFL in passing yards per game, and have not been much better on the ground, albeit they have some play makers in rookie C.J Spiller and Fred Jackson.

The Ravens defense is third in the league defending against the pass, and 13th against the run.  They are well balanced and can get after an opposing quarterback.  Look for the Ravens to pressure Fitzpatrick with blitzes to force quick throws and check downs.  Baltimore has lost their two games this season by a combined eight points, and the defense has kept the team in several games when the offense wasn’t clicking.  On paper, that doesn’t appear to be the case this week, with the Ravens having the advantage on both sides of the ball.

Game Line-

USA Online Sportsbooks have set Baltimore as a two-touchdown favorite to defeat Buffalo in this NFL Week 7 Match up, with over under resting at 39 points.

ATS Betting Trends-

NFL Betting Trends indicate that Buffalo is 5-13 ATS in their last 18 games against a team with a winning record.  The Bills are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 on the road.  Baltimore is 11-3 ATS versus a team with a losing record.

Over/Under Betting Trends-

Under is 11-4-1 in their last 16 games against the AFC for Baltimore.  The Under is 12-5 in Baltimore’s last 17 games as a betting favorite.

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