The New England Patriots (8-0) visit M&T Bank Stadium for their Week 9 Sunday Night Football matchup against the Baltimore Ravens (5-2) with kickoff set for 8:20 p.m. ET. The AFC North leaders are the final test for the defending Super Bowl champions before their Week 10 bye. Our SNF betting preview looks at the odds at DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook as we make our picks for the moneyline, spread and over/under in the Week 9 matchup between the Patriots and Ravens. Advice on each bet type will be provided as a “pick” or a “lean”. We’ll also look for the game’s best prop bet.
It’s important to compare prices at the two books in order to find the best value. Picks will then be made as high-confidence plays based on matchup advantages and an apparent edge on the books. The mid-week odds may look the most appealing and it can be important to place wagers early before public action causes the lines to shift. Leans come with a little more hesitation and may require bettors to wait until the lines move toward a more appealing number. Anything from roster movement to injuries to public perception can cause a considerable shift in the odds without changing much about the on-field matchup.
While researching for your Patriots and Ravens bets, be sure to check out my Sunday Night Football Preview at TheLines. It breaks down the statistical and betting trends of both teams and highlights the key on-field matchups.
Patriots at Ravens picks: Moneyline
The Ravens enter Week 9 with a two-game lead over the Pittsburgh Steelers in their quest for a second straight division title. They’re 2-1 at M&T Bank Stadium and have won three games in a row. The Patriots have won 13 straight games dating back to last season. They’ve split their first eight games of 2019 evenly between home and away. New England beat the Cleveland Browns 27-13 at Gillette Stadium last week while Baltimore is returning from a Week 8 bye.
Defense has been the predominant theme of the first half of the Patriots’ season. They rank second with just 234.0 total yards of offense allowed per game and no team has allowed fewer than their 7.6 opponent points per game. Only three teams allow fewer yards on the ground and one allows fewer passing yards. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson will pose their toughest test yet, as he alone accounts for 318 total yards of offense per game. He’s attempting to become the first quarterback in NFL history with 100-plus rushing yards in three straight games. To do so, he’ll need to also become the first QB to rush for 100 yards against the Patriots since Bill Belichick took over as head coach.
Ravens RB Mark Ingram ranks second to Jackson with 470 rushing yards. He has the team lead with seven rushing scores. TE Mark Andrews leads with 449 receiving yards while WRs Marquise Brown and Willie Snead have each topped 220 yards. Brown, a rookie, has 326 yards and three touchdowns in just five games. He’s expected to return from injury in time for Sunday night. Patriots RB Sony Michel leads the team with 464 rushing yards and six touchdowns on the ground. New England has four receivers with more than 280 yards and seven have caught at least one touchdown, though Antonio Brown is no longer with the team and Josh Gordon is on injured reserve.
I like the value on the Ravens as home underdogs. Look for Jackson and head coach John Harbaugh to put the first blemish on New England’s season.
The Pick: Ravens +148 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
Patriots at Ravens picks: Against the spread
The biggest win of the season for either side came against the Miami Dolphins. The Ravens opened the 2019 campaign with a 59-10 shellacking. The Patriots followed suit in Week 2 with a 43-0 beat down of their AFC East rivals. New England has played just one game this season within a single score. The Ravens have three wins and a loss by six or fewer points.
The Patriots are one of four teams sitting at 6-2 against the spread. They win by an average of 23.6 points and cover by an average of 10.9. The Ravens are just 2-5 ATS despite winning by an average of 8.3 and covering by 3.4. Again, the blowout against the Dolphins impacts the overall numbers. The Pats are 3-1 ATS away from home and 4-2 ATS against AFC teams. Baltimore is 1-4 ATS against the conference and 0-3 at home. Harbaugh is 19-15-2 ATS with a rest advantage since taking over as head coach in 2008. The Ravens won those games by an average of 6.1 points and covered by 4.1.
I’d like this to rise to +3.5, but I’ll hop on these odds by Sunday evening without a change.
Patriots at Ravens picks: Over/Under
Largely due to shut-down defense and a league-best turnover differential of plus-17, the Patriots are just 2-6 against the Over/Under. Their games have fallen an average of 5.2 points below the projected totals. Baltimore is 4-3 against the Over/Under while topping the projection by an average of 6.3 points. Sunday’s projection of 45.5 points at DraftKings (45 at FanDuel) is New England’s highest projected total since Week 2. It’s the third-lowest number of the season for the Ravens and their lowest since Week 5.
Belichick and Harbaugh have faced each other nine times including playoffs since the latter was named head coach in Baltimore. Those games have played to an average combined total of 50 points, with each of the last three topping this week’s projection. The New England defense may be among the all-time best in the NFL and Baltimore is no slouch, either, but this one finds a way to creep just above the number.
The Pick: OVER 45.5 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Sunday Night Football best bet
First Team to Score: BAL Ravens (+102 at DraftKings Sportsbook)
Lost in the adoration of the Pats defense has been the largely lackluster play of the offense. New England has converted just 39.83% of its third-down attempts on the season as they face a league-high 14.8 third downs per game. The Ravens have scored touchdowns on 57.14% of their red-zone visits this year. The Patriots have scored touchdowns on just 50% of their trips inside the opponents’ 20-yard line.
A rested Ravens team with home-field advantage will be able to hold off Brady and Co. long enough to get on the board first before the Pats can get rolling.