This article was originally published on Nov. 23.
Welcome to the Monday Night Football betting breakdown, where I’ll provide a betting overview of the upcoming MNF game utilizing moneyline, points spread, and projected total odds from DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. Additionally, I’ll hone in on at least one player or game prop each week that I feel has profit potential at one of those three sportsbooks.
All betting takes will be classified as either a “lean” or a “pick.” A lean is a wager that we have a determined degree of certainty. However, it’s one that still falls somewhere short of a high-confidence selection. A pick carries an additional degree of confidence based on a variety of factors. These include relevant injuries, the past track records for certain conditions and bet types, and team performances leading up to the game.
For more detailed information on this week’s matchup, including further game analysis, betting trends breakdown, betting tips specific to MNF, and a synopsis of the history of the line movement for the game, please see our Monday Night Football Betting Preview over at TheLines.
Ravens At Rams, Monday, Nov. 25, 8:15 p.m. ET
Two offenses with no shortage of upside are facing off in this interconference clash. The fact the defenses are relatively unfamiliar with these units makes it all the more of an interesting matchup. The collection of talent that will be on the field is impressive — MVP candidate Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram, Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews are countered by Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, Cooper Kupp and the returning duo of Brandin Cooks (concussion) and Robert Woods (personal).
Jackson is on pace to shatter Michael Vick’s single-season rushing record for quarterbacks. He’s compiled 781 yards and six touchdowns on the ground at a clip of 6.7 yards per carry. But the 2018 first-round pick has taken pride in improving as a passer after a so-so rookie campaign. Jackson is completing 66.3 percent of his throws, a nice spike over the 58.2 percent figure he generated during his rookie campaign. What’s more, Jackson is averaging a full yard more per attempt (8.1) compared to 2018 (7.1). Therefore, the improvement in his accuracy isn’t a byproduct of safer, shorter throws.
The Rams defend the run very well overall. That holds true whether they’re facing a traditional running back or a scrambling quarterback. Los Angeles is allowing just 3.6 yards per carry to backs. They’ve been even tougher against quarterbacks. The Rams have yielded an NFL-low 45 rush yards to signal-callers on 26 attempts. Ingram boasts 667 rushing yards (4.9 yards per carry) and eight touchdowns. As L.A.’s defensive numbers indicate, he could have to work for every yard Monday night. Jackson will be the true X-factor. While the Rams’ ability to limit rushing by quarterbacks is very impressive — and they’ve faced the likes of Russell Wilson, Cam Newton and Baker Mayfield this season — Jackson is in a class of his own.
On the Rams’ side of the equation, the biggest concern is likely their ability to protect Goff consistently. The fourth-year quarterback has taken 16 sacks and has been responsible for 15 turnovers (10 interceptions, five lost fumbles). Part of his problem is a patchwork offensive line. The Rams are expected to be missing right tackle Rob Havenstein (knee) in Week 12 and have already lost starting center Brian Allen and starting left guard Joe Noteboom to knee injuries for the season. The fact Goff will have his top receiver trio is certainly encouraging. However, Sean McVay’s crew is catching the Ravens’ pass defense on an upswing. In the three games since cornerback Jimmy Smith‘s return from a knee injury, Baltimore is allowing just 176.0 passing yards per game.
The Ravens were one-point favorites on FanDuel Sportsbook when this game opened up at FanDuel Sportsbook late last week. Week 11 results seemed to unsurprisingly sway the public Baltimore’s way. They now boast a three-point projected advantage on the road, which is significant. Given Baltimore is the more battle-tested squad here, their popularity isn’t surprising.
The Ravens are 5-5 (50.0 percent) against the spread this season, including 3-2 (60.0 percent) as an away team. Baltimore is also 1-1 ATS in interconference matchups.
The Rams are 7-3 (70.0 percent) against the spread this season, including 2-2 as a home team. Los Angeles is also 2-1 (66.7 percent) ATS in interconference matchups.
The Rams should definitely prove to be a tough out. However, the Ravens have a 4-1 road mark straight up and notched a two-touchdown win over a Seahawks squad that’s better than Los Angeles in the tougher setting of CenturyLink Field. Therefore, I’m strongly leaning toward a Ravens cover despite what should be a very competitive contest.
The Lean: Ravens -3 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
We’ve got a middle-of-the-road total overall. It’s one that strikes a balance between what the Rams are capable of when hitting on all cylinders offensively and the current level of play of the Ravens’ defense. Naturally, it also factors in a Baltimore offense that’s leading the NFL in points per game (34.1) by a wide margin.
The Over is 6-4 (60.0 percent) in the Ravens’ games this season, including 4-1 (80.0 percent) in their away games.
The Over is 3-7 (30.0 percent) in the Rams’ games this season, including 1-3 (25.0 percent) in their home games.
The Ravens’ defense is currently playing at an elite level (13.3 points PPG over last three). However, the Rams’ passing game is back to full strength and ready in this prime-time contest. I see both offenses having their fair share of success, enough to send the game over the total.
The Pick: Over 46.5 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Best Prop Bet
Moneyline/Total Points Parlay: Ravens to win and Over 46.5 points (+195 at FanDuel Sportsbook)
In accordance with my belief in a Ravens victory and the Over hitting, I like this parlay and its price. The Ravens have an 80.0 percent win rate on the road this season. Their only loss came to the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium by five points. Additionally, seven of Baltimore’s 10 games have gone over Monday night’s projected total, as have four of Los Angeles’.
ALSO CONSIDER: First Touchdown Scorer: Lamar Jackson (+1050 at DraftKings Sportsbook)