Monday Night Football Predictions Week 5: Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens
I’ve been around the game of football long enough to know that when any iteration of the Raiders is involved, things tend to get weird. We saw that in Week 1’s thriller vs Baltimore, and we saw it again last week vs the Chargers. The game was delayed due to lightning, which makes sense because player safety comes before anything else in the NFL (that’s a joke). However, when you remember that the Chargers play indoors in a $5.5-billion state-of-the-art stadium, it makes you wonder what the hell was actually going on. The Raiders clearly never got the memo of when the game was restarting as they were flat and fell behind 21-0 before losing 28-14. It cost us our winning streak on this piece and a little chunk of change from the bankroll. Oh well, on to Week 5.
As of writing this, the Ravens are currently 7-point favorites, with the total set at 45.5. This line opened up at Ravens -6.5 and has since been bet up a half-point. I respect the line enough to give it a very thorough investigation, and I think we will be on the right side when the dust settles around midnight on Monday. Both teams are coming off wins, but the Ravens’ win was the more impressive of the two as they beat a really good defensive team.
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Storylines to follow
Consistency is Key: After the Ravens dropped their opening game of the season on Monday Night Football to the Raiders, they showed some real resilience by fighting back against a very good Chiefs team to win that game on a last-second field goal. They’ve parlayed that win to a second, last-second, game-winning field goal vs the Lions in Week 3 and then thumped the Broncos on the road for a great road win. We’ve come to know the Ravens to be a very good regular season team, one that beats up on the teams they are better than and then one that falls apart late in the season, slumps into the playoffs and then gets eliminated before reaching the Super Bowl. The biggest thing the Ravens need to focus on over the next handful of weeks with winnable games against the Colts, Bengals, Vikings, Dolphins and Bears, is playing a full 60-minutes of football and executing. They need to prep themselves to start peaking late in the season so they can ultimately go deep into the postseason. Things like missed throws from Jackson, drops from the receivers, and busted coverages, can all be corrected throughout the season, but we need to see these things halted if we are to trust the Ravens to be a threat come playoff time.
From Wentz They Came: The Colts finally got in the win column in Week 4 with a road win against the Dolphins. They played a really good road football game, as they won the time of possession and outgained the Dolphins by 146 yards. They ran the ball down their throats, and the defense stepped up in a huge way. A big reason why the Colts found the win column was the play of Carson Wentz. Wentz has been a focal point for negative attention since coming into the league as he’s oft-injured and just never plays up to the hype that surrounded him prior to being drafted. Wentz finished 24/32 for 228 yards and two touchdowns. He did not turn the ball over, and he showed signs of mobility, which is a good thing given the injury history he’s had throughout his career and in the leadup to this season. Wentz needs to be able to effectively throw the ball and complete passes in order to keep the defense from stacking the box and shutting down the run game. He should have plenty of opportunities to make plays against a Ravens’ defense that is giving up 273 passing yards per game which is 25th overall.
Angles and Trends:
If you like the Colts and are going to take the points, you are banking on the following:
- Colts are 10-2 ATS in the last 12 H2H meetings.
- Colts are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games in Baltimore.
- Colts are 6-2 ATS in their last eight road games.
- Ravens are 10-25-1 ATS in their last 36 October games.
- Ravens are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 Week 5 games.
If you like the Ravens and want to lay the points, these trends are for you:
- Ravens are 7-2 ATS in their last nine vs the AFC.
- Ravens are 4-0 ATS in their last four home games.
- Ravens are 12-5 ATS in their 17 Monday Night games.
- Colts are 1-4 ATS in their last five following an ATS win.
- Colts are 1-3-1 ATS in their last five games as an underdog.
If you are thinking about betting the total, these are the important trends to know:
- Over is 7-0 in Colts’ last seven games vs a team with a winning record
- Over is 4-1 in Colts’ last five games in Week 5
- Over is 4-1 in Colts last five games as an underdog
- Over is 5-1 in Ravens last six home games
- Under is 12-1 in the last 13 H2H meetings.
- Under is 4-0 in the last H2H games in Baltimore.
So far through four weeks, I’ve connected with two winners and one loser (thanks, Raiders). I didn’t start this piece in Week 1, so sue me. Looking at this Week 5 matchup between the Colts and Ravens, one would have to give the edge to the Ravens in every facet of the game. They have the better quarterback, the better running game, and the better playmakers. Defensively, I side with the Colts in this contest, but I don’t think the Colts’ defense is going to do enough to contain Lamar Jackson and keep the Ravens from putting up at least 24 points. We were spot on the money last week when we called the Ravens’ upset of the Broncos, and now they return home happy, confident, and ready to string together some wins. Seven is a lot of points to lay in the National Football League, but the Colts’ offense just doesn’t have enough firepower to keep up with the Ravens.
Pick: Ravens -7.
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