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NFL Betting: Ravens vs. Saints Monday Night Football Preview

Posted by Stan Jenkins on 11/24/2014 9:22:45 PM

The Baltimore Ravens are coming off a win and a bye week. The New Orleans Saints are coming off their second straight loss. Will New Orleans not only get mad, but get even as well?

Baltimore Ravens @ New Orleans Saints – Monday, November 24

These teams are headed in dramatically different directions. The Ravens had a bye week last week, but the week prior, they shut down the Tennessee Titans in a 21-7 victory. Baltimore allowed only 210 yards of total offense to Tennessee. Even though the Titans were playing a rookie quarterback, Zach Mettenberger, it is still impressive any time an NFL defense can allow fewer than 10 points or two separate scoring drives (or both). The Ravens reacted exactly as they needed to, and a bye week will enable them to see what they can do even better.

The New Orleans Saints are severely broken, even though the weakness of a broken NFC South has enabled the Saints to remain in first place in their division at 4-6, tied with the Atlanta Falcons. New Orleans played an okay game two weeks ago against the San Francisco 49ers, but as has been the case for most of the season, the Saints lost focus in the final few minutes of the fourth quarter. Repeating an event that had happened in week one of the season, the Saints fumbled in overtime and subsequently gave up a game-winning field goal to the opposing team. The Niners walked out of the Superdome with a win because Drew Brees held onto the ball way too long in the pocket and was stripped before he threw a pass.

The loss to San Francisco was one thing, though. Last week’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals was so much worse. The Saints didn’t really show up. They lost by 17 points to a team quarterbacked by Andy Dalton. New Orleans’ season looks like it is out of control, and even though the Saints might redouble their efforts against Baltimore, they are at a point where desire and effort might not matter much. The Saints do not look like a very talented or coordinated team. Baltimore has the fifth-best rushing defense and the tenth-best rushing offense in the league, so New Orleans, which is eighth in rushing offense and 19th in rushing defense, will be facing a few very significant challenges in this game. The fact that Baltimore is coming off a bye week will leave the Ravens more rested than the Saints, and that’s the sort of thing which can matter in the latter part of the whole season.

The biggest problem with the Saints’ 27-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday was that they didn’t make any big plays. The Saints ran for only 75 yards, which was one problem, but they also averaged just 6.2 yards per pass attempt, which means that just about every pass Drew Brees threw was a short one. The Saints can’t be that way. They need long gainers, and Baltimore has a disciplined defense which can take that away from New Orleans. The Ravens are the smart choice here.

Pick: Ravens +4

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