Baltimore (8-6) at LA Chargers (11-3)
When: Saturday, December 22nd 2018
Where: StubHub Center,
Time: 8:20 ET | TV: NFL Network
Opening Odds: Los Angeles -6/45.5
The NFL regular season is down to the final two weeks and there are a few critical playoff-type games in Week 16, including a good Saturday night contest between the Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Chargers from Carson, California. The Bolts are three games better than Baltimore, but could end up hosting this rematch in the postseason come January. The reason for that, is Los Angeles, despite having the second-best record in the AFC, are still trailing the Kansas City Chiefs for the AFC West crown. Meaning, the Chargers could be on the road on Wild Card Weekend. The Ravens currently hold the second wild card spot and would clinch at least that with wins over the final two weeks. They are still hoping to catch the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC North and currently trail them by a half-game. Baltimore has won four of five since rookie Lamar Jackson took over as the starting quarterback with the only loss coming in overtime at Kansas City. Los Angeles earned a playoff berth in dramatic fashion last week, erasing a two-touchdown deficit in the final four minutes for a 29-28 road win over the Chiefs after an epic comeback over the Steelers just two weeks earlier. The teams last met in 2015 with the Ravens coming away with a 29-26 home victory and the road team is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings.
Jackson has been using his feet more than his arm to catapult the Ravens up the standings, throwing for just 131 yards and a touchdown last week versus Tampa Bay, but rumbling for 95 yards on 18 carries. Gus Edwards is now carrying the running game and had 104 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries last week. Coach John Harbaugh has changed the offense since Joe Flacco went down with an injury. He’s healthy now but not getting his job back unless Jackson gets injured. The Ravens are the first team since the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1976 to rush for at least 190 yards in five consecutive games. Willie Snead has emerged as Jackson’s favorite target with five catches in three of the past five games. The defense leads the league in fewest points (18.1) and fewest overall yards (290.2) and are third against the pass (202.6).
Los Angeles just keeps on winning despite injuries to major players including top receiver Keenan Allen, and top running backs Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler. Gordon is expected to return Saturday after sitting out the past three games due to a sprained MCL and has rushed for 802 yards and nine touchdowns on the season while contributing with 44 receptions out of the backfield. Allen is not a lock to play this week, but fellow wideout Mike Williams came up huge versus Kansas City with three touchdowns on a season-high seven receptions to earn AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. The Chargers will need to be wary of Jackson and the defensive unit is ranked ninth against the run (103.7).
Its hard to go against the Chargers despite all the injuries. They just keep finding ways to win. The Ravens are playing well now with a completely retooled offensive scheme that I think will give L.A. some problem. The Chargers have failed to cover two of their last three home games, while the Ravens are 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine as an away dog.
Pick: Ravens +4.5
- Ravens are 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 games after accumulating more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Ravens are 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games on grass.
- Ravens are 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 games after accumulating less than 150 yards passing in their previous game.
- Ravens are 18-7-4 ATS in their last 29 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Ravens are 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 road games.
- Ravens are 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 games after allowing less than 15 points in their previous game.
- Ravens are 1-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Chargers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
- Chargers are 5-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Chargers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
- Chargers are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games following a ATS win.
- Chargers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 home games.
- Chargers are 5-16 ATS in their last 21 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Chargers are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 Saturday games.
- Under is 4-0 in Ravens last 4 games after allowing less than 15 points in their previous game.
- Over is 8-2 in Ravens last 10 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Under is 15-5-1 in Ravens last 21 games in Week 16.
- Over is 8-3 in Ravens last 11 games following a ATS loss.
- Under is 5-2 in Ravens last 7 games on grass.
- Under is 8-1 in Chargers last 9 Saturday games.
- Under is 4-1 in Chargers last 5 home games.
- Under is 4-1 in Chargers last 5 games following a ATS win.
- Under is 4-1 in Chargers last 5 games in Week 16.
- Under is 11-3-1 in Chargers last 15 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Under is 19-6-1 in Chargers last 26 games in December.
- Under is 10-4-1 in Chargers last 15 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
- Under is 15-6 in Chargers last 21 vs. AFC.
- Under is 7-3 in Chargers last 10 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Under is 9-4 in Chargers last 13 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
- Under is 34-16-1 in Chargers last 51 games following a straight up win.
- Over is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings.
- Underdog is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
- Road team is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.