Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:30 AM EST
WASHINGTON +14 +102 over Baltimore
1:00 PM EST. After Baltimore’s 34-20 loss to the Chiefs on Monday Night in one of the more anticipated Monday Night showdowns in a while, the media and market were talking about how good the Chiefs really are. That K.C. is very simply on a different level than everyone else. The Ravens are being forgiven for losing to Kansas City, especially after they came within three (28-25) at one point in the second half. By contrast, The Football Team is being counted on to be the dregs that they are here. Washington took quite a bit of money last week as a +7-point dog to Cleveland, thus making them a very difficult proposition again. It’s human nature to avoid a team the week after they cost you money. It’s very, very difficult to come back on that same team and it’s a common mistake.
We’re not here to argue that Washington is worthy of anything. In this era of potent offenses and high scoring games, The Football Teams’ offense is miles behind the rest of the field. They rank last or bottom three in just about every metric and surface stat. However, the Football Team also ranks high on defense in many metrics including ranking 4th overall in Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA). Washington has also played just one home game, against Philadelphia in Week 1, and as a +5½ point underdog, they won outright.
We also have to question Baltimore’s mindset after being schooled for the third straight time by the team they were built to beat. A seed of great doubt has been planted in the Ravens minds and now Baltimore really won’t have another meaningful game until the playoffs when they likely face Kansas City again. Looking at the Ravens schedule, they are likely going to be favored in every game until the playoffs. What do the Ravens have to prove? That they can beat everyone but K.C.? They had their chance last week to make a statement and failed miserably again. The will to prepare against the Football Team has to come into question.
Finally, a road favorite is the worst role for a team coming off a difficult loss. Quantifying this angle is difficult, as it depends on the input definition of "tough loss." But whether it's losing as a favorite, losing in the final seconds or losing a game after holding a double-digit fourth-quarter lead, no matter how the data is sliced, trust us when we say that road favorite is the worst role for such teams the following week. Why that role? Any team that's still a dog despite being at home is perceived as inferior, so there's not enough fear or concern to instill urgency in preparation -- plus, there's no home crowd to spark the need for immediate atonement. Washington absolutely qualifies as inferior. Baltimore’s loss to K.C. in front of a massive TV audience was as devastating as they come, and it would probably take a panel of Hall of Fame motivators to get this team off the mat this week. Add those intangibles to the inflated points being offered and we have to side with the inflated points.
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WASHINGTON +14 +102 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.04)