NFL Sunday Night Football Betting Preview

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by - 12/7/2008 3:33 PM Share

With both teams fighting for their playoff lives, Washington heads north up I-95 for a date with a Baltimore team that has overcome the liabilities of starting a rookie quarterback to stay in the postseason hunt heading into December.

A 34-3 win over Cincinnati was the Ravens' sixth in seven contests, putting pressure on first-place Pittsburgh in the AFC North. However, John Harbaugh's team begins a three-game stretch against possible playoff teams (Redskins, Steelers and Cowboys).

Baltimore's rush defense bounced back from the letdown against the New York Giants in Week 11 by slowing down the Eagles and Bengals to return things to normal. Ray Lewis & Co. will face another tall order in limiting Redskins running back Clinton Portis, who has rushed for 1,228 yards, but has failed to record a touchdown in five straight games.

An effective running game, that is averaging 143.8 yards per game, has taken some of the pressure off Joe Flacco, who is not being asked to do much in the passing game. Flacco did set a career-high with 280 yards in Cincinnati, but the trio of Willis McGahee, Le'Ron McClain and rookie Ray Rice has consistently put Flacco in manageable situations to convert on third down.

With the NFC East title out of reach, a wild-card spot is the only scenario for Washington, which sits at 7-5 and faces a relatively easy schedule the rest of the way. However, the Redskins may need some help in order to get into the postseason.

Quarterback Jason Campbell has been solid in taking care of the football (10 touchdowns, four interceptions and one fumble), but has struggled against AFC North foes this season. Campbell had his worst game of the year on Monday night against Pittsburgh and threw for only 164 yards in a sloppy victory over Cleveland.

The lack of an explosive offense has forced the defense to be more consistent and the stop unit has responded in a big way. Opponents have totaled just 283 yards against Washington, and its London Fletcher-led defense has been solid in all facets. The team even picked up the discarded DeAngelo Hall, who posted an interception against Dallas and added a second in last week's 23-7 loss to the Giants.

Line - Baltimore by 6 (Courtesy of Bookmaker.com)
Total - 35.5

Team Trends
The Redskins are 29-12 ATS as a road underdog of 3.5 to 7 points.
The Redskins are 1-5-1 ATS following a SU loss of more than 14 points.
The Ravens are 12-2 ATS after allowing 100 or less passing yards in their last game.
The Ravens are 1-8 ATS off a double digit win and cover before playing Pittsburgh.

Team Totals
The Redskins are 9-2-1 UNDER in 2008.
The Ravens are 12-2 OVER in the second half of the season over the last two seasons.

Sunday Night Trends
The Redskins are 16-10 ATS and 8-0 ATS as road underdogs.
The Ravens are 7-9 ATS and 3-2 ATS as home favorite.

StatFox Expert Opinion

SF Doug

Given the set of circumstances Baltimore came into the season with, it's almost inconceivable to believe the Ravens have averaged 34 points per game in their last six conquests. In this 5-1 SU and ATS stretch, Baltimore has committed a grand total of four turnovers, while forcing 15 miscues. Washington's offense has sputtered in averaging just 12.3 points a game the last three weeks. The problem is the receivers are running lazy routes and they appear to be Velcroed to defensive backs. Still the Redskins defense does a good job in holding teams to 283.2 yards and 18.5 points per game. This greater Washington area contest just shouts defense. I'm playing the Under 35.5 and favoring the Skins with the points in a defensive struggle dominated by field position.

Sports Advisors-

Two regional rivals hoping to keep playoff berths in their sights square off when the Redskins make the quick trip to M&T Bank Stadium to face the Ravens in a non-conference contest.

Washington tumbled to the Giants 23-7 as a 3½-point home ‘dog a week ago, falling to 1-3 SU and 0-3-1 ATS in its last four games. QB Jason Campbell chucked the ball 38 times but got little return for his effort, with 23 completions for 232 yards with no TDs and one INT. The Redskins lost the turnover battle 2-1 and had more than an 11-minute deficit in time of possession (35:44-24:16), while getting outgained 404-320.

Baltimore pummeled Cincinnati 34-3 as a seven-point road chalk to win and cash for the second week in a row and the sixth time in its last seven games. Rookie QB Joe Flacco (19 of 29, 280 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs) led a turnover-free offense, and the Ravens defense held the Bengals to just 155 total yards, helping Baltimore nearly double Cincinnati in time of possession (38:58-21:02).

The SU winner is 17-1-1 ATS in Washington's last 19 games (10-1-1 ATS this season) and 21-2 ATS in Baltimore's last 23 outings (11-1 ATS this season).

Baltimore and Washington have met just twice this decade, with both going 1-1 SU and ATS. The Ravens netted the most recent win, 17-10 as a one-point road chalk in 2004.

The Redskins are on ATS dips of 1-5-1 overall, 0-7-1 against the AFC and 2-5-1 after a SU loss, though they have gone 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight road games. Conversely, the Ravens are on a bevy of positive pointspread streaks, including 6-1 after a SU win, 5-1 at home, 4-1 after a spread-cover and 23-6 as a home chalk.

The under for Washington is on rolls of 7-0-1 overall, 4-1 against winning teams, 4-1 after a SU loss and 4-1 on grass. On the flip side, the over Baltimore is on tears of 6-0-1 overall, 7-2 at home, 4-1 in December and 19-7-3 on grass.

ATS ADVANTAGE: BALTIMORE

Sports Advisors opinion is from the there website www.sportsadvisors.com


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By: Staff Writer - StatFox


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