Denver Broncos (10-3) at Baltimore Ravens (9-4)
Before losing to the Steelers at home a few weeks ago, the Ravens had ripped off 16 straight home wins, dating back to 2010. Given that, it’s kind of weird to see them as home dogs here. It’s also kind of funny to see how far this team has fallen in the last two weeks thanks to two losses. I had been saying they weren’t as good as their record all season, but the way the public has soured on this team in just 2 weeks is a little bit of an overreaction.
It’s almost like they’ve become underrated for being overrated, that people have called them overrated so many times that we’ve forgotten they’re not a bad team. This line was Denver -1.5 a week ago and two weeks ago, they probably would have been favored. In spite of this, the public is pounding the Broncos. I love fading the public because the public always loses money in the long run.
Good teams tend to bounce back off a loss and the Ravens are no exception. In fact, on the rare occasions they’ve lost two in a row in the Joe Flacco/John Harbaugh era, they’ve almost always covered in the following game. That’s happened just 4 times since the start of the 2008 season and they’ve covered in the following game at a record of 3-1 ATS. It’s obviously a very small sample size, but it’s important to note that this team has only twice lost 3 in a row since 2008 and never since weeks 4-6 of the 2009 season.
They’re also in a good spot as dogs before being favorites as they are expected to be favored when the Giants come to town next week. Teams are 105-62 ATS in this spot over the last 2 seasons, including 17-6 ATS as home dogs before being home favorites. That being said, when we go back to 2002 to get a larger sample size, teams are just 52-47 ATS as home dogs before being home favorites, which isn’t significant at all. There’s also a decent chance that, depending on what happens this week, they will actually be home dogs next week for a good Giants team. The early lines have them as favorites, but that might not hold up. While home dogs tend to cover before being home favorites, they are just 31-46 ATS since 2008 before being home dogs again.
That’s kind of a theme for this game, uncertainty. I don’t really have a strong feel for this game as a result. The Ravens did win 16 in a row at home at one point, but they weren’t exactly blowing teams out and they weren’t exactly playing a tough schedule. This is demonstrated by the fact that the Ravens were just 7-8-1 ATS in those 16 games and they never once were home dogs like they are here.
They’re also in a very bad spot here off of a road overtime loss. If you exclude road dogs (because road dogs tend to cover off a road loss, in general), teams are 21-46 ATS off a road overtime loss since 2002, including 8-14 ATS as home dogs, as the Ravens are here. We are getting a tiny bit of line value with the Broncos, as the real line based off net points per drive is Denver -1, which holds up to DVOA. However, that’s pretty insignificant. I don’t have a real feel for this game, but gun to my head, the Broncos should be the right side, as long as the line doesn’t go above 3. If we get more than a field goal with the Ravens, I might have to take them. That’s how close this is. Put this last in any confidence pools.
Public lean: Denver (70% range)
Denver Broncos 27 Baltimore Ravens 23
Pick against spread: Denver -3 (-110) 1 unit