Baltimore Ravens (2-1) at Buffalo Bills (1-2)
The Ravens’ season certainly got off to a rough start week 1 in Denver, as Peyton Manning tied an NFL record for touchdowns against them in a 49-27 loss. However, they bounced back at home over the past 2 weeks with a 14-6 win over Cleveland and a 30-9 win over Houston. Now this week they have to go back on the road, where life has not been as kind to them as at home over the past few seasons. Since 2010, the Ravens are 25-3 at home and outscore opponents by an average of 10.1 points per game and 17-14 on the road, outscoring opponents by 1.1 points per game. They’re also 2-5 ATS as non-divisional road favorites in their last 7 instances.
Their offense is still struggling to move the ball. Sure, they beat Houston 30-9, but they needed 14 points off of returns to achieve that final score. The two teams were pretty even in terms of first downs, total yards of offense, and punts despite the large final margin. They could get Ray Rice back from injury this week, but he won’t be 100%. I don’t know how much of an upgrade a limited Ray Rice is over Bernard Pierce, one of the better backups in the NFL. The two will probably split carries.
Their offensive woes go back longer than a week too. They are converting a below average 72% of 1st and 10 for a subsequent set of downs. Fortunately, as bad as their offense is right now, their defense seems to have turned around 180 degrees from a disappointing start in Denver week 1 as their new players have gelled together. However, I don’t know if I trust the Ravens to cover as 3 point favorites on the road here in Buffalo. All of the Bills’ injuries in the secondary, especially if Leodis McKelvin doesn’t play, make it hard to take the Bills here and I wish this line was a little higher, but I think they are the right side. I’m just not confident.
Baltimore Ravens 17 Buffalo Bills 16
Pick against spread: Buffalo +3