Baltimore Ravens at New Orleans Saints: 2014 Week 12 NFL Pick

Baltimore Ravens (6-4) at New Orleans Saints (4-6)

The Saints have lost back-to-back home games, but that doesn’t completely erase what they’ve historically done at home in recent memory. Before these last two games, they had won 20 straight home games under Sean Payton and they are still 18-3-1 ATS at home over their last 22 home games with Drew Brees and Sean Payton, outscoring opponents by an average of about 16.91 points per game. Even just this season at home, they move the chains at an 82.26% rate, as opposed to 75.86% for their opponents, a differential of 6.40%. They’re even better in night games at home, going 13-3 ATS in night games at the Superdome since Drew Brees and Sean Payton arrived all the way back in 2006. They most recently blew out a Green Bay team that has done nothing but put up points in the weeks since.

Meanwhile, the Ravens are not as good on the road and haven’t been for years. While the Ravens are 44-10 at home since the start of the Joe Flacco/John Harbaugh era, outscoring opponents by an average of 10.52 points per game, they are just 32-30 on the road over that time period, outscoring opponents by an average of 1.34 points per game. This season, they move the chains at a 72.61% rate on road, as opposed to 75.61% for their opponents, a differential of -3.00%. On top of that, Drew Brees is typically deadly off of a loss as long as Sean Payton is on the sideline (last week was the exception), going 21-6 ATS off a loss since 2008 as long as Sean Payton is on the sideline, including 16-3 ATS at home.

The only reason that this isn’t a bigger play on New Orleans isn’t that I don’t trust the Saints after they’ve burned me in several times on big plays this season. They still have most first downs in the NFL and are much better than their record. We’re finally getting great value with them at home off of those two losses as this line went from 6 to 3 after their loss last week. However, they are in a bad spot with a trip to Pittsburgh on deck, while the Ravens host the Chargers next. Teams are 111-75 ATS as non-divisional home favorites before being non-divisional road underdogs since 2008, while teams conversely are 76-106 ATS as non-divisional home favorites before being non-divisional road underdogs since 2008. Combining the two, teams are 100-61 ATS since 2010 as underdogs before being favorites when their opponent will next be underdogs. I still like the Saints a good amount here in a big night game at home.

New Orleans Saints 27 Baltimore Ravens 17

Pick against the spread: New Orleans -3

Confidence: Medium

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