San Diego Chargers (6-5) at Baltimore Ravens (7-4)
This line is way too low. The Ravens rank 5th in the NFL in rate of moving the chains differential, moving the chains at a 76.84% rate, as opposed to 72.29% for their opponents, a differential of 4.55%. The Chargers, meanwhile, rank 15th, moving the chains at a 73.39% rate, as opposed to 72.56% for their opponents, a differential of 0.84%. The Chargers have been especially bad of late, moving the chains at a 68.09% rate since week 7, as opposed to 74.19% for their opponents, a differential of -6.10%. They’ve just had so many injuries, the most serious one being to talented rookie cornerback Jason Verrett, who was playing so well before his injury.
The Ravens are significantly better than the Chargers, especially at home. The Ravens move the chains at a 79.52% rate at home this season, as opposed to 65.91% for their opponents, a differential of 13.61%. This home dominance is nothing new. Since Joe Flacco and John Harbaugh came in before the 2008 season, the Ravens are 45-10 straight up, outscoring opponents by an average of 10.58 points per game, at home, as opposed to 33-32, outscoring opponents by an average of 1.03 points per game on the road, a swing of about 9.5 points. It also hurts the Chargers that they are a West Coast team playing a 1 PM ET game on the East Coast. The Ravens should be favored by more than 5.5 here everything considered.
Speaking of the Ravens’ home dominance and the fact that they’re favored by just 5.5 here, the Ravens have done very well at home as underdogs or favorites of 7 or less since that 2008 season, going 22-11 ATS in that situation. The Ravens do have a tough game next week in Miami, where they’ll be underdogs, as non-divisional home favorites are 73-99 ATS before being non-divisional road underdogs since 2002 However, the Chargers have an even tougher game at home for New England next week. Non-divisional road underdogs are 92-126 ATS before being non-divisional home underdogs since 2002. Going off of that, teams are 57-89 ATS before being 3+ point home underdogs since 2012 and 29-62 ATS before being home underdogs of 4 or more. In a tough week for games, this is my Pick of the Week.
Baltimore Ravens 31 San Diego Chargers 17
Pick against the spread: Baltimore -5.5
Confidence: Pick of the Week