Carolina Panthers (3-7) at Baltimore Ravens (6-3)
This line is pretty high, favoring the Ravens by 12.5, but I don’t think it’s high enough, as this is a matchup of among the best and among the worst teams in the league, with the better team, the Baltimore Ravens at home. The Ravens have three losses, but all came by four points or fewer and all came after blowing 4th quarter leads, with the Ravens leading the league in percentage of time leading per game. In terms of point differential, the Ravens rank 6th at +39 and in schedule adjusted efficiency they rank 3rd, about 7.5 points above average.
The Ravens have done that despite having several key players miss time with injury and now, coming out of their bye week, they are as healthy as they have been in weeks. Stud tight end Mark Andrews, top running back Gus Edwards, stud left tackle Ronnie Stanley, stud defensive lineman Calais Campbell, starting edge defenders Justin Houston and Tyus Bowser, and starting cornerback Marcus Peters have all missed time with injury thus far this season but have since returned and will play this week, for a Ravens team that ranks almost ten points above average in my roster rankings. They’re also in a good spot coming out of the bye, with Jim Harbaugh being 21-11 ATS with extra time to prepare in his career as Ravens’ head coach.
The Panthers, meanwhile, have played slightly better in recent weeks after a 1-5 start, but they are still just 3-7 and they go back to quarterback Baker Mayfield this week, losing PJ Walker due to injury, a key absence considering he has been their quarterback for their recent slight offensive improvement. Even with slightly better offensive play in recent weeks, the Panthers still rank 31st in schedule adjusted offensive efficiency across the season, about five points below average, leading three of the Panthers’ seven losses coming by 14 points or more and four of seven coming by at least 10 points.
Carolina’s defense is what has kept them somewhat competitive in some games, ranking 14th in schedule adjusted defensive efficiency, but they’re not healthy right now, with starting interior defender Matt Ioanndis and starting cornerback Donte Jackson both out this week. They could get starting safety Jeremy Chinn back this week, but, if not, they’ll not only be without him, but they’ll likely be without the two players they have used most in his absence, Myles Hartsfield and Juston Burris, leaving them very thin at safety.
Even if Chinn does play, he might not be 100% and the Panthers will still be at least four points below average in my roster rankings, fourteen points below the Ravens, giving us some line value with the Ravens as 12.5-point home favorites. This line is too big for the Ravens to be worth a big bet this week, but they are bettable at that number, even with Chinn’s possible return. I want to lock this in now because the line could increase to 13 or higher if Chinn is ruled out before gametime. This is likely to be a blowout victory for the Ravens either way.
Baltimore Ravens 27 Carolina Panthers 10
Pick against the spread: Baltimore -12.5