The red-hot Baltimore Ravens head to Los Angeles to face the Rams on Monday Night Football.
The Ravens have the NFL’s highest scoring offense thanks to MVP front-runner Lamar Jackson. They are fresh off a 41-7 rout of the Houston Texans and are riding a six-game winning streak into Week 12.
The 6-4 Rams are coming off a 17-7 victory against the Chicago Bears and have been winning with a tough defense led by two-time defensive player of the year Aaron Donald.
From the first snap to the final whistle we break down the odds for this primetime matchup with our best bets and predictions. **video
BALTIMORE RAVENS AT LOS ANGELES RAMS (+3, 46.5)
Baltimore has gotten out to quick starts throughout the year, averaging 8.5 points per game during the first quarter, the second-highest total in the league. Their defense is also strong in the opening quarter holding opponents to just 2.4 ppg, which ranks third in the NFL.
With the Rams scoring just 3.2 ppg in the first 15 minutes (26th in the league), bank on Baltimore taking a lead into the first break.
PICK: First Quarter Baltimore -0.5 (+115)
FIRST HALF BET
It’s rare to see in this era of wide-open passing attacks, but the Ravens are riding their ground game to the No.1 scoring offense in the league. Baltimore has the most rushing yards in the NFL with 203.1 per game, 54 yards per game more than second-place San Francisco.
The Rams do have an excellent run-defense holding opponents to just 89.1 rushing yards per game. But the Ravens don’t have a traditional running game, relying on the legs of Lamar Jackson who is doing things as a runner that no NFL quarterback has ever accomplished.
Jackson has rushed for 781 yards through the first ten games of the season, while surpassing 60 rushing yards in seven consecutive contests. Don’t expect the Rams defense to have their usual success against the run versus Jackson and company.
With the Ravens averaging a league-high 17.8 ppg in the first half, take the Over on the Ravens 1H team total of 12.5.
PICK: First Half Team Total – Baltimore Over 12.5 (-120)
While L.A. will have a hard time stopping Jackson in the running game, they should be able corral Ravens lead back Mark Ingram. Ingram has enjoyed a solid year rushing for 667 yards but has rushed for 52 yards or fewer in five of his last six games.
With backup Gus Edwards stealing some carries and the Rams holding opponents to just 3.3 yards per carry, take the Under on Ingram’s rushing total.
PICK: Mark Ingram Under 53.5 rushing yards
FULL GAME TOTAL
The Ravens have a very strong pass defense, ranking third in the league in defensive pass DVOA according to Football Outsiders. The Rams are holding opponents to just 19.8 points per game thanks in large part to the monster that is Aaron Donald. That said, there are a few reasons we like the Over on Monday night.
We mentioned that the Rams will be dealing with a unique threat in Jackson and even if they slow down the Ravens offense, a team total in the high 20s still seems likely. Not only does Baltimore lead the league with 34.1 ppg but they’ve scored 30 points in each of their last four games, which included a matchup with the Patriots.
As for the Rams, while Jared Goff has played poorly this season he should have all three of his top receivers healthy on Monday. Brandin Crooks cleared concussion protocol after missing the last three games and Robert Woods is expected to play after sitting out last week due to personal reasons.
The Rams offensive line has struggled this year but played well last week, not allowing a sack against a dangerous Bears pass rush. The line also opened up holes for Todd Gurley who rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. If Gurley is trending back towards anything close to the All-Pro he was in 2017 and 2018, L.A. will be able to move the chains against a Ravens stop-unit that hasn’t played well against the run, ranking 25th in the league in defensive rush DVOA.
While this game might not be a shootout the total seems a tad too low. Bet the Over.
PICK: Over 46.5
FULL GAME SIDE
The Rams have home-field advantage but Baltimore has been spectacular on the road. The Ravens are 4-1 in away games with an incredible scoring margin of plus-19.4 ppg.
Baltimore’s offense has been spectacular and Jackson has been able to beat teams with his feet and his arm, racking up 8.1 yards per pass attempt (sixth-best in the league) and throwing for 19 touchdowns against just five interceptions. His versatility should pose problems for the Rams defense.
On the other side of the ball, the Baltimore’s defense has been the best in the league since acquiring cornerback Marcus Peters in a trade from the Rams prior to Week 7. Since then they have won all four of their games by at least two touchdowns, and it’s not like they’ve been playing cupcakes. One of those victories was against Cincinnati but the other three wins came versus New England, Seattle and Houston.
Ride the hot hand and back the Ravens to cover.
PICK: Baltimore -3