Baltimore Ravens (10-5, 8-6-1 ATS) vs. Oakland Raiders (5-10, 7-8 ATS), NFL Week 17, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Sunday, Jan. 3rd, 4:15 PM Eastern, CBS
By Z-Man of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Ravens -10 1/2/Raiders +10 1/2
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The Baltimore Ravens have had some ups and downs this year, but they enter the final week of the regular season with a very simple premise; if they beat the Oakland Raiders Sunday afternoon out in NoCal, they claim one of the AFC Wild Card spots in the playoffs. If they lose, they're out.
Most online NFL betting outlets opened Baltimore as a 10-point road favorite over Oakland, with a total of 38. As of Thursday morning many of those sportsbooks had bumped the Ravens to -10 ½ or -11, while the total had held steady.
The Ravens are also listed at around -600 on most moneylines, with the Raiders getting upwards of +500 to win outright as home underdogs.
Coming off a run to the AFC championship game last season, Baltimore started 3-0 this season, then lost three straight by a total of 11 points. They then alternated wins and losses for six weeks, then won two straight, over Detroit and Chicago, by a combined score of 79-10. But with a chance to lock up a playoff berth last week in Pittsburgh, the Ravens committed a bunch of errors, as in 11 penalties for over 100 yards and a crucial dropped touchdown pass, and lost 23-20.
Nonetheless, Baltimore still has its playoff destiny in its own hands.
On the other side of this match-up, Oakland, with its anemic offense, lost seven of its first nine games this season. But the Raiders have shown some life recently, going 3-3 over their last six games. And included among their five victories this season are wins over 11-4 Philadelphia, 10-5 Cincinnati, 8-7 Pittsburgh and 8-7 Denver.
Unfortunately, it will be a seventh-straight losing season for the Silver and Black.
Ravens QB Joe Flacco has had a solid second season as a professional, completing 63% of his passes for 7.3 YPA, with 21 TD passes, 12 interceptions and an 89.5 passing rating. Baltimore ranks 14th in the league in total offense at 353 YPG and seventh in rushing at 131 YPG.