In Saturday’s NFL games, Washington is overrated and Baltimore is underrated

Saturday, 22 December 2018 10:48 EST

Yeah, like we need to have more bets on football out there on Saturday; already NFLbets has money invested in the Armed Forces and Hawai’I Bowls before even considering the pair of NFL games going off today.

Counterpoint: Hell, yes, we need more bets on Saturday football – especially with the opportunities the NFL has chosen to gift us. Lines on the early game today read…

Washington +10½ at Tennessee Titans, over/under 37½ points

Fair enough, it’s difficult to believe that any team is getting double digits against the Titans in 2018, even if the game is in Tennessee. Scoring just 19.1 points per game, this low, low-watt offense isn’t scaring anyone.

On the other hand, against any other team right about now, Washington would probably be getting 18 or 19. The Titans might have even been giving 14 in week 16 if Washington and Mark Sanchez (Mark Sanchez!) weren’t getting an unjustifiable bump from their SU win against the nearly-as-hapless Jacksonville Jaguars. Through three QBs, Washington has managed to score *fewer* points than Tennessee, at 18.9 per game.

(Brief tangent: Some four NFL teams have scored even less than these two machines? Who says offense is taking over football?)

In short, if any team could lose 19-8 in mild weather, it’s the Washington Practice Squad. No way can NFLbets resist leaving this game entirely alone, though. The oddsmakers surely know that some NFL bettors such as yours truly are utterly susceptible to these extreme low point spreads – and why not? The only easy cash-in NFLbets scored in week 15 was on the under in the Washington game, and in seven games of 14, Washington games have gone under this 37½. The easy pick here: Take the under on an O/U of 37½ points.

Baltimore Ravens +4 at Los Angeles Chargers, over/under 42 points

NFLbets is nearly crazy enough to believe this in an AFC Championship Game preview; this is a take for another time (and should probably wait for the next Houston Texans result, to be honest), but we can agree that this game should make up in intrigue all that game 1 lacks.

We’re advising that bettors take the Baltimore Ravens +4 at the Chargers, but we admittedly have tunnel vision focused on one key stat that is mysteriously going pretty much unreported, namely that the Chargers are undefeated outside of Los Angeles in 2018. In seven games at “home” plus the week 3 matchup “at” the Rams, they’re just 4-3 SU (2-5 ATS).

NFLbets is also unsure as to why the collective consciousness is going to sleep on these Baltimore Ravens. Some skepticism is warranted to be sure, as the offense appears to be a smoke-and-mirrors act presided over by the magician Lamar Jackson: On their 4-1 SU (5-0 ATS) run after the bye week, the passing game has managed just 144.8 yards per game yet somehow scores 25.6.

And while casual NFL fandom has collectively rediscovered that defense can still, likesay, dominate in the NFL circa 2018, the Ravens D plays second fiddle in the public’s imagination to defenses in Chicago and Houston. The truth is, however, the Ravens defense is tops in points allowed and yardage allowed, and is a top-5 team statistically in first downs, rushing yards, passing yards and passing TDs allowed.

The main confidence-sapper working against the Ravens going forward, though, is their 1-3 SU record against current playoff-slated teams. Luckily (literally), the NFL bettor need not share this concern: Two of those losses – the 1-point loss to New Orleans in week 7 and the 3-point OT win eked out by Kansas City two weekends ago – allowed the Ravens to cover the spread. Additionally, the D kept these offenses to 24 points or less in each game.

So NFLbets is firmly aboard the surprisingly sparsely-populated Baltimore bandwagon, and we’re expecting the Ravens to control the pace – if not necessarily win the game SU. Take the Ravens +4 at the L.A. Chargers and take the under on an O/U of 42.

NFLbets Best Bets record in 2018: 35-28-2.