The Baltimore Ravens have lost four straight games but are still in the playoff hunt in Week 17. This week, they’ll have to overcome a surging Los Angeles Rams squad to keep their hopes alive. NFL betting odds list the Ravens as 3.5 point underdogs.
Let’s look at the vital game information before seeing if the Ravens can cover the spread this week.
Los Angeles Rams at Baltimore
- Date: Sunday, Jan. 2
- Time: 1:00 P.M. EST on FOX
- Venue: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD
- Participants: Los Angeles Rams at Baltimore Ravens
Los Angeles Rams
A four-game winning streak has vaulted the Rams into first place in the NFC West. In those games, LA has averaged 29.25 points per game and allowed only 15.75 points on average.
Matthew Stafford is having one of his best seasons with 4339 yards, 36 touchdown passes, and only 13 interceptions. Cooper Kupp has 132 catches and 14 touchdowns as the team’s primary receiver.
Odell Beckham Jr. has added another scoring threat, with four TDs in five games for the Rams. Sony Michel adds another dimension with 168 rushes for 728 rushing yards, but he may have a hard time against the Ravens, who are first in run defense.
The Rams’ potent 6th-ranked pass offense (276.1 yards per game) could pose a significant problem for the Ravens. The Baltimore defense ranks 32nd in passing yards allowed per game and 25th in points allowed.
The Ravens are also 27th in interceptions. They only have six interceptions on the year and have a turnover differential of -10. I don’t believe that the Rams will have any issues passing against Baltimore.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson returned to practice on Wednesday (12/29), but he had a pronounced limp, so I’m skeptical about his return this week. Brett Hundley may practice on Thursday.
Both QBs are mobile, but they are going against the 6th-ranked rush defense in the NFL. Still, Baltimore should get scoring chances against the Rams’ 22nd-ranked passing defense (242.2 yards per game).
Though the last three games ended in losses, the Ravens averaged 24.3 points per game.
The Ravens are second in red zone efficiency, scoring a touchdown on 65.38% of their chances. The Rams defense ranks 12th inside the 20-yard line, allowing a touchdown 54% of the time.
Baltimore averages 382.1 yards per game and has the third-highest time of possession, holding the ball for an average of 32:24 per game. Those two factors will be critical for the Ravens to cover this matchup. Keeping the Rams’ offense off the field is Baltimore’s best chance of winning this game.
Can the Baltimore Ravens Cover at Home?
The Baltimore Ravens have come within a two-point conversion of winning twice in the last four games. Their running game and ability to score inside the red zone have helped them keep games close.
I expect another close matchup for the Ravens in this game. The Baltimore Ravens are at home, where they are 5-2 and in the mix for a division title or wild card playoff spot.
The Ravens have enough scoring power to keep pace with the league’s best. They took the Green Bay Packers to the final play, and I expect them to do the same against the Rams in Week 17. However, their passing defense and inability to create turnovers make me believe the Rams will come away with a win this week.
Do you believe the Ravens will have a strong game offensively? Sign up for an account today and take part in BetMGM’s King of the Weekend promotion. Guess the top six scoring offenses of the week, and you could win up to $50,000.