Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:00 AM EST. Odds subject to change.
Cleveland +230 over Baltimore
1:00 PM EST. Is there a hotter football team in the world right now than the Ravens? Is there a hotter quarterback on the planet than Lamar Jackson? If we are asking these questions, you can probably figure out where this one is going, as both Jackson and therefore the Ravens' stocks are skyrocketing. Baltimore is thumping teams nearly every week, as they just whacked Seattle 37-3 and Detroit 38-6 in Weeks 9 and 7 respectively while also knocking off Arizona (Week 8) and Tennessee (Week 6) during this four-game winning streak. By the way, the Ravens already have a lopsided victory over the Browns, 28-3, in Cleveland, back in Week 4.
While it’s not likely to shake out this way, at the moment, the AFC North has four teams that qualify for a playoff position. The Browns, Steelers, and Bengals are all 5-3 but the Brownies stock is sinking, big time. Cleveland’s defense had been lit up in three of the previous four games prior to their shutout of the JUCO looking Cardinals. The defense had seven sacks & three takeaways vs Arizona. Cleveland was a big favorite last week and covered but the market will never put much emphasis on a weak win v Arizona and neither will we. Point is, Cleveland’s market credibility has been dropping for weeks.
In terms of recency bias, give a massive, massive edge to the Ravens. Not only that, but Baltimore outrushed Seattle by a resonating count of 298-28 last week and we promise you that the CBS/FOX panels will be salivating all over themselves when discussing that on Sunday morning. The market is going to be influenced.
We noted the game these two teams played earlier this season, but we didn’t mention that the Browns were not at full strength in that game with Deshaun Watson sidelined with a sore shoulder. We’d like to note that despite missing their starting QB, the Browns were pretty much a coin flip (+1) when that game kicked off just five weeks ago and now they are taking back nearly a touchdown in Baltimore with Watson back in the lineup. Incidentally, the QB for the Brownies that day was none other than Dorian Thompson-Robinson.
Right now, Lamar Jackson is the flavor of the month. He’s getting every possible accolade thrown his way including being the odds on favorite to win the MVP. The man on the street is simply not interested in betting against the Ravens right now and that is one of the reasons why Cleveland is the prudent choice here. The oddsmakers could have made Baltimore a -7 point choice and not swayed a single bet. Always be leary of wagering on favs that look good and are priced at -6 or -6½.
Recency bias comes into play here. Buy low/sell high comes into play here. Baltimore being the hottest team in the NFL comes into play here. Baltimore cashing tickets every week (they are 7-2 ATS) also comes into play here. It’s also worth noting that Baltimore will host the Bengals on Thursday night Football four days after this one in what is already being talked about as the “best game of the year”. We simply cannot recommend buying Baltimore when its stock is this high, as it fits into our “too late to the Baltimore ticket cashing party” mantra. The Brownies check every conceivable box here.
Cleveland +230 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 4.60)