Baltimore comes into this matchup on a roll, having won six in a row, including wins over the Patriots and Seahawks. The Rams have won three of their last four games, but got lucky with an easy schedule, getting wins over the Falcons, Bengals and Bears while losing to the Steelers.
A win over the Ravens would be an upset, as the Ravens are favored by -3 but when looking at how these two teams have played lately, that line seems low. The Ravens have demolished recent opponents, with wins by 34, 36, 17 and 14 over their last four games. And two of those games were against the Patriots and Seahawks.
After this week, the Ravens schedule looks like — vs 49ers, @Bills, vs Jets, @Browns, vs Steelers. They aren’t looking at winning their division, as they are 2.5 games ahead of the Steelers, who are banged up and don’t look capable to put up a division fight when healthy. After their win over the Patriots, they are in the hunt for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and an AFC Championship win.
The Rams are trying to squeak into the playoffs through the wildcard, as they are in probably the toughest division in the NFL. The NFC West has the 49ers and Seahawks battling it out for supremacy, while the Rams, despite holding a winning record, remain three games out of first and 2.5 out of second. And in the wildcard race, they are 1.5 games behind the Vikings. Plus, they face the Ravens, Seahawks, Cowboys and 49ers and the up and coming Cardinals twice.
A win for the Rams on Monday night would be huge on many levels. Beating the Ravens would show they can hang with the best teams in the NFL despite their recent struggles and it would keep them from falling further behind in a wildcard race they are already trailing by a decent margin.
The Ravens aren’t desperate for a win but if they want to keep up with the Patriots, they need to keep winning and can’t lose games where they have a distinct advantage.
Ravens: Yes (TBD), No (TBD)
Rams: Yes (TBD), No (TBD)
Ravens: -3335 to win AFC North (Steelers next at +2000)
Rams: +3000 to win NFC West
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