2015 Monday Night Football – Baltimore Ravens at Arizona Cardinals

The skinny on the Monday Night Football game between the Baltimore Ravens and Arizona Cardinals is that the 1-5 Ravens play teams tougher than their record indicates. They are travelling to Arizona to meet the 4-2 Cardinals and are doing so as anywhere from eight to 10 point underdogs. That’s a mighty hefty spread for a team that has lost five games by an average of 3.6 PPG. Might the Ravens be a great deal in this one?

Baltimore Offense vs. Cardinal Defense

Offense, to a degree, has been problematic for the Ravens. QB Joe Flacco has had his challenges, throwing seven picks to eight touchdowns. He’s completing 62.3% of his passes. Still, he’s been able to find Steve Smith Sr. consistently, hitting him 36 times for 3 TDs and an average of 14.2 YPC. RB Justin Forsett, who is listed as probable, has 457 total running yards and is averaging 4.4 yards per attempt.

The Cardinal defense, which is limiting teams to under 20 PPG, is especially effective versus the pass. They’ve totaled 11 interceptions and 27 PD. Plus they have done well against the run, making a total of 37 tackles for a loss. FS Rashad Johnson has 4 PD and 3 INTS while FS Tyrann Mathieu has notched 7 PD and 2 INTs. SS Deone Bucannon leads the club with 42 tackles and has 7 tackles for a loss.

Arizona Offense vs. Raven Defense

The Arizona offense is impressive. QB Carson Palmer (64.8%, 14 TDs, 5 INTs) comes into the game with a 106.9 rating. WR Larry Fitzgerald (43 REC, 583 YDs, 13.6 AVG) has caught six touchdown passes thus far. RB Chris Johnson is a workhorse, with 445 total rushing yards. He’s averaging 4.8 YPC, while Andre Ellington has 8.7 YPC. Both have rushed for two touchdowns. Rookie RB David Johnson has crossed the goal line three times this season. This is a very fine offense that is averaging 33.8 PPG.

The Raven defense is not what it used to be, but it’s not bad. They do well in putting pressure on quarterbacks, and in order to stay in this game, they will have to do just that on Monday night. Baltimore comes in with 18 sacks and 18 TFL. Leading the club in QB takedowns is DE Lawrence Guy with three. CB Jimmy Smith is the club’s top pass defender with 4 PD and 2 INTs.

Other Considerations

Arizona kicker Chandler Catanzaro has a tough time from 45-plus. But, overall, he’s accurate. For the Ravens, placekicker Justin Tucker has struggled going 13 of 16. He too has a hard time hitting from 45-plus

Interesting to note that the only Raven win has been against the Steelers, 23-20. Also note that the last game the Cardinals played was against the Steelers. Arizona lost 25-13.

Best Bets

We really like the Ravens at plus 10. They will bring a solid defense into this game and should be able to temper the Cardinals’ point output. Plus, Arizona has put a lot of points up when playing teams with weak defenses. Against tougher Ds, they falter a bit. We are staying away from the over/under on this one, which is at 48. If betting Baltimore, wait on this game as the spread may go up to 10.5 or 11 before game time.

October 25, 2015 by : Posted in NFL, Sportsbook No Comments

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