NFL boff Tom Selwyn (@Tom_Selwyn) returns to cover Monday Night Football as the Patriots welcome the Ravens.
Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots | Tuesday 01:30 | Sky Sports 1
A very important game on Monday night this week, with the Ravens fighting for the lead of the AFC North and the Patriots looking to tighten their grip on the AFC East.
It’s matchup of strength on strength too as the Patriots’ fifth-ranked offence goes up against the Raven’s top-ranked defence.
Blount to blow under
I don’t doubt the ability of Patriots QB Tom Brady to have some success against a good defence, but I do have my doubts that New England crowded backfield to sustain a ground game. Their leading rusher this season is LeGarrette Blount and I’ll be backing him to go for under 75.5 yards.
I find that line to be generously big for a couple of reasons, with the first revolving around Blount himself. He has only gone over 76 yards in five of 12 games this season and, as I alluded to earlier, the Patriots have a number of RBs who get touches each game.
Although Blount is the nominal lead RB, he will definitely lose snaps to the pass-catching RBs Dion Lewis and James White.
Ravens to shut New England down
The second reason stems from Blount losing snaps, because I do expect Baltimore strong defence to clamp down on the New England’s running game and force them to put the ball in Brady’s hands and throw more.
They field the league’s top rush defence, allowing just 73.8 yards per-game at a mere 3.4 yards per-carry and a full 198 total yards less than the second-best team.
Don’t expect any long runs from Blount either as the Ravens have allowed just one run over 40 yards this season and only three over 20 yards.
It’s an intriguing matchup for sure and if the Patriots are to win, I think it will be via Brady’s arm and not Blount’s legs.
Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots – LeGarrette Blount to have Under 75.5 Rushing Yards (10/11 William Hill)