This year’s regular season in the NFL was one that was filled with drama and excitement, with each of the conference playoff races going down to the final minutes of the season. With just a couple of minutes left to play in the later games, we still were not entirely sure as to who was going to get in and who was going to miss out.
The Ravens were one of the teams really forced to sweat it out, but they were able to hold on to get into the Wild Card and have a home date against an LA Chargers team that they just recently beat. It was that victory that turned things in the favor of the Ravens and their quest to win the AFC North Division, whilst also killing any chance that the Chargers had of clinching the #2 spot and a first-round bye. As it is now, the Chargers finished with a better regular season record yet will be forced to go on the round in the opening round. The Ravens will start this Wild Card Game as a 3-point favorite, with the point total set at 41½.
Kings of the North. 👑 pic.twitter.com/ol5aZgEPm3
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) December 31, 2018
AFC Wild Card: Los Angeles Charges Vs Baltimore Ravens
What: AFC Wild Card: Los Angeles Charges (12-4) Vs Baltimore Ravens (10-6)
When: Sunday, January 6, 2019, 1:05 PM ET
Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD
Clear: 7°C | 44°F
Wind: 8 MPH NW
Stadium Type: Open Air
The Chargers cannot afford to dwell on their Week 16 loss at home to the Ravens, a game that LA went into as a 4-point favorite. From that moment forward, you could almost sense that the fates were going to once again put these two teams together in the postseason. It really is rather cruel, though, that the Chargers win more games than their opening round opponent yet are forced to head out on the road, but that is the price that you need to pay for not winning the division. In fairness, going on the road is not necessarily a bad thing for this team, as they were a very solid 7-1 SU and ATS in their 8 games away from the StubHub Center this season. In 5 of those games, the Chargers were in as the underdog, posting a 4-1 record ATS.
Why bet on the Baltimore Ravens?
At about the midway point of the season, the chances of the Ravens getting into the playoffs seemed rather slim, especially with the knowledge that starting QB was going to be out injured for a few weeks. It was then that the season turned around, as rookie QB Lamar Jackson came in and suddenly added a new wrinkle to what was a rather lackluster Ravens attacking game. Despite their strong finish, the defense still had to do its thing in the final week of the season, holding off the Browns on a late drive that could have given Cleveland the win with an FG. The rest is history, and now Baltimore will look to improve upon their 6-2 SU home record. The downside is that they were just 3-5 ATS at home this season, while also going 4-7 ATS as a favorite this year.
Expert Pick and Prediction
The Ravens were surprisingly comfortable 22-10 winners when they last faced the Chargers a couple of weeks ago, but I think we are going to see a much tighter game this time around. I have the Ravens winning and the push.
Predicted Score Los Angeles Chargers 20 | Baltimore Ravens 23