Make no mistake about it, Monday Night Football represents a must win game for the Rams. Baltimore would love to go into the City of Angels and ruin Los Angeles’ season, but Sean McVay and company need to win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Desperation is going to be a key characteristic of this intriguing game.
The Ravens come in as arguably the hottest team in the NFL. Lamar Jackson’s ascendancy to become a legitimate MVP candidate is a big reason why Baltimore enters the matchup as three-point favorites. That might not seem like a big enough number at first glance, but remember that Jackson and company have to fly cross country to play this game.
Betting on games where one team has to win and one team would really like to win can be treacherous. That’s one reason why you must check out our exclusive Statschecker Site before you lock in your final wagers. This piece will give you five intriguing nuggets about Monday Night Football, but the breadth of information available on the site will impress even the most seasoned gambler.
1. Lamar Jackson is on fire
The young Ravens’ signal caller has scored touchdowns in four of his team’s last five games, but that doesn’t tell the full story of his brilliance. He’s legitimately a threat to take the ball to the end zone every time he touches it. Unfortunately for the Rams, he will touch the ball on every Baltimore offensive snap from his quarterback position.
McVay and his coaching staff will trust Aaron Donald and their team’s physical front line to blunt the Ravens at the point of attack. That’s almost certainly where this game will be won or lost. Donald versus Jackson is a captivating matchup on Monday Night Football.
2. The Rams are excellent against the spread
Jared Goff’s team hasn’t lived up to fans’ expectations this season, but interestingly, the Rams are still 7-3 against the spread on the season. In other words, oddsmakers have been very good at predicting this team’s performances.
That should trouble fans interested in backing the Rams to pull off the upset. It’s not impossible for McVay to conjure up some magic, but it’s unlikely. The Rams are largely a known commodity at this point in the season.
3. The Ravens are just hot
Baltimore comes into the matchup riding a six game winning streak after blowing the Texans out last week. The Ravens might not score 41 points against the Rams defense again this week, but it’s not out of the question.
If the Rams want to break Baltimore’s streak they will need to play something close to a perfect game. That puts a ton of pressure on Goff to keep up with Jackson on a drive-by-drive basis. That shouldn’t inspire a lot of confidence for Rams fans.
4. Todd Gurley could be waking up
Gurley’s performance last week wasn’t necessarily dominant, but it was his best effort of the 2019 season. Touching the ball 28 times for 133 yards won’t be enough for the Rams’ bell cow this week though. He’ll need to post season highs in both categories for a second consecutive week if he wants to keep his team in the thick of the playoff race.
5. The Ravens secondary is legit
This Baltimore defense isn’t the dominant unit you remember from recent years, but the secondary is starting to play its best football. Limiting Deshaun Watson to just 169 passing yards served to inform the rest of the NFL that the Ravens’ defensive backs are a force to be reckoned with.
The challenge, of course, will be for Baltimore to do it again. The upside for their defense is that stopping Goff is a much easier chore than keeping the shackles on Watson. Don’t be shocked if Baltimore forces Los Angeles to run the ball against heavy fronts to achieve any measure of offensive success.
The Raven are the clear play
Goff isn’t going to suddenly snap out of his ugly season to play like a Pro Bowler on Monday night. Unfortunately for the Rams, that’s the only way they can realistically hope to knock off the Ravens.
Instead, you should trust Jackson and the Ravens’ diverse running game to dominate the time of possession and churn out yards against the Rams’ defense. Taking the Ravens and giving up three points is an easy choice. Push the line all the way out to 6.5 if you want a chance to make some real money.