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The Baltimore Ravens are fighting for their playoff lives and they face a tough task in toppling the current NFC West leaders, the Los Angeles Rams. NFL expert Mike Spector is here with his prediction of this Week 17 matchup.
ANALYSIS

Baltimore Ravens vs. Los Angeles Rams Prediction: Should You Trust the Rams Offense?

Things could not have gone better for the Los Angeles Rams or worse for the Baltimore Ravens last week. For the first time all season, Los Angeles took over sole possession of first place in the NFC West and would clinch the division title with a win and an Arizona loss this week. Meanwhile, Baltimore is coming off their second drubbing by the Bengals this season and now enter this week on the outside looking in for a playoff spot. So will the Rams continue their march towards one of the top four seeds in the conference, or can the Ravens protect their home field and give a jolt to their playoff hopes?

Baltimore Ravens vs. Los Angeles Rams Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

Date: Sunday, January 2

Game Time: 1:00 pm ET

Where to Watch: FOX

Click Here For Ravens vs Rams Odds

Ravens vs. Rams INJURY REPORT

Rams

Questionable: DT Greg Gaines, RB Cam Akers, C Brian Allen

Out: RB Darrell Henderson Jr., LB Ernest Jones

Ravens

Questionable: QB Lamar Jackson, LB Pernell McPhee

Out: LB Justin Houston, FB Patrick Ricard, G Patrick Mekari

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Baltimore Ravens vs. Los Angeles Rams Prediction

With their 30-23 win over Minnesota, Los Angeles clinched a playoff berth for the fourth time in five seasons under head coach Sean McVay, and the young head coach now searches for his third division title. The Rams defense was primarily responsible for last week’s win over the Vikings, as their solid performance helped the team overcome three Matthew Stafford interceptions. It was Stafford’s first three-interception game since 2018 and was also the first game he was held under 200 passing yards all season.

Not all losses are created equal, as Baltimore found out last week. In their 41-21 loss to the Bengals, the Ravens allowed the most total yards (575) and passing yards (498) in franchise history. In addition, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow’s passing yardage was the fourth-most in a game all-time. If it was not bad enough for Baltimore’s already ravaged secondary, the team lost cornerback Anthony Averett with a chest injury. They also played without three of their five Pro Bowlers (QB Lamar Jackson, FB Patrick Ricard, WR Devin Duvernay). Baltimore has lost four straight games since an 8-3 start, and their seven losses are the most they have had since 2017.

The -3.5 point spread for this game suggests there is a likelihood that Lamar Jackson returns from an ankle injury this week. However, instead of worrying about how his health or whoever Baltimore’s starting quarterback will be, the safest wager is on the Rams team total, just as it was when we backed Cincinnati’s team total last week.

Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp now has 11 consecutive games with 90 or more receiving yards, extending the longest such streak in the Super Bowl era. In addition, Odell Beckham Jr. is getting more and more comfortable in Los Angeles’ offense each week, and he now has four touchdowns in the last five games. Thus, how will Baltimore stop those two playmakers on the outside?

In addition, Los Angeles may be getting some good news in the backfield one day after placing Darrell Henderson Jr. on injured reserve due to an MCL injury. When asked about the possibility that Cam Akers returns this week after tearing his Achilles in July, Sean McVay said, “There is a possibility that he plays this week. He looked really good last week in practice. (He) did a nice job. (I) want to make sure that we’re smart, checking all the boxes. But I mean, the guy is an impressive guy.” Thus, with more depth behind Sony Michel in the backfield and two star-studded receivers on the outside, Los Angeles can turn this game into a track meet just as Cincinnati did last week.

McVay will do everything in his power to make sure Stafford bounces back after a rough performance last week, and it will come at Baltimore’s expense. The over is 4-1-1 in Los Angeles’ last six road games, and we trust the Rams’ ability to score points on the road against a struggling defense.

Ravens vs. Rams Pick

  • Rams Team Total Over 25.5 POINTS (-115)

 

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Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest

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