If you’re still on the fence about who to bet in Monday Night Football, Covers enlisted the help of expert NFL bloggers to make a pitch for their favorite team. This week, Matthew Stevens of Ravens blog Baltimore Beatdown and Jess Root of Cardinals blog Revenge of the Birds strap on the pads and debate which team will not only win, but cover the spread Monday night.
WHY BALTIMORE WILL COVER
Matthew Stevens writes for Baltimore Beatdown. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter @BMoreBeatdown and check out the Baltimore Beatdown Podcast on iTunes and Soundcloud..
Steve Smith and the offense
The Ravens have had a solid offense through the first six games of their season. Currently putting up an average of 23.8 points per game, we’ve seen the Ravens tear apart some not-so-bad defenses in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Most of that has come as Steve Smith Sr. has done his job and is on pace for a 1,500 yard season for his final year.
While the Ravens’ defense has been their Achilles heel (pun intended, sorry Suggs), if this team can start putting up 40 points in a game like they very well could on Monday Night Football, they could not only cover the spread but win the game.
Ravens keep em close
The Ravens will likely be in yet another close matchup. Every week, we see the game come down to a final drive by either team to put the necessary points on the board to come out the victor.
Regardless of how bad the game is before that point, there has always been a final drive simply because the Ravens have kept each game’s difference to a 4.2 point average. After six games, the furthest game to get away from the Ravens was against the Denver Broncos and that was only six points.
Sadly, it looks like the Ravens probably won’t win the game, but with the point spread hovering around 8 points, the Ravens should be able to keep it within a touchdown, securing betting victories for those that didn’t doubt them.
For the first time in a very long time, the Ravens get the chance to be a trap game for another team. After going 1-5 for the first time in the 20 seasons the Ravens have existed, this is about as good of a trap game as I think you can have.
Carson Palmer and the Cardinals could easily overlook a 1-5 Ravens team that has major issues on defense and an offense that is limping it’s various injured pieces together like Frankenstein’s monster. It’s a long shot and not something you’d ever want to be, but the Ravens could easily be a trap game for the Cardinals and surprise a lot of people in the spotlight of Monday Night Football.
WHY ARIZONA WILL COVER
Jess Root writes for Revenge of the Birds. You can follow them on Facebook and on Twitter @revengeofbirds.
Their offense will simply be too much
The Ravens struggle against the pass. The Cardinals have 14 touchdown passes in six games. They have Larry Fitzgerald and Carson Palmer playing like it’s 2009. John Brown appears to have broken out with a huge performance in Pittsburgh and he draws pass interference penalties to boot. A struggling Baltimore secondary will not be able to stop it.
It is a bounceback game
After the Cardinals turned the ball over three times and struggled in the red zone in a loss to the Rams, the bounced back and steamrolled the Detroit Lions, forcing six turnovers. This is the same situation, only they will be at home and on national TV. Blowout anyone?
It’s at University of Phoenix Stadium…and it’s the Ravens
Arizona is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games at home. The Ravens are 0-5-1 ATS after a loss. Clearly the trends tell us the Cards will win and cover.
Join the debate: Who covers on Monday night: Baltimore or Arizona?