Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts Preview

NFL Football Betting Preview
Baltimore Ravens (9-7) at Indianapolis Colts (14-2)
Saturday January 16th, 8:45PM Eastern betting line – Colts -6, 44 O/U

The Indianapolis Colts coaching staff led by Jim Caldwell received a ton of criticism for resting their players and seemingly throwing away the opportunity at a perfect season a few weeks ago. However, now the time is here to see if resting the starters was indeed the correct call. Possibly anything less than an AFC Championship would be a waste considering the Colts had a great chance to become just the 5th team in history to end the year undefeated. However, moving forward the Colts will put their focus to the visiting Baltimore Ravens this Saturday night. The Ravens just flat dominated the New England Patriots last week on both sides of the ball. Running back Ray Rice, who has been the heart of the offense, busted the first play from scrimmage open with an 83 yard touchdown run. The damage inflicted by the Ravens never let up as Rice rumbled for 159 rushing yards to lead efforts in a 33-14 victory over the Patriots.

To make matters worse, the Ravens pass defense played incredible constantly filling the passing lanes, making quick cuts to the ball, and disguising the defense very well. Baltimore shut down Patriots superstar quarterback Tom Brady who just threw for just 132 yards while forcing 3 interceptions during the contests. If those numbers do not head warning for Peyton Manning and company, they definitely should. The Ravens defense is playing extremely well. They are getting excellent pressure up front playing even better in the secondary which will match-up very well against the Colts offense. If they keep Peyton Manning moving and limit the big plays to WR Reggie Wayne, the Ravens will have a good chance at scoring the upset once again.

Of course keeping Manning contained like trying to tame a wild animal. Manning perhaps the best play caller in the league, threw for an NFL 2nd highest 4,500 passing yards this season. WR Reggie Wayne posted over 1,200 yards this season while tight end Dallas Clark was equally effective racking up 1,100 plus yards as well. So needless to say the Ravens secondary will be in for yet another task to stop the Colts passing game. However much like the Patriots, the Colts are fairly a one dimensional offense. Joseph Addai tallied 828 yards this season, but the Colts are anything but a rushing offense. If the Ravens can shut down the air attack, they could have very similar success. Of course that will be a bit more difficult this week as well.

On the Ravens offense, QB Joe Flacco has had a decent 2nd year as starter. Flacco was banged up with a right hip injury last week in the battle with the Patriots. Luckily, Flacco was not needed often attempting just 10 passes throughout the evening. Flacco finished with just 34 yards on 4 completions, but again remember he was rarely needed at all. If the Ravens offense does need to move the ball down field in a hurry, they definitely have the tools to get it done. Flacco completed 63% on the year for 3,613 yards and 21 touchdowns. The Ravens have a lot of confidence in his arm and the playmaking ability of WR Derrick Mason who reached the 1,000 yard receiving mark this season for the 8th time in 9 years. However, the Ravens remain a rushing team. Baltimore has put major focus on running the ball with Rice in the last few weeks and has been a better team as a result. Rice can also produce a lot of damage catching balls out of the backfield so look for them to utilize the play calling around the newfound star very early in the game.

Pick – Under 44

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