The Baltimore Ravens (11-5) have had ups and downs aplenty this year, but of late they look like the team that was on pace to reach the Super Bowl this time last year. Meanwhile, the Tennessee Titans (11-5) are in position to play spoiler against the Ravens as they did in last season’s playoffs.
Free Picks Baltimore Ravens vs Tennessee Titans
Battle of best rushing offenses pits Derrick Henry vs. Lamar Jackson and Co.
Derrick Henry, or Lamar Jackson, J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards? Who’ve you got?
It can’t be that simple, of course, but the rushing leaders on Tennessee and Baltimore should be at the forefront of bettors’ minds ahead of Sunday’s wild card matchup, in which the Ravens are 3-point road favorites (-115 at 888Sport) on various betting sites.
Baltimore and Tennessee rank No. 1 and 2, respectively, in team rushing attack. The Titans have the flashier name in Derrick Henry, who is just the eighth running back ever — and first since 2012 — to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season. The man is a battering ram with legs and one pronounced dreadlock.
But is it better to have Henry, the ultimate running back trump card, or a stable of running options like the Ravens do?
Lamar Jackson, the reigning MVP, is the only quarterback in league history to rush for 1,000-plus yards in multiple seasons. Meanwhile J.K. Dobbins (805 yards, nine touchdowns) and Gus Edwards (723 yards, six touchdowns) are an impeccable one-two punch out of the backfield. All three Ravens rushers average five or more yards per carry.
The difference is that Baltimore has shown it can stop the run (108.8 yards allowed, eighth in NFL) and Tennessee hasn’t (120.8 yards allowed, 19th in NFL). Baltimore is also the steadier team of late, winning five consecutive games straight up — and six consecutive against the spread.
It would be unfair to ignore last year’s playoff meeting between these two, when Tennessee covered a 10-point underdog spread in a straight up victory. And in November, the Titans covered as underdogs in another straight up victory.
But what the Ravens have shown lately in their hot streak, as well as their improved ability to stop the run, makes them the ATS pick here.
- Baltimore is 7-3 ATS in its past 10 games
- The UNDER has cashed in five of the Ravens’ past nine games
- Tennessee is 5-5 ATS in its past 10 games
- The OVER has cashed in eight of the Titans’ past 10 games
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Jordan Horrobin is a freelance sports journalist based in Toronto, Ontario, who enjoys sports-related research and telling engaging stories. His work can also be found at Sportsnet, Forbes and elsewhere. Though he abandoned most of his team-specific fandoms in the interest of unbiased analysis, Jordan roots hard for his fantasy football/hockey teams (and he's a complete homer for all things Ohio University).