NFL

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Baltimore Ravens NFL Wild Card Pick

Sunday, January 6 at 1:05 PM ET

M&T Bank Stadium

52°F

Mostly sunny

Winds from the W 7 mph

Gusts: 9 mph

Coverage: CBS

The Los Angeles Chargers and the Baltimore Ravens collide for the second time in three weeks on Sunday. The Ravens beat the Chargers 22-10 in Los Angeles in Week 16 and Jazz Sports favors them by 3 points, with the total set at 41.5.

 

Jackson takes over under center
The Ravens are a different team since dual-threat quarterback Lamar Jackson became the starter, going 6-1, with the only setback being a 27-24 overtime loss against the Chiefs on December 9. Jackson has 1,201 passing yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions but he also has 695 yards and five scores on the ground in 16 games. Him and undrafted rookie running back Gus Edwards (718 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 137 carries in 11 games), who averages 5.2 yards per carry, are key players for an offense that ranked second in the NFL with 152.6 rushing yards per game.

Baltimore's main weapon is their defense, which led the league with 292.9 total yards per game and ranked second, allowing 17.9 points per game. Linebackers C.J. Mosley (105 tackles, 31 more than anyone else on the team) and Za'Darius Smith (8.5 sacks) carry this unit and they're two of the players to watch on Sunday.

 

Keep running
The Chargers come into this game with a 12-4 record, the best among all Wild Card teams. They actually finished with the same record than the Chiefs (the No. 1 seed in the AFC) but they couldn't win the AFC West because of a tiebreaker, which tells us that this is not an easy out for the Ravens.

Quarterback Philip Rivers threw for 4,308 yards, 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 16 games and his 105.5 quarterback rating tied the best in his 13 years as a starter. Rivers played extremely well on the road, throwing 16 touchdowns to just six interceptions while completing over 65 percent of his passes. Los Angeles also runs the ball better away from home. Their running game averages over 5 yards per carry in road games, compared to just 4.1 yards per carry at home.

 

NFL Trends:

The Los Angeles Chargers are:

4-1 ATS in their last five playoff road games

4-1-1 ATS in their last six games in January

6-2 ATS in their last eight playoff games

21-8-1 ATS in their last 30 road games

The Baltimore Ravens are:

2-6 ATS in their last eight home games against a team with a winning road record

1-5 ATS in their last six home games

1-5 ATS in their last six games on fieldturf

Baltimore is solid on defense and their running game is impressive but their passing game is limited and although they beat Los Angeles on the road on December 22, that actually helps the Chargers because they had time to study that game and prepare better. The Chargers have plenty of weapons on offense and more balance and I like them catching 3 points here.

NFL Pick: Chargers +3 (-120) at Jazz Sports

Check odds here: http://bit.ly/2RMxhhA

Related Articles