It’s common knowledge that the Monday Night Football schedule is set a year in advance with an eye toward providing good, competitive matchups for the prime time game. It doesn’t always work out that way, however, and tonight’s game might fit that description. The Arizona Cardinals are 4-2 and leading the NFC West. They’ve lost two of their last three games and are anxious to get back into the win column. Baltimore, meanwhile, is in awful form. They’re 1-5 SU on the season and have yet to cover a pointspread this year (0-5-1 ATS). They ‘pushed’ in their only win of the season at Ben Roethlisberger-less Pittsburgh.
Baltimore fans are hoping for the best, noting that the Ravens’ only win of the season came in prime time action. That’s not a very good comparison, however, since the previous prime time game was against hated divisional rival Pittsburgh. This is a non-conference game. Some fans are still trying to look at the glass as ‘half full’ suggesting that a 10-6 record is within reach. Even the most ardent supporters have circled this game as ‘must win’ but they’ve been doing that for several weeks now. The Ravens’ defense–for years the trademark of this team–is dealing with a slew of injuries and just not playing very well.
Working in their favor–the Ravens have a great coach in John Harbaugh and will get Steve Smith, Sr. back in the lineup. That should help a wide receiver corps that has been downright awful in recent weeks. And it’s not like Arizona is a powerhouse. They’ve been described as a team ‘searching for an identity’ and one that owes their success more to their weak schedule than anything else.
The price on this game looks high. It’s 9.5 at most places but there are a few at 10. Worth noting that Arizona has not been a home favorite of more than a touchdown in the last three years and going back further they’re on a 1-7 ATS run in that role despite a 5-2 SU record. Carson Palmer is having a career resurrection in the desert and definitely has more talent around him. This could be helped by the Ravens deteriorating pass rush. Ultimately, however, you have to come back to the points. If you like Arizona you’re laying too many. For that reason alone, we’ll back the Ravens.
BET BALTIMORE RAVENS +10 OVER ARIZONA CARDINALS