Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen is still the betting favorite to win the NFL MVP award this season. But Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson is closing in quickly, moving up to the +550 Caesars Sportsbook third pick behind Allen (3-1) and Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes (5-1).
Jackson, the 2019 MVP, was spectacular, running for a 79-yard touchdown and throwing for a 75-yard score in Baltimore’s lone loss to Miami. He leads the league in passing TDs with 10 and has rushed for at least 100 yards and a TD in each of his last two games.
The Ravens are 3-point underdogs at home to the Bills on Sunday in a clash of Super Bowl contenders.
Baltimore has thrived as an underdog, going 14-2 ATS in its last 16 games in the role, 9-1 ATS with Jackson at QB as an underdog, and 5-0 ATS in its last five games as a home underdog.
We’ll put our action on Jackson and Co. for cover against an injury-depleted Buffalo defense.
Four additional games (home team in CAPS):
Vikings (-3) against Saints (in London): Three strikes and New Orleans is out after failing to replace me in each of the last three weeks. I would never bet against a ginger Harry in London, but I will roll the dice against a ginger Andy Dalton, who is expected to start for the Saints in place of an injured Jameis Winston. New Orleans struggled to score, averaging just 17.0 points per game, and will be without Michael Thomas. The favorites are 18-12 ATS in the London games.
RAIDERS (-2½) on Broncos: Josh McDaniels won his first six games as NFL head coach with Denver in 2009. The Raiders coach has since gone 5-20, including an 0-3 start this season and ATS. McDaniels and the Raiders are desperate for a win, and so am I after going 1-4 ATS last week after a 6-4 start. The Raiders have won the last four meetings with the Broncos and six of seven.
Patriots (+9½) on PACKERS: New England are 59-33-1 ATS after a loss under Bill Belichick and 25-5 ATS as underdogs following a loss. Of course, those stellar ratings were largely achieved with Tom Brady at QB. But I believe Belichick still has some tricks hidden in his hoodie and will craft a game plan that will keep the Patriots close enough to cover their running game and defense. This line is a bit inflated after New England QB Mac Jones suffered a sprained ankle in last week’s loss to the Ravens. Jones was ruled out and will be replaced by veteran Patriots backup Brian Hoyer.
49ERS (-1½) on Rams: Neither NFC West team has looked strong this season. But San Francisco has the superior defense, allowing just 12.3 points per game, good for third-fewest in the league. The Niners have dominated the series, spanning the last five meetings and winning the last six regular season meetings. I will support the home team by putting less than one basket on “Monday Night Football”.
Last week: 1-4