October 26, 2015 (2:00 PM ET)
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Take the UNDER 49 total points in Arizona Cardinals vs. Baltimore Ravens for 3% of the bankroll.
This is an interesting matchup as it pits two teams who come into this contest struggling. The Baltimore Ravens are just 1-5 on the season and had it not been for some late game heroics against the Pittsburgh Steelers, they could easily find themselves as the only winless team in the league. At the moment they are struggling in all phases of the game. Their secondary is extremely young and inexperienced and their struggle on the defensive side of the ball is the primary reason this team is not winning ball games. The Ravens are having a hard time slowing down opposing offenses and that has left them having to play from behind in a majority of their contest. That forces Joe Flacco to shoulder a burden of responsibility for producing offense through the air and with no real marquee receiver other than Steve Smith Sr at his disposal, makes things extremely difficult.
The Arizona Cardinals meanwhile are 4-2 on the season after dropping 2 out of their last 3 contests. The Cardinals should very well be an undefeated 6-0 on the season but struggles on the offensive side of the ball and finishing drives have been a big reason for their struggles recently. Penalties and costly turnovers at critical times / spots on the field have been a killer to this Cardinals team recently. The good news for them is that their issues are curable. They have a solid core and typically play fundamentally sound football with stellar defense and a potent running game.
Both of these teams play a similar style of football. They prefer to be a run first style offense with a strong focus on defensive pressure and run stopping ability. With the Cardinals looking to get back on the winning track and Baltimore simply desperate for a win, we expect both teams to get back to their fundamentals and focus on running the football in this contest. Justin Forsett is a capable back and can ground yards out on the ground, slowly moving the chains. Meanwhile Chris Johnson leads a trio of backs in Arizona with both David Johnson and Andre Ellington available to shoulder some of the load. Running the football will limit the number of possessions each team has and takes precious time off the clock. We also expect both defenses to show up and attempt to limit the opposition to field goals instead of touchdowns.
The Baltimore Ravens have only scored more than 24 points twice this season and that was against the defenses of the likes of the Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns. The Arizona defense is in a class of their own. They are holding their opponents to just an average of 16 points per game at home and should come into this contest looking to make their presence known on defense after they allowed third string QB Landry Jones to come in cold for the Steelers and pull out the come from behind victory. Meanwhile the Baltimore defense hasn't shown much the past few weeks; however this is their moment on a national stage to make a statement. They cannot allow Carson Palmer the time to sit in the pocket and shred their secondary. John Harbaugh will likely bring consistent pressure looking to force Palmer to get rid of the ball early.
With this total being as high as it is (49), we simply don't believe both teams will pull their necessary weight to get to this number. The Cardinals are the overall better team with the much better defense. We do see a fair amount of points being scored in this contest but believe it will still fall somewhere in the neighborhood of 27-17 which falls just a few points short and keeps this total under. Some drives will be limited to field goals instead of touchdowns and that will likely be the deciding factor.
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