NFL Week 4 features some heavyweight matchups, including an AFC showdown between the Buffalo Bills and the Baltimore Ravens. The Bills are the current favorites to win the Super Bowl, while the Ravens have the third-best odds in the AFC.
Buffalo couldn’t have gotten off to a much better start this year. They won their first two games in convincing fashion, outscoring the Rams and Titans by a combined score of 72-17. Unfortunately, they picked up a bunch of injuries along the way and suffered a two-point road loss last week vs. the Dolphins.
On the other side, the Ravens started the year with an unconvincing win over the Jets, but their offense has been firing on all cylinders since then. They’ve scored at least 37 points in back-to-back games, although they did lose to the Dolphins in Week 2.
Can the Bills bounce back in Baltimore? Let’s dive in.
Bills vs. Ravens Odds
|Bills||-3 (-120)||-165||O 52 (-110)|
|@ Ravens||+3 (+100)||+140||U 52 (-110)|
Odds via Draftkings Sportsbook as of 4 pm ET on Sept. 28.
- Date: Sunday, Oct. 2
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- Location: M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore, MD)
- TV: CBS
Bills vs. Ravens Trends
- The Bills are 2-1 this season (2-1 against the spread).
- The Ravens are 2-1 this season (2-1 against the spread).
- The Bills were 9-6-2 against the spread last year.
- The Ravens were 8-9 against the spread last year.
- The Ravens are 13-3 as underdogs since the start of 2018-19.
- The Ravens are 5-0 in their last five games as home underdogs.
- The Bills are 6-1 against the spread after a loss in their past seven games.
- Teams are 57-79-4 against the spread in the past 20 years after playing in Miami the previous week.
- The Ravens are 1-6 against the spread the week after playing the Patriots under head coach John Harbaugh.
- As of Wednesday, DraftKings reports that 47% of the spread bets and 62% of the handle are on the Ravens.
- For the total, 69% of the bets and 50% of the handle are on the Over.
Can The Bills Overcome Injuries On Defense?
The Bills have had no problems moving the ball this season. Josh Allen is the current MVP favorite, and they rank in the top three in both yards and points per game. Even in last week’s loss to the Dolphins, they still racked up 497 yards and outgained Miami by more than 275 yards. Ultimately, this is still the best team in the NFL when at full strength.
The only issue is, they’re not even remotely close to full strength on defense. They were missing their entire starting secondary last week, and Micah Hyde and Tre’Davious White remain on Injured Reserve. It’s possible that Jordan Poyer could be back in the lineup this week, but the team is so desperate for defensive backs that they signed Xavier Rhodes off the street.
— Jackson Roberts (@JrobertsTV_) September 28, 2022
Things aren’t much better on the defensive line. Jordan Phillips and Ed Oliver are also considered day-to-day, so it’s possible that the defense could be decimated in this matchup.
Even with all those issues, the Bills still thoroughly dominated last week vs. the Dolphins. However, it remains to be seen if they can do it vs. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens.
Lamar Jackson: Best Player In The NFL?
Allen has gotten most of the love to start the year, but for my money, Jackson has been the best player in the league. His numbers are straight out of a Madden video game on rookie difficulty. He leads the league with 10 touchdown passes, an 11.4% touchdown rate, quarterback rating, and adjusted net yards per attempt.
Oh yeah, he can run a little too, if you forgot.
Lamar Jackson is coming for BLOOD this season 🩸 pic.twitter.com/wxQVeoAgu6
— PFF BAL Ravens (@PFF_Ravens) September 18, 2022
Of course, Jackson’s arm is only half the equation. He remains one of the most dangerous rushers in the league, and he leads the league with an average of 9.3 yards per attempt. He averaged 81.0 rushing yards per game through the first three weeks, representing a new career high.
It goes without saying that a defense at less than full strength will struggle against Jackson. If the Bills cannot get significantly healthier by game time, the Ravens will be very appealing as home underdogs.
Bills vs. Ravens Predictions
There is obviously no reason to panic about the Bills, but I think this is a spot where they will struggle. Jackson has been unstoppable to start the year, and he’s historically been awesome as an underdog.
The big question is at what point the Ravens stop becoming a value. They initially opened as four-point underdogs, and the sharps have been all over them. That forced them down to +3.5, and they’re currently available at just +3.0. A one-point move isn’t a huge deal, but moving from 4.0 to 3.0 is possibly the most important one-point move in the NFL.
It’s also important to remember that despite the Bills losing last week’s game – and dealing with the same defensive injuries – they limited the Dolphins to just 212 yards of offense. The Dolphins’ offense racked up nearly 470 passing yards the previous week vs. the Ravens, so perhaps their injuries are being a bit overblown.
I’m ultimately going to side with the Ravens, but I would be tempted to switch to the Bills if the line dips below three.
Pick: Ravens +3.0 | +100 on DraftKings Sportsbook