The Baltimore Ravens (4-1 SU, 2-3 ATS) host the Los Angeles Chargers (4-1 SU, 4-1 ATS) in a potential postseason preview on Sunday of Week 6 (1 p.m., CBS).
Both the Chargers and Ravens are riding win streaks after early season defeats. Los Angeles dropped its Week 2 meeting against the Dallas Cowboys before winning three in a row. Baltimore lost against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 1 and hasn’t lost since.
However, the Chargers are 3-0 against the spread, while the Ravens are 2-2 ATS over their respective streaks.
Several online sportsbooks opened this contest with spreads ranging from 3-to-3.5 favoring the Ravens and totals around 51.5.
Flair For The Dramatic
Baltimore’s Monday night win over the Indianapolis Colts went down to the wire and required a furious fourth-quarter comeback to force overtime. Los Angeles, meanwhile, overcame multiple deficits of its own to outscore the Cleveland Browns in a shootout that produced 89 total points.
The spotlight has been kind to the Ravens, who have won two of their three primetime slots. They’re only 1-2 ATS in those contests, though.
This matchup won’t come with the glitz that accompanies a standalone production, but it’s of primetime quality nonetheless. Playing in front of their first afternoon home crowd of the season figures to provide the Ravens with some extra electricity.
The Chargers are no stranger to preparing for quality competition in their own right.
Four of their five games have either come in primetime (Week 4 vs. Raiders) or against 2020 playoff teams. The outlier among the group was a home game against “America’s Team”.
Making a second cross-country trek for a 1:00 p.m. ET start isn’t ideal for the Chargers. They beat the Washington Football team in Week 1 as 2-point underdogs, but the Ravens present a stiffer challenge.
So much for the league “figuring out Lamar”.
Not only was Lamar Jackson’s 442 passing yards against the Colts a career high, it was also a franchise best. Jackson can still gash opposing defenses on the ground, but now he’s demonstrating an ability to carve them through the air, too. He’s averaging 33.4 pass attempts through five games this season after averaging 25.6 over 37 career starts. He’s maintaining strong peripherals with the increased volume as well — 67.1 completion percentage, 9.1 yards per attempt, 104.4 QB rating.
It doesn’t hurt to have a dynamic supporting cast. There aren’t many teams in the league with a trio of pass-catchers playing as well as Marquise Brown, Mark Andrews, and Sammy Watkins. They’ve combined for 67.9 percent of the team’s targets, 66.9 percent of the team’s receptions, and 75.2 percent of the team’s receiving yards.
The Chargers’ Justin Herbert is a stud as well. He’s in the midst of a three-game stretch in which he’s accounted for 12 touchdowns, including one with his legs.
Speaking of touchdowns, fifth-year wide receiver Mike Williams is earning a big payday with his breakout campaign. He’s second behind Keenan Allen in targets (51) and receptions (31), but has collected six scores.
Check The Tape
With versatile running back Austin Ekeler coming to town, the Ravens will want to clean up the defensive holes that allowed Jonathan Taylor to tally 169 total yards and two touchdowns on Monday night. Ekeler has racked up 100-plus total yards in four straight contests and leads the Chargers with seven touchdowns.
Similarly, the Chargers were overrun by tight end David Njoku last week. And after Mark Andrews’ MNF explosion (11 catches, 147 yards, 2 touchdowns), there will almost certainly be extra emphasis on shoring up those areas of the defense.
FanDuel Sportsbook opened the Ravens at -3.5 before moving to the key number of -3.
The half-point adjustment benefits those looking to lay the points with the Ravens, and FanDuel (-104) and PointsBet (-105) are offering less expensive vig on Ravens -3 as of Wednesday morning.
The Ravens’ developing passing game suggests another shootout, and DraftKings Sportsbook was dealing a total of 52.5 as of this post. The Ravens (ninth) and Chargers (seventh) both rank top 10 in offensive DVOA, Football Outsiders’ advanced efficiency metric.
In spite of their offensive exploits, however, Los Angeles has stayed UNDER in four of five. On the other side, Baltimore has gone OVER in three of five. For those leaning to the OVER in this spot, BetMGM and WynnBet offer the best value at 51.5.