Ravens vs. Eagles Odds
The 1-3-1 Eagles are still very much alive in a division that lacks a dominant team. Philadelphia has played well in its past two games against the 49ers and Steelers, but how will the Eagles fare against the 4-1 Ravens coming off a dominant performance?
Let’s dig in.
The Ravens enter their Week 6 matchup initially unconcerned with their lengthy injury report. On Friday, Baltimore had seven players listed as questionable, all of whom are expected to play against Philadelphia, while defensive end Derek Wolfe is doubtful and not expected to play. In his absence, third-round pick Justin Madubuike was impressive in last week’s 27-3 win over Cincinnati.
However, we learned on Saturday that starting nose tackle Brandon Williams has been placed on the COVID-19 list, meaning he will miss this game against Philadelphia. Williams is a key run stopper for the Baltimore defensive line.
The Ravens’ offense ranks third among all teams with 160.8 rushing yards per game, led by quarterback Lamar Jackson and their three-headed backfield of Mark Ingram (4.6 yards per carry), Gus Edwards (5.6) and rookie J.K. Dobbins (7.9). All three backs have provided explosive moments for offensive coordinator Greg Roman.
Baltimore will want to feature their rushing attack and avoid relying on a below-average passing game. Only the Jets are averaging fewer passing yards per game this season than the Ravens.
Speedy wide receiver Marquise Brown has disappointed, averaging only 12 PPR fantasy points per game (43rd among wide receivers). However, his 26.9% target share is 11th-best at the position, which makes his lack of efficiency even more underwhelming.
The key to Baltimore’s offensive success lies in tight end Mark Andrews, who has delivered back-to-back overall TE3 performances in fantasy. The Ravens should be able to exploit an Eagles defense that has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Overall this season, Philadelphia has allowed 32 receptions (fifth), 323 receiving yards (sixth) and five touchdowns (third) to opposing tight ends.
A concern for the Ravens is a mysterious knee injury for Jackson, who was limited to a shocking three rushing yards against the Bengals. Maybe the Ravens opted to give Jackson’s legs a rest against a team they handled anyway, but they’ll lose a major part of their offensive attack if Jackson’s mobility is again limited.
The Eagles enter this game with a litany of injuries. They have ruled seven players out of Sunday’s game, including wide receivers DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery and Jalen Reagor, offensive tackle Lane Johnson and cornerback Avonte Maddox.
Despite a difficult matchup last week against the Steelers, the Eagles still managed 29 points with two passing touchdowns from Carson Wentz and two on the ground from Miles Sanders. In Week 4, Philadelphia had to grind out a 25-20 win over the 49ers with Wentz throwing two touchdowns, one of which sealed the win late in the fourth quarter.
Sanders will present the Ravens problems on the ground and through the air, especially with the Eagles’ banged-up receiving corps. He has gained 99 total yards in three of his four appearances this season and scored two touchdowns last week against the Steelers’ elite run defense, which is averaging the second fewest yards allowed per game this season.
Baltimore’s run defense has been stout, as always, ranking third in Football Outsiders’ DVOA. However, they have allowed the seventh-most receptions and eighth-most receiving yards to opposing running backs. Sanders will find atypical production even against the Ravens’ strong defensive front.
Philadelphia’s run defense has started to return to its normal elite level. Opposing running backs have tallied only 3.3 yards per carry against a Philadelphia front that is among the NFL’s best. Most important for the Eagles’ defense is a return to form for cornerback Darius Slay, which should give Brown a hard time in the Ravens’ passing game.
The Eagles’ backup receivers have performed admirably despite the rash of injuries to Jackson, Jeffery and Reagor. Travis Fulgham has been a star, producing the overall fantasy WR2 performance last week against Pittsburgh hauling in 10 of his 13 targets for 152 yards and a touchdown.
Philadelphia should also attack Baltimore with tight end Zach Ertz, despite his subpar start to 2020. With the Ravens’ secondary limiting production from opposing receivers, Ertz will have a chance to get his season going in the right direction.
This game features strength on strength with the Ravens’ rushing attack against the ground-stopping Eagles defense.
With limited offensive weapons, Philadelphia head coach Doug Pederson will be aware that he can’t survive a shootout, and Baltimore’s defense will not surrender a ton of points to an offense like the Eagles’ with a limited receiving corps. The Ravens enter Week 6 leading the NFL with only 15.2 points allowed per game.
The most reliable units in this game are both defenses, and the Ravens don’t have the offensive firepower against Philadelphia’s defensive line to win by double digits.
With Jackson’s health unknown, I’m backing the Eagles +9.5 and down to +9, and I’m taking the under with a total of 46, but nowhere below that.
PICKS: Eagles +9.5, Under 46