Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Baltimore Ravens Odds, Analysis, NFL Betting Pick | Bleacher Report

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) hands off the ball to running back Gus Edwards (35) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

The Baltimore Ravens are only 2-5 against the spread their last seven times out as favorites on the NFL betting lines. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, meanwhile, are 2-4-1 ATS their last seven times out as underdogs. Who’s the smart bet for Sunday afternoon’s inter-conference battle in Baltimore?

NFL point spread: The Ravens opened as six-point favorites; the total was 47.5 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 33.4-15.6 Ravens (NFL picks on every game)

Check out the OddsShark podcast on iTunes or Spotify or at OddsShark.libsyn.com for more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news.

Why the Buccaneers can cover the spread

Tampa Bay won two games in a row into last week but fell at home to NFC South-leading New Orleans 28-14. The Bucs actually drove the opening possession of the game 75 yards to a touchdown and led 14-3 well into the third quarter. But they gave up the last 25 points of the game and missed the cover as nine-point dogs.

On the day Tampa Bay held a 20-19 edge in first downs, out-rushed the Saints 105-100, held the high-powered New Orleans offense to just 298 total yards and won the turnover battle 2-1. But the Buccaneers also missed two field goals and had a punt blocked, all of which combined to cost them 13 points.

On the bright side, after struggling with turnovers all season long Tampa Bay has turned it over just twice over its last three games, while taking the ball away eight times.

Two weeks ago the Bucs beat Carolina 24-17 and three weeks ago they beat San Francisco 27-9. At 5-8 overall Tampa Bay would like to win its last three games to finish at .500 for the season.

Why the Ravens can cover the spread

The Ravens won three games in a row into last week but now look to bounce back from a tough 27-24 overtime loss at AFC West-leading Kansas City. Baltimore spotted the Chiefs the first seven points of the game, then used a 24-10 run spanning the halves to take a touchdown lead with four minutes left. Unfortunately the Ravens gave up a 48-yard KC gain on a fourth-and-nine, leading to the game-tying score, then lost it in OT.

On the day Baltimore out-rushed the Chiefs 198-94. So the Ravens have now out-gained three of their last four opponents and out-rushed each of their last four foes.

The Ravens are also now 3-1 both SU and ATS since inserting Lamar Jackson as the starter at quarterback, averaging 27 points per game. At 7-6 overall Baltimore still owns the No. 6 spot in the AFC playoff standings, despite not being listed among the top contenders on the latest AFC championship gambling lines at sportsbooks.

Smart betting pick

The Ravens are averaging 229 yards on the ground over their last four games, and their defense is almost 100 yards per game better than Tampa’s. Smart money here bets Baltimore.

NFL betting trends

The total has gone under in five of the Buccaneers’ last six games vs the Ravens.

The Ravens are 7-2 SU in their last nine games after a loss.

The Buccaneers are 5-12 ATS in their last 17 games on the road in December.

All NFL odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week’s top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.

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