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Ravens vs. Titans & Browns vs. Steelers Parlay Preview Article

VirginiaCavs

Man Crush on Kyle Guy
NFL Wild Card Weekend Parlay Plays: Bets to Win on Sunday



Baltimore Ravens vs. Tennessee Titans
Sunday, January 10, 2020 at 1:05 p.m. ET (ESPN/ABC) at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee



Derrick Henry vs. Baltimore’s Run Defense


Baltimore has routinely proven vulnerable against teams that like to run the ball.

Since November, Indianapolis and Tennessee ran for over five YPC against the Raven defense.

Likewise, one-dimensional New England accrued 173 rushing yards on 39 attempts and Cleveland ran for 138 yards on 28 attempts.

Indianapolis only scored 10 points because it passed a lot with a lower-quality quarterback who ranks in the bottom half in passer rating.

But the Patriots, Titans, and Browns all came very close to beating Baltimore -- if they did not beat Baltimore — largely because they succeeded on the ground.

Tennessee has the NFL’s leading rusher in Derrick Henry. He ran for 2,027 yards in the regular season.

Henry is a high-volume running back whose physicality makes him difficult to bring down and whose smooth cut-back ability helps him achieve a lot of big plays.

Ryan Tannehill

When you add in the fourth-best quarterback in terms of passer rating, Ryan Tannehill, then Tennessee’s offense becomes a two-dimensional force.

Baltimore’s pass defense ranks sixth in terms of yardage allowed.

But the Ravens’ ranking is helped by the number of low-quality quarterbacks who they have faced.

Of Baltimore’s last six opposing quarterbacks, Baker Mayfield ranked highest — 15th — in passer rating followed by Jacksonville’s Gardner Minshew and Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger.

So Ryan Tannehill will present a strong and sudden upgrade in competition.

The Raven secondary has numerous players on Injured Reserve. This has been a progressively undermanned unit that Tennessee with Tannehill and ascending deep threat AJ Brown has the weaponry to exploit.

Lamar Jackson

I like Tennessee because Baltimore is not built to exploit the Titans’ defensive weakness.

Teams — like Houston and Green Bay — give Tennessee trouble when they have prolific passers like Deshaun Watson, who ranks second in passer rating, and MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers.

But Lamar Jackson is a run-first quarterback and not a prolific passer. His preference to run helps explain why he only ranks 22nd in yards, just ahead of New England’s Cam Newton.

The metrics attest to Jackson’s lack of quality as a passer.

He ranks #24 in true completion percentage (completion percentage that overlooks drops and unpressured throwaways) and 28th in accuracy rating.

In a game where offenses will have plenty of success, Jackson’s inability to keep pace with Tannehill’s passing prowess will keep Baltimore from winning this game.

The Total

Why don’t I simply take the over?

Both teams love to run the ball and they run the ball well.

Baltimore owns a plethora of solid running backs while Tennessee features King Henry.

So the clock will be rolling.




Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday, January 10, 2020 at 8:15 p.m. ET (NBC) at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Misconceptions


Pittsburgh seems to be a popular play for two reasons.

Last week, Cleveland barely beat a Steeler squad that rested many starters because it already clinched a playoff spot.

When the Browns last played Pittsburgh “for real,” Pittsburgh throttled the Browns 38-7.

I think that these two reasons are bad reasons.

While the Steelers missed some players, the Browns were also disadvantaged.

Besides missing top corner Denzel Ward, the Browns only got to practice twice. They practiced once with the wide receivers.

Mentally, Pittsburgh got to play loose because it already made the playoffs while Cleveland had to play tight and under pressure.

The Browns play terribly under the burden of hype and expectation — the whole of their last, terrible season provides proof of this. But now they are being counted out.

Regarding the second reason, that game was in October. Cleveland was a different team back then.

Defensively, the Browns did not know how to travel back then. They repeatedly allowed opposing offenses to surpass their respective scoring average when they hosted the Browns.

Also, at that time, quarterback Baker Mayfield was not being used properly.

The Browns also did not use him properly in the rematch against the Steelers as part of their rather vanilla game-plan in which they wanted to hide some things from Pittsburgh as much as possible.

But Mayfield’s passer rating was highest — 102.1 — in December because the Browns have had him execute more RPOs, play-actions, and rollouts. When Mayfield does have to stand in his pocket, he’s more often able to hit his first read.

Steeler Offense

In December, the Steelers averaged 19.2 points per game.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger played one good half of football. Opposing defensive backs compelled him to throw deep by sitting on his wide receivers’ shorter routes

The running game was largely non-existent behind Pittsburgh’s run-blocking.

While they did play some good defenses, they also struggled even against the Bengals.

So it’s no objection to cite Cleveland’s lower-ranked defense.

Brown Offense vs. Steeler Defense

Pittsburgh’s run defense is vulnerable against stronger ground games.

The Steelers benefitted from facing a Raven squad without Mark Ingram, JK Dobbins, or Lamar Jackson, although Baltimore still ran for 129 yards on 4.6 YPC.

They struggle to stop teams that want to run the ball. Cincinnati, for example, was run-first without its starting or backup quarterbacks and accrued 152 rushing yards on 41 carries in its win.

Cleveland has a strong running back duo led by Nick Chubb, the seventh-leading rusher, and Kareem Hunt.

With an intelligently utilized Mayfield, Cleveland’s offense will do two things well that Pittsburgh’s wont: run and pass the ball.

The Verdict

Tennessee will cover the spread because it enjoys an edge in passing that Baltimore’s defense lacks the quality and health to overcome.

Cleveland, too, is worth investing in for its multi-dimensional advantage on offense.


Best Bet: Parlay Titans +3.5 at -110 & Browns +3.5 at -110 at +264 odds with BetOnline
 

VirginiaCavs

Man Crush on Kyle Guy
I was confined to Sunday's games.
I hate that I had to write this so early in the week.
Dogging Tennessee at home against Baltimore -- by more than a field goal no less -- just seems beyond insane to me. And I personally hate the Titans lol.
And I think Cleveland can beat Pittsburgh.
 

Capaholic

Well-Known Member
You’ve seen the light. Yes. Massive disrespect.

I understand that. However only one team in the last 5 years has had a worse defensive DVOA and made the playoffs. It's not disrespectful to point out that presently by any measurable metric, Baltimore is the better overall team. And with homefield being at best a point, its not inconceiveable that Balt should be favored.

Where we agree? 3.5 is too many. Same thing I said about the GB game (Balt is not GB), if Balt gets 4 or 5 punts out of Tennessee, this is not going to go well. I'm pulling for you though dude. I don't want any part of Baltimore in the divisional round.
 

VirginiaCavs

Man Crush on Kyle Guy
Starting to wonder if "under" might not be the better way to go for Pit/Baltimore. It's Baker's first every playoff game.
 

Big daddy naught

Well-Known Member
I understand that. However only one team in the last 5 years has had a worse defensive DVOA and made the playoffs. It's not disrespectful to point out that presently by any measurable metric, Baltimore is the better overall team. And with homefield being at best a point, its not inconceiveable that Balt should be favored.

Where we agree? 3.5 is too many. Same thing I said about the GB game (Balt is not GB), if Balt gets 4 or 5 punts out of Tennessee, this is not going to go well. I'm pulling for you though dude. I don't want any part of Baltimore in the divisional round.
You could say the same on the flip side, if tenn gets 4 punts or stops it’s a wrap, balt is not containing Henry and that offense. Hell it might only take 2 stops to win. I hear you perception is balt is the better team, they appear to be playing well, but that is largely against bottom feeders, and we’ve contained Lamar, beaten him in the last two matchups, and their run heavy offense plays into our hands, as our run d might not be great, but it’s surely better than our pass d with no pass rush.
 

VirginiaCavs

Man Crush on Kyle Guy
Looking to lock in Browns at 6 or 7. I can‘t imagine a lot of points scored in this game. Even if Steeler receivers have their way who will hit them? Could Baker/run game keep pace with that Steeler D in a shootout? Highly doubtful. Altho Steelers are so pass-heavy, meaning we‘ll probably get more possessions?
 

2daBank

VC's Valentine
Too much covid shit with browns last 2 weeks. I think it more than the last 2 meetings that make ppl favor steelers, browns been their whipping boys for a long long time. Really can’t see myself playing this one either way, gl
 
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