AFC Championship Game Free Pick
Line Movement: The Patriots opened as a 10-point favorite and has stayed at that number at sports books like Bovada. But at other books, the line has dropped as low as 8 while the total is sitting at anywhere between 50 and 51.5.
Public Betting: Of the wagers currently placed on this game, 61% of NFL public bettors currently favor the Ravens. This information is subject to change leading up to kickoff, however, so make sure you click on the link provided for the most up-to-date NFL public betting numbers.
NFL Playoff Free Pick: Take. According to latest NFL trends, Baltimore is 6-2 Over last 8 road games vs. a team with a winning home record, 5-2 Over last 7 games following a ATS win. New England is 7-1 Over last 8 games in January, 13-3 Over last 16 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game, 28-9 Over last 37 games following a S.U. win, 22-8 Over last 30 home games and is 43-19 Over last 62 games following a ATS win.
These are not the same Ravens that played New England in September or lost last year by 3. Baltimore's offense is better with an improved offensive line and a new offensive coordinator in Jim Caldwell. But their defense is worse than to injuries to Terrell Suggs (Achilles/biceps) and LarDarius Webb (ACL). Last week, Baltimore took top-seeded Denver Broncos 38-35 in overtime to prolong linebacker Ray Lewis' final season and reach their third title game in five seasons. No. 2 seed New England pulled away in the second half for a 41-28 victory over Houston. Quarterback Joe Flacco has been sensational in the two playoff victories, throwing for 613 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. He also saved Baltimore's season last week by connecting with Jacoby Jones on a 70-yard scoring strike with 31 seconds left to send the game into overtime. Flacco's the only QB in league history to reach the playoffs in each of his first five seasons and has torched the Patriots for 973 yards with seven TDs vs. two interceptions in the last three games. Ray Rice rushed for 131 yards and a score last week and speedster Torrey Smith had TD receptions of 59 and 32 yards. He burned the Patriots for a pair of scoring passes earlier this season. New England produced a league-high 557 points during the regular season and had its sixth 40-point game last week. Tom Brady threw for 344 yards and three touchdowns to surpass Joe Montana for the most career postseason victories with 17. Brady had 335 yards and a scoring pass in Week 3 against the Ravens. New England unveiled another weapon on offense last week in running back Shane Vereen, who caught a pair of scoring passes and rushed for another TD while registering 124 total yards. TE Aaron Hernandez did not play in the early-season matchup and will provide a matchup issue for Baltimore's aging linebacking corps. Both defenses have weakness and they will be exploited.
2013 AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME FREE PICK: RAVENS/PATRIOTS OVER 51.5