The Baltimore Ravens are riding their first two-game winning streak of the season as they visit a New Orleans Saints team trying to win consecutive games for the first time on Monday night.
First-place Baltimore (5-3) leads the AFC North after defeating Cleveland and Tampa Bay the last two weeks.
The Ravens moved to strengthen their defense, which is ranked 20th in the NFL in scoring (22.9 points allowed per game) by acquiring linebacker Roquan Smith, who was the NFL’s leading tackler through last week with 83, from the Chicago Bears before the trade deadline.
The Saints (3-5) lost five of their first seven games before their most complete performance of the season in a 24-0 home victory against the Las Vegas Raiders last Sunday.
Baltimore has won eight of its past nine road games at night against NFC teams, while New Orleans has failed to cover the spread in eight of its past night games against opponents with a winning record, according to BetRivers.
The line has moved from the Ravens -1.5 to -2.0 at the sportsbook, where they are being backed by three quarters of the spread bets and 55 percent of the money. The same spread at DraftKings has seen more lopsided action with the Ravens drawn 78 percent of the bets and 74 percent of the money.
The line opened at 3.0 points at BetMGM but has shifted to Baltimore -1.5 with the Ravens backed by 59 and 61 percent of the action, respectively.
Saints RB Alvin Kamara Anytime TD Scorer (-120 at BetMGM): This has been the second-most popular prop bet at the sportsbook behind only Kamara being the first player to score a touchdown in the game at +600. While Smith has received a crash course in the Ravens’ defense since being acquired last week, both props provide intriguing value. Kamara had 158 yards of total offense against the Raiders, rushing for one touchdown and catching two more. Granted, they were his first three scores of the season.
Saints QB Andy Dalton Over 0.5 Interceptions (-141 at BetRivers): This has garnered 13 percent of the total prop game money at the sportsbook. He has lost 19 of his past 25 games as a starter in prime-time games, the majority of them coming with Cincinnati. Three of Dalton’s four picks this season came in a loss at Arizona but while he’s facing the league’s 28th-ranked pass defense, the Ravens will bring constant pressure and do have eight interceptions on the season.
Ravens TE Isaiah Likely Over 41.5 Receiving Yards (-115 at BetMGM): The rookie out of Coastal Carolina enjoyed a breakout performance with six catches for 77 yards and a touchdown against Tampa Bay — and that was only after Andrews left the game. Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson relies heavily on his tight ends in the passing game and the 6-foot-4 Likely runs routes like a wide receiver. He has topped 41.5 yards only twice this season, but it’s a very realistic goal Monday night as TE1 in the passing game. DraftKings (-120) and BetRivers (-120) are offering the same Over/Under line, but at slightly shorter odds.
Ravens: Tight end Mark Andrews (shoulder, knee) has been ruled out, while wide receiver Rashod Bateman (foot) is done for the season. Running back Gus Edwards (hamstring) is doubtful. Receiver Demarcus Robinson (groin), cornerback Marcus Peters (quad, knee) and linebacker Malik Harison (foot) are among those questionable. Starting linebacker Tyus Bowser and rookie linebacker David Ojabo are expect to make their season debuts.
Saints: Wide receiver Michael Thomas (toe) is expected to miss the remainder of the season, while cornerback Marshon Lattimore (abdomen) and running back Mark Ingram (knee) are out. Wide receiver Jarvis Landry (ankle) is questionable.
The Ravens hold a slim half-game lead in the AFC North but appear to be trending in the right direction. They should be focused and motivated for a road prime-time game leading into their bye week, and the Saints’ defense takes a major hit with Lattimore sidelined. –Ravens 30, Saints 24
–Field Level Media