The Baltimore Ravens (8-6) have peaked at just the right time and the reigning Super Bowl champions can extend their winning streak to five games when they take on the visiting New England Patriots (10-4).
John Harbaugh’s side are 10/13 favourites to triumph and book their place in the playoffs for a sixth successive season with recent form and trends underlying their case for victory.
New England are the 11/10 underdogs for this contest and will have to reverse a poor recent away record in order to defeat their rivals.
The Ravens are 8-1 from their last nine games at the M&T Bank Stadium and are chasing a third consecutive home win over the Pats having defeated their opponents twice on their way to taking the Vince Lombardi Trophy for a second time.
And with their divisional fate in their own hands the hosts have a fantastic opportunity to scupper their rivals’ bid to land a fifth straight AFC East crown.
Tom Brady’s Patriots are 1-4 from their last five on the road and blew their chance to confirm their supremacy when losing 24-20 to the Miami Dolphins last time out.
With influential tight end Rob Gronowski still missing through injury, it’ll be another tough assignment for one of the league’s star quarterbacks, especially against a defence that’s conceded just 65 points in its last four games compared to the Patriots’ 108-point giveaway.
Four defeats in their last five away from Foxborough have dented the visitors’ momentum at times this season and the betting underdogs could also be vulnerable when it comes to covering the spread.
Banking on the Ravens to overcome a 2.5-point difference may not be too fanciful given that their last four victories have come by an average of 22 points.
If Baltimore manage to continue their hot form then our news team’s previously highlighted price of 33/1 for them to repeat last year’s Super Bowl victory could well shorten.
Their consistency has seen Harbaugh’s outfit make what previously seemed like an unlikely playoff charge and defeating the Patriots would only serve to further enhance their championship credentials.