Baltimore Ravens

Week 16 NFL opening odds have Giants, Raiders, Steelers as favorites

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There is reason to think Eli Manning and the New York Giants will maintain their record of being a near-lock when favored by a field goal or less.

While they’re on the road, the Giants are listed as 2.5-point favorites against the Philadelphia Eagles in the Thursday Night Football matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

New York is 6-1-1 against the spread in its last eight games as a favorite of three or fewer points, while the Eagles will be out to break a negative trend of being 0-4 straight-up and ATS in their last four divisional games.

Manning and WR Odell Beckham Jr. are facing an Eagles defense whose yards per pass allowed has ballooned to 7.7, 26th in the 32-team NFL. The Giants’ improving defense could fluster rookie QB Carson Wentz, whose complement of receivers might struggle with getting separation from the trio of Eli Apple, Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

Elsewhere, the Oakland Raiders are 3.5-point favorites against the Indianapolis Colts. Each team’s chances ride heavily on their respective quarterbacks, Andrew Luck and Derek Carr. The status of Colts RT Joe Reitz (back), who would be matched up on pass rusher extraordinaire Khalil Mack, is in doubt. The Raiders are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 home games according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

The Buffalo Bills are 3.5-point favorites against the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins control their playoff destiny but are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 road games against Buffalo. The Bills’ run defense is a mess and RB Jay Ajayi might be able to provide the necessary support for backup QB Matt Moore, who is coming off a four-touchdown game in Week 15.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are 4.5-point favorites against the Baltimore Ravens in a Christmas Day betting matchup. While Baltimore is on a 7-0 ATS streak in AFC North games, Ravens QB Joe Flacco‘s offense is more sporadic than the unit led by Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger. The Ravens are 0-7 SU and 1-6 ATS in their last seven games in the late afternoon.

The Kansas City Chiefs are favored by four points against the Denver Broncos in the Sunday Night Football matchup. Although the Chiefs are coming off a loss against Tennessee, they regularly disrupt quarterbacks through DE Chris Jones, OLB Dee Ford and OLB Justin Houston. Denver QB Trevor Siemian and his offensive line haven’t been able to withstand that very often this season.

And the Dallas Cowboys are favored by seven points against the Detroit Lions in the Monday Night Football matchup. Lions QB Matthew Stafford has a chance to put up some points and Detroit’s defense, which allows an average of 98.9 rushing yards, might be able to limit NFL rushing leader Ezekiel Elliott. The Cowboys are not only on an 0-4 ATS streak, but they are 3-10-1 ATS in their last 14 home games against teams with winning records.

Ravens TE Watson tears right Achilles, likely out for season

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BALTIMORE (AP) Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson has torn his right Achilles tendon and is likely lost for the season.

The injury occurred on Baltimore’s first offensive play in a preseason game against the Detroit Lions on Saturday night.

Watson appeared to trip while running a pattern and slumped to the turf. After he finally got up, he had to be helped off the field.

Signed as a free agent in March, Watson was expected to be a key element in the Ravens’ passing game. He had 74 catches for 825 yards and six touchdowns last season with New Orleans.

The 35-year-old broke into the league in 2004 with New England and played with Cleveland from 2010 through 2012 before going to the Saints.

He has 434 catches for 4,963 yards and 38 touchdowns in 163 games.

AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Jimmy Clausen hits Kamar Aikens for 48-yard Hail Mary touchdown (VIDEO)

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Prayers answered.

With time winding down, why not heave up a pass and that’s exactly what the Baltimore Ravens and Jimmy Clausen did. And guess what? IT WORKED!

Kamar Aikens was on the end of the pass that went 48 yards and gave the Ravens their second touchdown of the game vs. the surging Kansas City Chiefs.