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Baltimore Ravens vs. Minnesota Vikings Point Spread - Pick

Baltimore Ravens (3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS) vs. Minnesota Vikings (4-2 SU, 3-3 ATS)
Week 7 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, October 22, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
TV: CBS

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: BAL +5/MIN -5
Over/Under Total: 39.5

The Baltimore Ravens come up to U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday to face the Minnesota Vikings in week 7 action. The Ravens are licking their wounds after a home overtime loss to the Bears, 27-24. It was their second straight loss at home and whatever shine they had after a good first two games is officially off. Still, at 3-3, they could lend some credence to their efforts with a win this week. It won't be easy as the 4-2 Vikings have been able to rebound from personnel issues, especially at QB and RB, to start getting on a roll. They have now won two in a row, as their defense has given up 17 or fewer points in four straight games.

One had to wonder what would become of the Vikings after they experienced yet another QB crisis with Sam Bradford's knee looking like it's not going to hold up at this point. It's the second straight year they have managed to overcome issues at the position. Case Keenum has been suitable in relief. Losing promising rookie back Dalvin Cook also hurt, but they've kept the run-game cooking. Making it all come together is one of the best defenses in the league. Despite all the injuries, they have shown themselves to be resolute in the face of crisis and they look for that to continue.

The safe bet for this week for the Vikes is that it will again be Keenum behind center. But the situation is a bit murky, with Bradford an option and Teddy Bridgewater's return looming. Keenum wasn't great on Sunday, nor has he been for much of the year. But he's a tough and capable guy who can move this offense with some effectiveness. He connected well with Adam Thielen on Sunday, with WR Laquon Treadwell finally getting some production in this offense. TE Kyle Rudolph is a nice weapon. With Cook out, the run-game looked bleak, but Jerick McKinnon has filled in nicely and on Sunday he had a TD both on the ground and through the air. Michael Floyd is an option and has returned from suspension, with Stefon Diggs looking to return this week. With the defense they have, this offense doesn't really need to be great.

The Minnesota defense was big on Sunday. They are big against the run and were again on Sunday, with guys like Everson Griffen, Linval Joseph, and others up-front being a real handful. Both got to the QB on Sunday, with DE Brian Robison and S Harrison Smith also having sacks. The secondary was big with Harrison registering a pick, along with Trae Waynes and Xavier Rhodes also getting interceptions on the day. This is an aggressive group, but also a stout one. They keep opposing offenses in-check, while also making big plays.

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Some of us may have jumped the gun after the Ravens won their first two games of the season, while holding opponents to a combined ten points. Since then, they have looked average at best. And in a key game at home on Sunday, they couldn't get it done, even after coming back from a 14-point deficit in the second-half, tying it late in the fourth quarter with a punt return for a TD by Michael Campanaro. With just over two minutes left in the extra period, Chicago hit a 40-yard FG for the win.

Joe Flacco wasn't very good on Sunday. He had only 180 yards with two picks, one resulting in a 90-yard pick-six in the last quarter. He has three TD passes and seven picks on the season, while not surpassing 235 yards passing the whole season. The aerial game has been grounded The receiver crew is pretty bare and Flacco isn't connecting well with guys like Mike Wallace, Jeremy Maclin, Benjamin Watson, and others. It seems safe to say first-round receiver Breshad Perriman is a bust. Alex Collins has been a positive addition to the ground game and Javorious Allen can chime in with production, as well. It's just that Flacco seems like a different guy and the lack of star-power on this side of the ball is starting to cost them.

The Baltimore defense looked spectacular to start the season, allowing ten total points in their first two games. Then came a 44-point allowance to the Jaguars and the shine has been off ever since, with their only respectable performance coming against a Derek Carr-less Raiders team. Against Chicago, they gave up 231 yards on the ground and 167 yards to Jordan Howard, It's coming to the point where they can't stop the run a lick. Still, they have some difference-makers on this side of the ball. LB Matthew Jodon had two sacks on Sunday, with DE Terrell Suggs getting after the QB, as well. CJ Mosley is a force in the middle. And the secondary is stout and makes plays, with Brandon Carr and Jimmy Smith at the corners, with good safety play from Tony Jefferson and Eric Weddle.

The Baltimore offense, which has been laboring, seems to be facing a spot this weekend that doesn't bode well for getting things back on the right track. Conversely, however, one could picture this Baltimore defense having a good game and keeping the Minnesota offense in-check. Still, with the Vikings ability to run the ball, even without Dalvin Cook, they match up better with the Ravens than the opposite. I see the Vikes getting it done this week.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Minnesota Vikings minus 5 points. Did you know... that you could be wagering on the Ravens vs. Vikings game at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying -110 odds (or more) with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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