This pick was released to clients on August 15, 2012 at 1:36PM ET.
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Baltimore at Las Vegas

December 14, 2003
img4:05 PM Eastern
Premium Pick
4 units on Las Vegas +6.5 (-110) (risk 4 to return 7.64)

The up-and-coming vs. the down-and-out. Baltimore crushed Cincinnati last week in a game that many had them losing. It was a huge win that all but locked up the division and a playoff birth for the Ravens, while sending the Cinderella Bengals a strong message. This particular game is sandwiched between 3 division games for Baltimore. After playing the Bengals last week, they meet Cleveland in week 16 and Pittsburgh in week 17. Because of this situation, and the fact that they’re coming off two very big wins (combined score of 75-19), Baltimore’s in a bad, letdown situation. If that weren’t enough, after another bad performance by the Raiders last week, the Ravens will enter this game with their guard way down. Opponents are accusing the Raiders of quitting – a shot to the heart of any red-blooded competitive NFL player. To some extent, it rings true. If you’ve seen the Raiders play this year, you know exactly what I’m talking about. I think this provides plenty of motivation for Raiders players this week. Oakland certainly has had its issues this year, but do they deserve to be a 6.5 point home underdog? That’s the equivalent of at least a 9.5 point neutral-field advantage (probably more in December, where home field plays a bigger role). My Matchup Power Ratings indicate that the Raiders should probably be closer to 4.5 point dogs. The Raiders have played their best ball at home this year, going a relatively respectable 3-3. Two of those three home losses were very close (lost by 7 to the Chiefs and lost in overtime to the Jets). The Ravens have put together two straight super-human performances. This week they let down and let the Raiders shock them.


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