Ravens-Giants look to stay alive in NFL playoff race

LEFT: Colt McCoy #12 of the New York Giants scrambles with the ball during the second quarter of a game against the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium on December 20, 2020 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) RIGHT: Quart

There’s a chance that the Baltimore Ravens could finish 11-5 and miss the AFC playoffs. There’s also a chance that the New York Giants could go 6-10 and not just make the NFC tournament, but host a first round playoff game as NFC East champions.

Such is reality in the 2020 version of the National Football League. The Ravens are wearing that title of "team you don’t want to see get into the playoffs" after three straight wins with more than 34 points scored. The Giants are part of a division that other NFC teams are tripping over for a crack at the division champion in the first round.

Both the Ravens and Giants have their seasons on the line on Sunday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore (1 p.m., FOX) as the playoffs draw close.

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The sports betting information

On FoxBet.com Sportsbook, the Ravens are 11 point favorites with a money line of minus-550. (A $550 bet is needed to win $100.) The Giants are at +425 on the money line – a $100 bet will yield a $425 win. The over/under total is 45 points.

Both the Giants and Ravens are 8-6 against the spread. If you like the under, the Giants are the team for you. Eleven of New York’s 14 games have finished below the total number. Baltimore has been 7-7 on the over/under total.

There are plenty of CustomBets, PropBets and other wagers available at FOXBet.com to suit any gambling needs.  Check it out now.

The history

The cities of Baltimore and New York share a football history dating back to the Colts-Giants battles for the NFL championship that caused the league’s popularity to mushroom in the late 1950s.  Since the Ravens moved to Baltimore from Cleveland, they lead the series 4-2. The most famous game between the two franchises came in Super Bowl XXXV, when Baltimore earned the Lombardi Trophy with a 34-7 win in Tampa Bay.

The last meeting between the two came in 2016 with the Giants winning 27-23. Eli Manning threw for 403 yards and three touchdowns in that game, including the game winner to Odell Beckham Jr. with 1:24 to play for 66 yards.

The storylines to watch

The Ravens struggled for most of the year offensively, but Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore attack are scorching right now. Over the last three games, Baltimore is averaging 40.3 points a game with 398.3 yards of total offense. This has happened with a running attack of Jackson, J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards working flawlessly together to average 228 yards on the ground as a team while the passing attack has shown signs of life. Add all of this together with season-ending games against the 5-9 Giants and the 3-10-1 Bengals and Baltimore would appear in a good spot to get into the AFC playoffs. However, the Ravens need the Dolphins to lose once- either to Las Vegas on Saturday or next week against Buffalo- to qualify for the tournament.

The Giants road into the tournament is clear: they need to tie Washington to win the NFC East because of two head to head wins. The problem is the fact that New York’s quarterback situation and offense is a muddy mess right now. Daniel Jones missed last week’s 20-6 loss to the Browns at home because of his hamstring and calf issues. Colt McCoy got the start, but the Giants offense could only muster 288 yards of total offense and two Graham Gano field goals. McCoy’s longest completion was for seven yards. Against the Baltimore defense, that won’t work. The Giants are also down to a third string running back in Albert Morris and Wayne Gallman.

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