Ravens figure to provide more angst for fans and another win

The Baltimore Ravens do nothing easily.

Yes, they have the AFC’s best record among teams that have had their bye (6-2; Tennessee is 7-2). Their excitement quotient is off the charts, and their special teams are, well, very special.

Yet they specialize in providing angst for their fans and, probably, for coach John Harbaugh.

“I don’t think we’re ever really out of a game, but you hate to be in those situations,” receiver Marquise Brown said. “You kind of want to start fast so you don’t have to do that. But if you’re in that situation in the game, I’m confident that we can get it done.”

They will need to get it done again Thursday night against struggling Miami (2-7), which just ended a seven-game slide by beating equally woeful Houston. The Dolphins are uncertain at quarterback with Tua Tagovailoa having issues with a finger on his left, throwing hand, that sidelined him against the Texans.

Baltimore, ranked No. 6 in the AP Pro32, is a 7 1/2-point favorite at No. 30 Miami, according to FanDuel SportsBook.

Like we said, the Ravens tend to make it difficult.

RAVENS, 20-16

KNOCKOUT POOL: No reason to read this after Pro Picks flopped for a second straight week following an unbeaten run. Dallas got hammered by Denver. But we’re obligated to keep trying, so it’s INDIANAPOLIS this week.

No. 32 Detroit (plus 9) at No. 10 Pittsburgh

We can’t see the Lions winning, nor see the Steelers covering a big spread.

BEST BET: STEELERS, 22-15

No. 21 Minnesota (plus 2 1/2) at No. 9 Los Angeles Chargers

At some point the Vikings will pull out one of these games. Maybe this one.

UPSET SPECIAL: VIKINGS, 30-28

No. 7 (tie) Buffalo (minus 13) at No. 29 New York Jets

One of many hefty spreads, but the Bills are not trustworthy right now.

BILLS, 30-20

No. 3 Tampa Bay (minus 9 1/2) at No. 27 Washington

Another big spread, but in Tom Brady we trust.

BUCCANEERS, 33-16

No. 19 Atlanta (plus 9) at No. 7 (tie) Dallas

That stinker last week by Dallas came out of nowhere. This will smell better.

COWBOYS, 30-26

No. 22 Carolina (plus 10) at No. 1 Arizona

It looks as if something special is rising up from the Valley of the Sun.

CARDINALS, 26-13

No. 28 Jacksonville (plus 10 1/2) at No. 18 Indianapolis

Yet another huge spread that would’ve been bigger if not for the Jaguars’ upset win last week.

COLTS, 29-10

No. 20 Seattle (plus 3 1/2) at No. 5 Green Bay

Two picks here due to the relative uncertainty of Aaron Rodgers being available.

With Rodgers: PACKERS, 27-20

Minus Rodgers: SEAHAWKS, 22-13

No. 11 Cleveland (plus 1 1/2) at No. 12 New England

The winner of this one has an open path to the playoffs.

PATRIOTS, 21-16

No. 13 New Orleans (plus 3) at No. 2 Tennessee

Mike Vrabel for Coach of the Year? Could be if the Titans keep this up.

TITANS, 24-16

No. 15 Kansas City (minus 2 1/2) at No. 14 Las Vegas

We are still waiting for the real Chiefs to surface. Unless they already have.

CHIEFS, 20-19

No. 4 Los Angeles Rams (minus 4) at No. 23 San Francisco, Monday night

Rivalry games tend to be close, but the Rams can cover this meager spread.

RAMS, 26-18

No. 24 Philadelphia (plus 2 1/2) at No. 17 Denver

We could see the Eagles stealing this one. It should be tight.

BRONCOS, 24-23

___

2021 RECORD

Last Week: Straight up: 9-5. Against spread: 10-4.

Season: Straight up: 86-50. Against spread: 75-57-2.

Best Bet: Straight up: 5-4. Against spread: 6-3.

Upset Special: Straight up: 8-0. Against spread: 8-0.

___

More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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