The Daily Sweat: Ravens could start to re-establish themselves as an elite team vs. Colts

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This seems to be a flawed Baltimore Ravens team. But they usually figure it out. 

John Harbaugh's consistency is remarkable. The Ravens have a Patriots-lite level of success over the past decade-plus. That consistent excellence hasn't always been on display this season. 

The Ravens lost the opener at the Raiders, collapsing at the end. They did get a great win over the Chiefs, but needed a Kansas City fumble in the final minutes. Then they had a miracle win at the Lions, of all teams, on Justin Tucker's record-breaking 66-yard field goal. 

Is this a great Ravens team? A good one? We should find out more on Monday night when they face the Indianapolis Colts. The Ravens are 6.5-point favorites at BetMGM, which indicates a level of respect for them. It's not like they've played well enough to be a near-touchdown favorite against most teams. 

Baltimore has dealt with injuries, particularly at running back. They're still figuring out where the pass rush will come from. They're 3-1 despite it all, coming off an impressive and complete win at Denver, while adjusting to the new season. 

The Colts are figuring things out through injuries too, and they did look better last week at Miami. I like the Colts getting all those points. The Ravens are playing close games, and I think this will be another tight one. But perhaps we'll see after Monday night that the Ravens are back on track to be championship contenders yet again. 

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs the ball against the Denver Broncos in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/Bart Young)
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs the ball against the Denver Broncos in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/Bart Young)

Here's a first look at the sports betting slate on Monday: 

What other action do we like for Monday night? 

I do think the under of 46.5 is the way to go. Both teams can run the ball and play defense. But I also like a couple of over receiver props. Baltimore's Marquise Brown has been hot to start the season, and I think he can pass his receiving total of 55.5 yards at BetMGM. He's always a threat to hit that over, or a big chunk of it, on one play. I also like over 52.5 yards for Indianapolis' Michael Pittman Jr., who is playing well this season and has emerged as Carson Wentz's No. 1 target. 

What else is on the schedule? 

It's a fun day of division series baseball ahead. The National League has a pair of Game 3s. The Milwaukee Brewers take on the Atlanta Braves at 1:07 p.m. Eastern, and the San Francisco Giants face the Los Angeles Dodgers at 9:37 p.m. Both of those series are tied 1-1. The Braves are -115 favorites and the Dodgers are heavy -200 favorites. 

The American League has two elimination games. The Red Sox, who took a 2-1 series lead with an extra-inning win on Sunday, face the Rays at 7:07 p.m. Both teams are -110. The White Sox stayed alive with a win Sunday and face the Astros, who are up 2-1 in the series, at 3:37 p.m. Chicago is -130. 

Who cashed tickets this weekend? 

It was a good week, finally, for NFL favorites. Favorites were 9-5 against the spread going into the Sunday night game. The Bills won as underdogs to make it 9-6. Favorites winning has been a rarity. Underdogs did well for the first four weeks of the season. 

Iowa keeps winning money for bettors, coming back to beat Penn State. Iowa is No. 2 in the polls now, with Georgia taking the top spot. They moved up because Alabama lost straight up to Texas A&M. Texas A&M easily covered the 18.5-point spread. The biggest impact of that outcome is for all the Alabama championship future bets, which are now in peril. 

What's the best bet? 

The Giants as a +165 underdog is enticing. The Giants have been a great bet all season, and I see no reason to back off of them now. 

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