Week 12 Sunday Night Football Betting Breakdown. Best Bets for Ravens @ Chargers
What a week for football. After three Thanksgiving games on Thursday, the inaugural Black Friday game, and a full slate of college games on Saturday, we finally get to the main course on Sunday. That includes a Sunday Night Football matchup between the Ravens and Chargers.
The Ravens have been one of the best teams in football this season while the Chargers have been…well, the Chargers. They continue to find ways to lose games that they should win, but at least they still have a great QB in Justin Herbert.
Who has the edge in this AFC matchup? Let’s dive into the best bets for Sunday Night Football.
Baltimore Ravens at Los Angeles Chargers
- Spread: Ravens -3.5 (-105, BetMGM)
- Total: 48.0
- Moneylines: Ravens -175 / Chargers +145
The Ravens are coming off another impressive win in their last contest, having dispatched the Bengals 34-20. Cincinnati did lose their starting QB, Joe Burrow, to a season-ending injury in that game, but a two-TD win over a divisional rival is always welcome regardless of the circumstances.
Baltimore's offense continues to improve under first-year offensive coordinator Todd Monken. They started the year slowly on offense, which is to be expected in a new system, but the Ravens have now scored at least 31 points in five straight games. They rank second in EPA per play offensively over that span behind only the Cowboys.
The Ravens' offense is built around a dominant run game helmed by mobile QB Lamar Jackson. He hasn’t been quite as efficient on the ground in 2023 as he was in past seasons, but Jackson has still averaged 5.3 yards per attempt and a 53.5% rushing success rate, both of which remain elite metrics.
Baltimore's defense has also been elite this year, currently ranking second in the league in EPA allowed per play. If both sides can continue playing at their current level, the Ravens have a legit shot to go to the Super Bowl. They were the No. 1 team in the Massey-Peabody Power Ratings for the past few weeks, though the 49ers recently overtook them in Week 12.
Nov 16, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews (89) runs after a catch during the first quarter against Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson (55) at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
The big question over the second half of the season is how Baltimore's offense will look without star TE Mark Andrews after being placed on IR with a fractured fibula. Andrews doesn’t have gaudy receiving totals, but he’s been the Ravens' best and most consistent pass-catcher.
Fortunately, they have more pass-catching depth this season than they have in the past. Rookie WR Zay Flowers has shown flashes even in his first NFL season, and Odell Beckham and Rashod Bateman have also contributed when healthy. If Isaiah Likely can be even a league-average TE in Andrews's stead, Baltimore's offense can still play at a high level.
For the Chargers, life revolves around Herbert. They have no run game once again this season, currently ranking 26th in rushing EPA and 31st in success rate. If Los Angeles is going to move the ball, then it will have to be through their QB’s right arm.
Unfortunately, Herbert is dealing with similar issues with his supporting cast on offense, not unlike in prior years. Mike Williams is on IR, and first-round rookie WR Quentin Johnston has struggled to contribute. Johnston notably had a huge drop on what could've been a game-winning TD last week at Green Bay.
Still, Herbert is having one of the best statistical seasons of his young career in 2023. His 7.7 adjusted yards per attempt through 11 weeks is a career-high, and Herbert has thrown 19 TDs to just five INTs. Keenan Allen is having a great season as well despite his age, and Austin Ekeler remains a threat catching passes out of the backfield.
For all their struggles on offense, the Chargers' defense has been the bigger issue. They currently rank 28th in EPA allowed per play, 24th in points allowed per game, and 31st in yardage allowed. This defense will also likely struggle even more with Joey Bosa placed on IR following an injury against the Packers, so it could be a long night for the Chargers' defense on Sunday against the Ravens.
Best Bet: Chargers +3.5 (-115, BetMGM)
This line is down to Chargers +3.0 across most of the industry, but you can still find them at +3.5 on BetMGM. Three is the most important key number in the NFL, so getting a reasonably-priced +3.5 when the rest of the market is at 3.0 is a huge deal.
While the Ravens' offense has been humming as of late, it remains to be seen how they'll fare in their first game without Andrews. Beckham is also a game-time decision with Flowers and star left tackle Ronnie Stanley banged up as well. Even if all three of Baltimore's impact players end up playing, they may not be at 100% health.
Additionally, grabbing the points with a good QB is almost always a good idea. Herbert has been an underdog of more than a field goal in just 12 career games, and he’s a near-flawless 10-2 ATS in that split. He’s also a perfect 3-0 ATS as a home underdog of more than a field goal.
If you prefer, the over is also a decent play on Sunday night. Primetime unders have absolutely dominated this season with Thursday, Sunday, and Monday Night Football games 27-9 to the under in 2023. Since 2019, unders have also gone 152-93-3, so betting NFL unders in general has been a license to print money in recent seasons.
Still, the sharps like the over in this spot, having already driven the total all the way up to 48.0 points. The over has received 73% of the dollars on 61% of the bets per the Action Network, so the total could continue to rise leading up to kickoff.
You can tail the Chargers +3.5 on BetMGM, where you can get up to $1,500 paid back in bonus bets if your first bet does not win. Simply sign up below to start betting TODAY!
There are a few wagers that stand out as appealing when using the tool for this matchup.
Keaton Mitchell Over 6.5 Carries (-115, PointsBet)
- Bet To: Over 6.5 (-140)
- Fantasy Life Projection: 5.8
Our projections aren’t very bullish on Mitchell's workload for Sunday night, but I am. There was a clear changing of the guard in the Ravens’ backfield in their Week 11 win over the Bengals.
Gus Edwards still operated as the clear lead back, but Mitchell officially passed Justice Hill in the pecking order. Hill didn’t see his first touch until late in the second quarter, and his only carry came with the team up 14 points in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, Mitchell logged season-highs in both snap share (37%) and rush attempt share (30%).
Nov 12, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Keaton Mitchell (34) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns during the first quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports
Mitchell has game-changing speed at the position, having run a blazing 4.37 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine. That puts him in the 99th percentile at RB as the perfect “lightning” to Edwards’s “thunder", and the Ravens will need some explosive plays with Andrews out.
With Mitchell having seen at least eight carries in two of the last three games, I think his role will continue to grow. After all, why wouldn’t Baltimore keep giving the ball to a guy who's averaging over 10 yards per carry? The Ravens should be able to feast on the Chargers’ soft run defense, so I’m expecting another strong workload for the rookie in primetime.
Lamar Jackson Under 27.5 Pass Attempts (+104, DraftKings)
- Bet To: Under 27.5 (-105)
- Fantasy Life Projection: 28.0
The Ravens aren’t running the ball quite as much this season as they have in the past, but they’re still the most run-heavy team in the league (51.3%).
Part of that stems from the fact that winning teams generally run more anyway with leading game scripts, but in Baltimore's case, their run game is also the best in the league. They currently lead the NFL in rushing EPA and success rate, so leaning more on the run than most teams makes sense.
All that running obviously has a trickle-down effect on the passing attack. Jackson doesn’t get the same pass volume as most other elite QBs, having attempted 27 passes or fewer in seven of 11 games this year.
With Andrews now out, it wouldn’t be a shock if the Ravens' offense were to skew even more run-heavy on Sunday Night Football against a weak Chargers run defense.
You can tail the under on DraftKings Sportsbook, where you can get $200 in bonus bets when you sign up for a new account and place a $5 bet below!
Gus Edwards Anytime TD (+110, Caesars)
I’m not sure why Edwards is still available at better than even money as an anytime TD scorer despite having found the end zone now in five straight weeks, but I’m certainly not complaining.
Even though Mitchell’s role in the offense has grown in recent games, Edwards remains “the man” around the goal line. He has seen 86% of Baltimore's carries from inside the five-yard line since Week 6, and Edwards has scored an astounding nine TDs over the last five games.
Baltimore Ravens running back Gus Edwards (35) breaks into the end zone for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the NFL Week 11 game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023. The Bengals fell to the Ravens, 34-20. Photo Credit: Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK
The Chargers have also really struggled to keep opposing RBs out of the end zone. They’ve allowed an average of 1.2 rushing TDs per game this season, which is tied for 26th in the league.
You can tail Edwards as an anytime TD scorer at Caesars, where your first bet of up to $1,000 is on the house when you sign up for a new account below!
If you’re new to ladder bets, they’re a really fun way to try and add some extra upside to your bets. Instead of just betting the over on a player’s prop, you can try to “ladder up” by grabbing higher payouts at larger numbers.
For example, you can bet on a player to get 50-plus yards at +100, 75-plus yards at +300, and 100-plus yards and +750. If you stagger your bets properly, you can win if the player goes over the first number, and you win big if the player goes all of those lines. For a more detailed breakdown, Geoff did a great job of explaining ladder bets.
I’m sticking with the Ravens for this Sunday Night Football ladder bet, but this time, I’m actually going to look towards the passing attack. Bateman is someone I highlighted on the Betting Life prop podcast earlier this week:
Instead of just taking a stab on Bateman’s traditional receiving prop, why not shoot a little higher? With Andrews out and Beckham and Flowers both questionable, there's opportunity for Bateman to be more involved this week even if the other WRs suit up.
Bateman has already been a significant factor in the Ravens' passing game recently, having posted a 71% route rate and 15% target rate over the last three weeks. He's also capable of generating some chunk plays, having averaged 19.0 yards per reception last season.
You can take 40-plus receiving yards for Bateman at +182, 50-plus yards at +290, and 60-plus yards at +430 at FanDuel. All of those receiving lines seem feasible, especially given how banged up Baltimore's other pass-catchers are heading into this game.
Same-game parlays (SGPs) are about telling a story. Can the Bears keep this game competitive, or will the Chargers assert their dominance? There are ways to tell yourself a story to correlate your SGP and profit.
I’m going to keep this one pretty simple, starting with a combination of Chargers +3.5 with over 48.5 points. I think the most likely way for the Chargers to cover would be in a shootout game script. Even with all Baltimore's injuries on offense, Los Angeles is going to have trouble slowing them down.
After that, I’m going with an Edwards anytime TD, possibly my favorite bet in this contest given the odds, and at least 40 receiving yards for Bateman. Those four bets combine for a tasty +1429 potential payout on at FanDuel:
You can add some other interesting legs to this SGP as well if you're looking for upside. Ekeler as an anytime TD scorer, Herbert to pass for two or more TDs, and 100-plus receiving yards for Allen are all viable candidates to add to this SGP.
Regardless of how you choose to play this contest, good luck this week!
You can tail this SGP on FanDuel Sportsbook, where new users who place an initial wager of $5 or more will get $200 in bonus bets after creating a new account. Click below to learn more!