The schedule makers should be proud of this Week 16 matchup as the only teams with 11 wins in the NFL face off on Christmas. Surprisingly, the San Francisco 49ers are 5-point favorites over the Baltimore Ravens.
Not only will we see the teams with the two best records in the NFL. But Baltimore and San Francisco have the longest winning streaks in the league. The Niners are first in point differential compared to the Ravens in third. The Ravens have the best road record in the NFL. But they haven’t played a team who scores 30 points per game at home like the 49ers do. These teams are a cut above the rest of the NFL.
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the 49ers are 5-point favorites with the total on the game set at 45.5. The spread seems high at first glance while the total seems low.
The only time this season the Niners scored fewer than 28 points at home was against the Bengals, the game before their bye week when they were banged up. There are a handful of other games when San Francisco took their foot off the gas in the fourth quarter.
That won’t be the case against a team with an MVP candidate under center.
So why are the 49ers big favorites? It’s a tough spot for Baltimore. Sure, they get an extra day of rest, but traveling across country from Jacksonville to San Francisco has to wear on you.
Remember, the Ravens played an overtime game two weeks ago against the Rams. This will be their third game in 15 days, and it comes against an offense that seemingly scores every time they have the ball.
Can the Niners defense slow down Lamar Jackson? We saw how they defended the run against Arizona. It was not good and there’s no way to sugarcoat it. Hopefully, both defensive tackles are back in the lineup. But containing Kyler Murray was a problem. As were a few of the Cardinals' deeper passing concepts.
The Ravens offense is Arizona’s, just on steroids. This has the potential to be a Super Bowl preview.