San Diego Chargers at Baltimore Ravens (-5.5)
There were periods of time in both the Chargers’ and Ravens’ Week 12 games where each team was in danger of losing to a weaker opponent. Both pulled out their respective victories and moved to 7-4 in what has become an incredibly crowded AFC playoff race. When the two face off on Sunday, the loser will fall behind in any potential tiebreaker down the stretch, as both teams could conceivably be fighting for the same Wild Card spot come season’s end.
Despite being tied with basically every other AFC North opponent, the Ravens have done themselves no favors by dropping three of their five division games thus far. They will likely need to pass each team outright to grab the division title, and therefore are most likely fighting to be either the fifth or sixth seed in the AFC playoffs. While neither San Diego nor Baltimore could afford a loss, Baltimore will be playing host to their West Coast counterparts at 1pm on Sunday – while not always a consistent indicator, we do tend to dock the visitors a few points in this condition.
The Chargers look nothing like the 5-1 team that stormed out to an early AFC West lead at the beginning of the season, and they have an absolutely brutal slate of games to finish the season – after Baltimore, San Diego plays the Patriots, Broncos, 49ers, and Chiefs. While they won’t survive that gauntlet anyway, their playoff hopes unofficially end on Sunday with a loss in Baltimore. The Ravens and their top-ten offense win by a touchdown and cover.
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