The Indianapolis Colts are 7-1 SU and 8-0 ATS in their last eight games against the Baltimore Ravens, and will try to extend those streaks with an upset win this Sunday on the road at M&T Bank Stadium.
Indianapolis is a 6.5-point road underdog at most online sportsbooks and the line has not budged since all the fanfare of the Ray Lewis retirement broke Wednesday.
The Colts were nothing short of an amazing story in 2012. One year removed from a 2-14 record, rookie quarterback Andrew Luck led the Colts to an 11-5 SU and ATS record with a 10-2 SU and ATS finish down the stretch.
The Colts are also 5-0 ATS in their last five trips to Maryland, according to the Ravens-Colts trends.
All of this happened in the midst of the team's coach, Chuck Pagano, missing the bulk of the regular season while battling leukemia, only to return to the sideline as head coach of the final game of the regular season, a 28-16 win over Houston.
Sure, the Colts were beneficiaries of a soft schedule, but it is an unbelievable run all the same.
The Baltimore Ravens finished the season off 10-6 SU and 6-9-1 ATS after going just 1-4 SU and ATS over their last five games. The one win was a huge one, coming at home against the New York Giants to lock up the AFC North.
Some of Baltimore's late-season struggles can be attributed to the absence of heart-and-soul leader Ray Lewis, who was out with an injury but will return this Sunday. Lewis also announced that he will retire at the end of this season, making this playoff run his swan song.
Indianapolis is 8-1 SU and ATS over its last nine games against Baltimore, but the lion's share of those games came in the Peyton Manning era. Eight of those nine games went UNDER the total. Baltimore is 17-2 SU in its last 19 home games.
Ray Lewis is a smart man. By announcing his retirement before what will in all likelihood be Baltimore's last home game of the season, the crowd should be even more electric than it would have already been.
With Baltimore's experience and home field advantage, along with Andrew Luck's road struggles (13 interceptions on the road), look for the Ravens to end Indianapolis's storybook season at home by a touchdown or more.
Wild Card Pick: Baltimore -6.5 (courtesy of PickShark.com)