With identical 7-6 SU and 6-7 ATS records, the Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions both need a win this week to keep up in their respective playoff races.
Detroit is a 6-point favorite on the Monday Night Football betting odds menu, hosting a Ravens team coming off a huge late rally and which boasts a 6-2 ATS mark in its past 8 Monday Nighters.
The Detroit Lions enter this week controlling their own destiny in the NFC North, where they are tied with the Chicago Bears at 7-6 and just ahead of the Green Bay Packers at 6-6-1. Detroit's defense has allowed 26.3 points per game over the Lions' last four games, playing a role in the 1-3 SU and ATS slump that has prevented Detroit from running away with the NFC North.
Detroit is just 3-6 ATS since starting the season off 3-1 and the failed to win in last week's Philly snowstorm The Monday Night total has also climbed quickly since opening at 45.
Taking advantage of a three-game homestand against three teams with a losing record in the New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Minnesota Vikings, the Baltimore Ravens turned their season around with three straight wins.
The 3-0 SU stretch has put the Ravens into a tie with the Miami Dolphins for the final wild card playoff spot in the AFC. The road gets much tougher from here for the Ravens, who face the Lions, New England, and Cincinnati over their final three games.
The total has gone OVER in six of Detroit's last eight games and in three of Baltimore's last four. The total has also gone OVER in four of the last five meetings between Baltimore and Detroit, but the last time these two teams met was back in 2009.
Inconsistency has plagued both of these teams all season long, but both still find themselves in the fortunate position of being able to control their own destiny for a playoff spot. Detroit has been substantially better on offense this season than the Ravens have been, and that could be the difference in this game.
But if Joe Flacco can find his postseason form here in December or the Ravens' defense can step up, this could end up being a tough game for the Lions.
Computer Prediction: 25-23 Lions (from OddsShark.com prediction computer)