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Week 16 of the NFL season concludes with the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers. These two teams are positioned to win their respective conferences, which has caused a lot of hype around this game.
The Ravens have exceeded expectations in 2023 with a new and refurbished Lamar Jackson. Jackson has been much more comfortable in the pocket, which has much to do with his new receiver, Zay Flowers.
Flowers is in the running for the Rookie of the Year award and continues to show his explosiveness through his routes. Flowers also presents a strong future for the Baltimore offense going forward. We do believe the majority of Jackson’s success has come from the elusiveness of Flowers, but it has improved the entire offense.
The 49ers are succeeding this season and show no signs of mercy to their opponents. Christian McCaffrey has every bit of talent to carry this team to a championship, but there are far more positives in this organization than just their running back.
Wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk have propelled this offense as well. The entire 49ers receiving corps is great with yards after the catch!
Even though both offenses have been dominant, we expect this to be a low-scoring affair. The 49ers enter this matchup winning six of their last seven games. A side is tough to choose in primetime, so we’re sticking with the props!
Christian McCaffrey has been a massive asset to the San Francisco offense since arriving to the team in 2022. He has maximized his potential with San Francisco compared to when he was in Carolina.
McCaffrey is by far the biggest face in the league this season. If you are involved with fantasy football, you know he is the highest scorer in 2023. Earlier this season, McCaffrey tied the record for the most consecutive games with a touchdown.
McCaffrey has just under 1300 yards rushing this season alone and 506 receiving yards. He is averaging over 36 receiving yards per game.
Baltimore has consistently been a top-ten passing defense. While these stats are for all pass catchers, it still doesn’t change the fact that he gets a massive volume of targets throughout the game. We fully expect this contest to be close from start to finish and for McCaffrey to be the biggest factor for the 49ers.
As we discussed earlier, Flowers has been a massive portion of the Ravens' success in 2023. He’s been their deep ball threat and a reliable option when the game is on the line. Flowers has exceeded all expectations as a rookie in the league.
The Ravens currently sit as the number one seed in the AFC and should control home-field advantage in the playoffs. Flowers has achieved this line in four of his last six games. Anytime Jackson drops back in the pocket, his first look is towards Flowers.
The San Francisco defense is 29th in the league in pass completions, with them giving up just over 25 catches a game. Flowers should continue to see his average of six to 11 targets as he has throughout the past ten games.
The 49ers have been on an incredible run this season, blowing out just about everyone in their path to the number one seed in the NFC. However, their run could come to an end as they face the number one defense in the league.
While Brock Purdy is in talks for league MVP this year, the Ravens' defense could potentially expose him in this matchup. Baltimore currently leads the league in sacks with 50 on the season. If this red-hot Ravens team can pressure Purdy, it will cause him to make more mistakes than usual.
Baltimore allows just 16.1 points per game this season, which is the best in the NFL. They are also 10th against the run and sixth against the pass. We expect the Ravens' defense to stand tall against Purdy in one of the season's biggest games.
|Under 47.5 (-115)
|Over 47 (-115)
Who: Baltimore Ravens vs San Francisco 49ers
Where: Levi’s Stadium. Santa Clara, CA
When: Monday, Dec. 25, 8:20 p.m. ET
Tanner Kern has been working in the betting industry since 2020. He currently is a social media content creator at DraftKings and contributes to multiple sites in addition to WSN, including Forbes and VSiN. He is also the cohost of the podcast Ride the Line at WSN.More info on Tanner Kern
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