Patriots are 9.5-point favorite over Ravens

Patriots are 9.5-point favorite over Ravens
January 14, 2013, 10:00 am

Tom Brady: 'The two best teams are in the finals'

The Ravens just can't seem to get much respect these days.

After knocking off Peyton Manning and the Broncos in Denver, the oddsmakers installed the Patriots as a 9.5-point favorite in next Sunday's AFC title match-up in Massachusetts.

Huh?

The Ravens already beat the Pats earlier this year and nearly beat them in last year's title game. And the Patriots are the 9.5-point favorites? 

There's no question that playing up there gives New England an edge. I know I expected the line to have the Patriots favored by 3.5 or something like that. But 9.5 points? 

Then again, the Ravens have seen this before. Remember last week, when the Broncos were favored by that much against the Ravens. Very few people gave the Ravens a chance to win. 

But they did.

And they noticed the lack of respect people gave them. The emotional interview that Ray Lewis gave ESPN right when he came off the field Saturday in Denver saying that nobody gave them a chance or believed in them showed how much the team got fired up by being the underdogs. 

Now, coach John Harbaugh and Lewis have something more to fire them up. 

The Ravens just can't seem to get any respect. I know I've heard it on the radio and TV over and over again. The defense is old. It's not as good. Ray's slowed down. So have the others. 

Well, they're one step away from the Super Bowl, so something's working. Maybe they're getting hot at the right time or maybe it's the fact that the Ravens FINALLY have everyone back together on defense. They're not going to be at 100 percent, but the defense is going to be stronger. 

It's worked well so far against the Colts and Broncos. And they're still a 9.5-point underdog this weekend. 

Wow. 

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