Drew Brees has beaten every NFL team except the Baltimore Ravens.
The Saints quarterback is 0-4 in his 18-year career against the Ravens, who are 2½-point home favorites Sunday over New Orleans.
It’s a matchup of the NFL’s highest-scoring offense in the Saints, who average 36 points, against the league’s top-ranked defense in the Ravens, who allow 12.8 points per game.
Baltimore has arguably its best defense since 2000, when Ray Lewis led the Ravens to their first Super Bowl title. They lead the NFL in yards allowed (270.8 ypg) and sacks (26) after finishing with a franchise-record 11 sacks of quarterback Marcus Mariota and holding the Titans to 106 yards in a 21-0 win at Tennessee.
Baltimore hasn’t allowed a second-half TD in its first six games.
Joe Flacco is no Brees, who has thrown for 11 TDs and no interceptions this season while passing Peyton Manning for the NFL record for career passing yards. But the Ravens’ Super Bowl-winning QB has been solid, averaging 298 passing yards with nine TDs and four interceptions.
Flacco should be able to spread the ball around to receivers Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead IV and John Brown against a New Orleans defense that ranks No. 30 against the pass and gives up 28 points a game.
The Saints are 1-5 straight up and against the spread in their last six games vs. Baltimore, which is a sleeper pick to win the AFC and should cover the small number behind its dominant defense.
Four more plays (home team in CAPS):
Chargers (-6½) over Titans: Los Angeles has won three straight games in a 4-2 start, with its losses to the Rams and Chiefs. Philip Rivers has thrown for 15 TDs and three interceptions, Melvin Gordon has nine TDs and the Chargers are fifth in the league in scoring (29.2 ppg). Their defense sacked Baker Mayfield five times in a 38-14 blowout of the Browns and should feast on Tennessee’s porous offensive line. The Chargers have owned the Titans since they moved to Tennessee, going 8-0-1 ATS.
Patriots (-2½) over BEARS: Home underdogs have covered at a 69 percent clip (20-9 ATS) this season. But the oddsmakers appeared to have overadjusted this line. New England dipped to a 2½-point favorite Friday at the Golden Nugget, South Point and Caesars Entertainment sports books after opening at 3½. The Patriots are in a letdown spot after their win over the Chiefs, but Chicago also is in a tough spot, coming off an overtime loss to Miami.
49ERS (+9½) over Rams: San Francisco covered for the second time in three weeks and almost upset the Packers at Lambeau Field in Monday’s 33-30 loss. But this is more of a situational play against the Rams, who are playing their dreaded third consecutive road game. They won but failed to cover the past two games at Denver and Seattle, and NFL teams historically have struggled ATS in their third straight road game, going 3-5 ATS in that spot last season.
Bengals (+6) over CHIEFS: This might be a letdown spot for Kansas City after suffering its first loss to the Patriots. Cincinnati is sixth in the league in scoring (29.2 ppg) and can trade punches with the Chiefs, who gave up 500 yards and 43 points to New England. Sharp bettors are on the Bengals, who have the better defense.
Last week: 3-2 against the spread