It's a matchup of former Heisman Trophy winners and ex-NFL MVPs in the Sunday night game this week as Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens visit the New England Patriots and Cam Newton. The Patriots are 7-point underdogs on the William Hill sportsbook NFL odds, their first time as that big of a home dog since way back in November 2001. SportsLine also offers odds on whether Newton will throw a touchdown pass, which has been very rare for him dating to last season.
The sad-sack and winless New York Jets have seven touchdown passes this season; the Patriots have only three, their fewest through eight games since 1973. Jim Plunkett was the team's quarterback then. One of this year's TD throws didn't even come from Newton but Jarrett Stidham.
Newton has gone four straight games without a touchdown pass and is without one in five of his seven starts. In his last 10 games dating to the end of the 2018 season, Newton has two touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. He has done plenty of damage as a runner, though. In several circumstances where the Pats could try play action near the goal line and Newton could get a TD pass, he usually just runs it in. William Hill gives Newton an Over-Under of 1.5 TD passes on Sunday, but the Under is a -250 favorite.
Baltimore has one of the NFL's best defenses and has allowed only 10 TD passes, tied for second-fewest in the league. That unit will be without one of its best players, though, as Pro Bowl defensive end Calais Campbell injured his calf in last Sunday's win over Indianapolis and likely will miss multiple games.
His streak of 98 consecutive games played dating to Week 8 of 2014 when he was a member of the Cardinals will end. The Ravens will get back Pro Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey, however. He missed the Colts game after testing positive for COVID-19. Humphrey has been a Defensive Player of the Year candidate this year with 39 tackles, 2.5 sacks, one interception and four forced fumbles.
Speaking of Defensive Player of the Year, Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore won it last season but has missed the past two games with a knee injury. It's not looking good for him to play Sunday.
Last season, the Patriots traveled to Baltimore with an 8-0 record and lost 37-20 also in a Sunday night game. The Ravens haven't played at Gillette Stadium since December 2016.
Under Bill Belichick, the Patriots are 12-3 against the spread all-time as a home dog. However, New England is 0-3 ATS in primetime this year after having to stage a huge rally Monday night and avoid utter embarrassment vs. the Jets. Newton entered the game 1-38 in his career as a starting QB when trailing by double digits in the fourth quarter.
Via SportsLine oddsmakers: Will Cam Newton throw a TD pass Sunday?
- Yes -220
- No +170
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