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Broncos Favorites in Week 1 TNF Game Against the Ravens

Baltimore Ravens vs. Denver Broncos Preview – 2013-14 NFL Week 1

Kick-Off: Thursday, September 5th 2013 at 8:30pm ET.
Location: Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado
Watch: Live on NBC

The reigning Super Bowl champions, Baltimore Ravens, travel to Mile High in week 1 to open up the 2013 NFL regular season against the Denver Broncos. The Ravens defeated the Broncos 38-35 in double overtime in the AFC Divisional Round last year in the playoffs.

Baltimore is an impressive 5-0 ATS in their last five season openers, but this isn’t the same Ravens as in year’s past. Last season was a great year for Peyton Manning and the Broncos until their early exit from the playoffs, but now they have a shot at revenge.

Ravens vs. Broncos Betting Line Movement

BAL vs DEN Opening Line: Broncos -9 & Over/Under 49.5

When the line first opened months ago early money came in on the Broncos and the spread moved to -10 at most shops. Late money has been coming in on the Ravens recently and the current points spread is -8.5 points in favor of the Denver Broncos.

With the -8.5 line a lot of bettors will be looking to tease the Broncos down to -2.5 points at home. The game total dropped from the opening line of 49.5 to 47.5 at most shops last month, but now the over/under is staying steady at 48 points at Bovada.

Bovada Sportsbook Live Odds
Point Spread
Money Line
Game Total
Baltimore Ravens
+8.5 (-110)
Over 48 (-110)
Denver Broncos
-8.5 (-110)
Under 48 (-110)

How Will the New Look Baltimore Defense Perform in Week 1

In two games against the Broncos last season (Week 15 & AFC Divisional Round) the Ravens defense allowed Manning to throw for 494 passing yards (4 TD’s). Denver also rushed for 288 yards on the ground in those two match-ups, which is a lot against Baltimore.

With Ray Lewis (Retired), Paul Kruger (Browns), Ed Reed (Texans), Dannell Ellerbe (Dolphins) and Bernard Pollard (Titans) all gone on the defensive side of the football, the Ravens are going to need some of their new talent to step up and make up for the losses.

The front seven should do fine with the addition of Elvis Dumervil at outside linebacker, but the secondary has question marks. Last season the Ravens defense allowed 1 point per 16.3 yards (8th) while the Broncos offense scored 1 point per 13.2 yards (2nd).

Denver’s offense should be even more potent this year with the addition of Wes Welker to compliment the already strong WR duo of Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker. After releasing Willis McGahee there is some question marks at RB, but I like rookie Montee Ball.

Can Joe Flacco Meet Expectations After Losing Anquan Boldin

Flacco inked a $120.6M contract this off-season and expectations in Baltimore are high. Boldin (49ers) is gone and he was one of the most clutch receivers in the NFL on 3rd downs. Now Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones and the rest of the receiving corps have to step it up.

The good news is that the Ravens should improve in the rushing department with an increased workload. Last season Baltimore had an average of 118.8 RYPG (11th) and an average of 4.30 yards per rushing attempt (13th), but that’s likely to improve.

I expect Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce to have success against Denver. The Broncos only allowed 91.1 RYPG on defense last year, but they lost Dumervil and Von Miller is suspended for the first six games of the NFL regular season for violating the league’s drug policy.

How I See This Thursday Night Football Game Playing Out

Throughout his career, Manning has been solid in revenge situations and he has been thinking about this game for months. With his offensive weapons it’s going to be tough to stop the Broncos. To end last season the Broncos scored 30+ points in their L4 games.

Denver (7-1 @ Home) went 5-2-1 ATS, but they were a perfect 4-0 SU/ATS against the NFC North in the regular season. However, it’s going to be tough to cover such a big week 1 point spread, especially on national television in the season opener on a Thursday night.

Baltimore will want to quiet critics about their defense early and this is the perfect opportunity against the best offense. I expect the Ravens to play inspired football defensively and Rice will be able to pick up enough yards on the ground to keep them in the game.

Joe Flacco will have to play well and avoid turnovers, which have been a problem already in the preseason. I don’t put much weight into the preseason games, but Flacco hasn’t looked too sharp. If he plays like he did in the playoffs the Ravens will be a good team.

While I like the Ravens at +8.5 or preferably +9 if you can get that still, I think the over 48 points presents better value. Both games between these two went over the total last season. They combined for 51 points in week 15 and 73 points in the playoff game.

Denver is going to score a lot of points this season and with the Ravens defense still gelling together Manning should have a big game along with his WR trio. Flacco has a lot to prove and with Miller out for this game Rice is in a great position to put up big numbers.

If you’re betting on teasers in week 1 make sure you grab the Broncos at -2.5 while you can. Denver should definitely win this game at home, but I just don’t think it’s going to be a blow-out like many expect. This game will most likely go down to the wire.

ScottThis article was written by Scott

Scott is one of the original degenerates working for MobileSportsBetting.com. Although he's most successful betting on NFL football and international soccer, he's also active in UFC and NHL hockey betting.

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