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Monday, September 2, 2013

NFL Preview 2013 Week 1: Ravens vs Broncos

Baltimore Ravens vs Denver Broncos

Market Watch

Way back in May, Las Vegas opened the Denver Broncos at -8.5 point favorites over the defending Super Bowl champions. At first glance this line seemed high, but given all the turnover in Baltimore and additions by Denver, it's not a huge surprise. The line has bounced around in the -8.5/-9.5 range ever since, and it's now settling in at -7.5 on the eve of kickoff. Money has consistently come in on the underdog, especially after the Von Miller and Champ Bailey news.

55 percent of the current bets are on Baltimore.


Bottom Line

I agree that this line was a little inflated at -9.5, but I see this Ravens teams as more of a revamped "good" team, rather than a retooled "great" team. Much like the Giants, they caught fire at just the right time and elevated their less than impressive regular season play.

There is a lot of turnover on the defensive side of the ball for Baltimore, and there are too many question marks on the defensive line and in the secondary for my liking. Could Dumervil be a game changer? Possibly, but I don't see it happening in Week 1 against Peyton Manning and company.

On paper, this Denver offense is primed to be even better in 2013 and they get to open up at home against a downgraded defense. On the flip side, even with Von Miller and Champ Bailey, this defense should be able to matchup against a depleted offense.

At -6.5, I'd have no problem riding the Broncos in this spot, but with the line being on the wrong side of 7, the only option I'd consider is teasing them down to -1.5. Otherwise, this game is a pass for me.
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