Both the Baltimore Ravens and the Atlanta Falcons open up the 2012 NFL Preseason on Thursday night in the Georgia Dome. The game is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. EST start time and it will be televised on NFL RedZone. Currently the odds for the game have the Falcons as 1-point favorites with the total set at 34 points.
Most of the NFL Preseason totals are going to be in the low to mid 30s as historically teams struggle in their opening four games of the season that doesn't really matter. Tonight is expected to be a close game overall with just a 1-point spread difference between the Falcons and the Ravens based on the oddsmakers. If this were a regular season game, it might be smart to back the Ravens. Typically, oddsmakers are going to give the home team in the NFL 2.5-3 points based on playing in their own back yards. In other words, if a home team is only favored by a single point during the regular season, it might not be a bad idea to take the road guys.
However, this is the preseason and anything can happen, that's for sure. The Ravens and Joe Flacco are coming off a 12-4 season that saw them win the AFC North. In what many believed could be the next Super Bowl team from Baltimore, they had a serious run that was ended by the Patriots 23-20 in the AFC Championship game. This year's Ravens team is focusing on and expecting to get back to that same point they did last season, but taking it a step further and reaching the Super Bowl.
The Atlanta Falcons are another one of the NFL's teams that have a very high ceiling this year as they have the past few years. Last year Atlanta finished with a 10-6 record in the regular season but were embarrassed in the opening round of the NFL Playoffs, 24-2 at the hands of the eventual Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. What will the Falcons do this year? How will they respond in this game tonight from a playoff catastrophe that saw them not score any points offensively in their final game last year? Time will tell of course, but the Falcons are poised for another run and quarterback Matt Ryan will help them get there.
Free Pick: It's a pretty good guess to assume that the starters aren't going to play a lot of minutes in tonight's game. I'd be shocked if Flacco and Ryan played more than a single series in the game, which by the way is probably going to stay UNDER the posted total. We really like to take the under bets in the NFL Preseason as most teams aren't into a good groove at all and often have third and fourth string players on the field. It's only 34 points for this game, but we don't see it getting anywhere close to that number. Best bet in the contest is to take the UNDER.
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Wiseguy Franks Preparation for Football Season Host RJ Bell talks with Wiseguy Frank about his experiences last season, betting strategies, and this upcoming season.