It's a battle of two playoff teams in NFL Preseason action Friday night as the Detroit Lions travel to take on the Baltimore Ravens. The game is scheduled for an 8:00 pm EST start time and it will be televised nationally on FOX. Currently the odds for the game have the Ravens favored by 2.5 points.
Both of these clubs made the playoffs in 2011-12, so this year each team will be looking to make it back. The game is on national television with FOX, meaning the entire country will get a chance to see both the Lions and Ravens, two teams that have the ability to score a lot of points and be very good teams this season. The Lions dropped their opening game of the NFL Preseason last week after giving up 16 of Cleveland's 19 points in the second half. Detroit's first team offense looked pretty good on the first few drives, albeit against a Cleveland Browns defense. Yet, ultimately all that matters is that Detroit lost the game. Baltimore, on the other hand, scored 24 of its 31 points in the second half to beat the Atlanta Falcons on the road. Atlanta scored all 17 of its points in the first half. Matthew Stafford became just the fourth quarterback in NFL to throw for 5,000 yards in a single season, joining Dan Marion, Tom Brady and Drew Brees. Not bad company. But, with a receiver like Calvin Johnson, it makes it pretty easy to rack up the yardage. The duo makes up one of the best QB-WR combos in the NFL today. Baltimore will counter with the 1-2 punch of Joe Flacco at quarterback and Ray Rice at running back. All four offensive stars will probably see a decent amount of time tonight on the field as it's the second week of the post season and coaches like to get their starters more reps to prepare for the beginning of the regular season. Shaun Hill, backup QB for the Lions, looked good last week and probably will see a lot of time on the field. We're expecting a pretty good battle between two quality teams here tonight. The total is set at 39.5 points for the game, moving up two full points from where it opened.
Free Pick: We're playing the over in this game. Both of these teams can score points and both defenses are good, but we all know how preseason games go in regards to starters playing a lot of minutes. We are anticipating a game that sees a lot of running mixed in with some great plays through the air early on. Everyone knows Detroit is going to try and move the ball down the field through the air, so don't be surprised if they are able to score on Baltimore early with a TD pass. All in all, it's not hard to comprehend both of these teams reaching 20 points or so.
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