Most newsletters/cappers that I've read so far, it's only Wed., have picked the Ravens, except the one I quote below. He's right about the money trail, but again it's only Wed. According to Pregame, 82% is on the Ravens. If it continues at or near that pace, without a line change, ........
BALTIMORE OFFENSE: The Ravens' offensive line was a major question mark heading into this season, and things became worse for the unit when Ronnie Stanley suffered an injury. Stanley has missed the past two weeks, which hasn't affected the Ravens in the win-loss column because of Clyde Edwards-Helaire's fumble and the non-call on the delay of game that gave Justin Tucker a 66-yard attempt.
The Ravens haven't battled a fierce pass rush without Stanley either. The Raiders hounded Lamar Jackson in the opener, but the Chiefs and Trey Flowers-less Lions couldn't generate much pressure on Jackson. The Broncos will certainly do so, which could force Jackson into some mistakes. Jackson won't be able to lean on his primary weapons either, given that the Broncos have outstanding personnel on this side of the ball to limit them.
Jackson will be able to scramble for some first downs, but this sort of strategy won't be as potent as it was versus the Chiefs two weeks ago. Jackson won't be as brazen in every game because it's a 17-game regular season, and Vic Fangio will have his players prepared for this anyway.
DENVER OFFENSE: The Ravens were missing several defensive players last week because of a minor illness. They'll get those players back this week to help counter the Broncos' rushing attack. The Lions were able to move the chains via the ground game last week, but the Broncos may not have similar success.
The Ravens, however, don't have a very good pass rush. They need to blitz to get to the quarterback, which could prove costly against Teddy Bridgewater and his talented play-makers. Denver just lost K.J. Hamler for the year, but the team still has Courtland Sutton, the improving Tim Patrick and Noah Fant at his disposal. These players should have success getting open versus Baltimore's scheme.
It should also be noted that Bridgewater is lethal against the blitz. In his first two games, Bridgewater was a perfect 17-of-17 for 171 yards and four touchdowns against the blitz. Given that this is an important component to Baltimore's game plan, I'd say that Bridgewater has the upper hand in this matchup.
RECAP: Getting Bridgewater versus a blitz-happy defense isn't the only reason to love the Broncos this week. They are a completely disrespected team. No one is giving them any attention even though they're 3-0. Sure, they haven't beaten anyone, but they've demolished all of their opponents. They're aware that they have their doubters though. Pro Vaccine Talk even slotted them 16th in their power rankings, which is completely absurd.
I love that Denver will be looking to prove itself in this contest. This is a huge statement game for the Broncos, while the Ravens will undoubtedly be celebrating their inexplicable win over the Lions.
Thanks to the public not evaluating the Broncos properly, we appear to be getting a terrific number. I made this spread Denver -3. I nearly went to -3.5. However, this line is a pick 'em or -1. Despite the line being correct, there's a ton of public action coming in on the Ravens.
It's likely that the Broncos will be one of my top plays of the week. I'm interested to see Baltimore's injury report, but if Stanley and some defenders are sidelined again, this will be a five-unit wager.