Broncos vs. Ravens: Spread Info, Line and Predictions

Pete Schauer@@Pete_SchauerCorrespondent IDecember 14, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 06:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos calls an audible at the line of scrimmage during their game against the Oakland Raiders at Coliseum on December 6, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens (9-4) will have their hands full on Sunday when they host Peyton Manning and the 10-3 Denver Broncos with playoff implications on the line.

Denver has already clinched the AFC West but is looking to earn a first-round bye, as it's currently tied with the New England Patriots (10-3), with the Pats owning the tie breaker from a Week 5 win over the Broncos.

The Ravens hold a two-game lead in the AFC North, but with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals breathing down their necks, Week 15 is a must-win for Joe Flacco and Baltimore.

Let's get into it.

Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, M.D.

When: Sunday, Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. ET

Watch: CBS

Live Stream: NFL Game Rewind

Spread: Ravens (+2.5) via Bet Online

I have to go with Manning and the Broncos on Sunday.

Having won eight games in a row, Denver enters M&T Bank Stadium as one of the hottest teams in the NFL and an obvious favorite in my mind.

With Denver's offense rolling and the Ravens defense struggling, I think the Broncos take this one on the road.

Over/Under: 48 (Bet Online)

Betting trends this season say to take the over.

According to Bovada, the spread has gone over in seven of Denver's last 10 road games and five out of the Ravens' last six home games.

Both of these teams are averaging at least 25 PPG, and I think that trend continues on Sunday afternoon.

I'm going with the over.

Key Injuries (via USA Today)


WR Demaryius Thomas—Shoulder—PRB


LB Ray Lewis—Tricep—QST

LB Terrell Suggs—Bicep—QST

RB Ray Rice—Hip—PRB

FB Vonta Leach—Ankle—QST

WR Jacoby Jones—Ankle—PRB

DE Pernell McPhee—Thigh—QST

Fantasy Big Plays

Broncos: Demaryius Thomas

Thomas has clearly established himself as Manning's No. 1 option, as evident by the fact that he ranks No. 5 in the NFL in receiving yards.

Boasting five 100-yard receiving games and eight touchdowns this season, Thomas should be a fantasy stud against a Ravens defense that's 23rd against the pass.

Having already surpassed the 1,000-yard mark this season and scored four touchdowns in his past four games, Thomas is your man on Sunday.

Ravens: Anquan Boldin

Boldin was the man against the Washington Redskins, gaining 78 yards and two touchdowns in the overtime loss.

He's the leading receiver on the Ravens, having caught more passes for more yards than teammate Torrey Smith while being targeted the most by Flacco.

Denver hasn't given up many yards through the air (No. 7 in the NFL), but they have allowed 22 aerial touchdowns, which is why Boldin is a solid start in Week 15.

Key to Broncos Win: Pound It on the Ground

Baltimore's defense has allowed a mere 12 touchdowns in the passing game, but they have struggled against the rush.

They're allowing nearly 130 YPG and have given up 12 rushing touchdowns, which is why the Broncos need to utilize Knowshon Moreno to his fullest on Sunday.

Coming off of his best game of the season (119 yards and a touchdown), Moreno will be the key to a Broncos' win on Sunday.

Key to Ravens Win: Mistake-Free Game by Flacco

The Ravens don't want to get into a shootout with Manning and the Broncos, which is why Flacco needs to avoid turnovers and keep Denver's offense off the field.

Flacco has 18 TDs to just nine interceptions this season, but he has also fumbled six times, which can't happen against a defense that boasts Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil, who have each forced six fumbles this season.

Having thrown just three interceptions in his past six games, Flacco needs to make smart decisions and keep his turnovers to a minimum for Baltimore to beat the Broncos.

Prediction: Broncos 31, Ravens 20

Manning and the Broncos will be too much for the Ravens' struggling offense.

I think Flacco makes some mistakes and it ultimately costs Baltimore, as they can't keep up with Denver's high-scoring offense.

Make it nine straight for the Broncos.

For more information on this game, click here.

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