Ravens vs. Broncos: Complete Gambling Guide for Week 1 Matchup
The Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens are going to get the 2013 NFL season started off on the right foot, with one of the most anticipated matchups of the year taking place on a national stage.
Perhaps the only way to push the palpable excitement surrounding the contest to another level is to place a wager.
Whether the risk is small and between friends or worth a serious amount at a sportsbook, nothing can keep a sports fan on the edge of his or her seat more than having a personal investment in the action.
If you are willing to roll the dice and gamble on the opening NFL game, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading for information on the much-anticipated showdown, check out the latest lines, get some advice on how to bet the Broncos vs. Ravens and more.
When: Thursday, Sept. 5 at 8:30 p.m. ET
Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, Co.
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
Point Spread: Broncos -7.5 (via ScoresAndOdds.com)
Take the points here, largely because of what happened the last time the Ravens showed up as visitors to Mile High.
During the divisional round of the AFC playoffs, Baltimore was deemed a 9.5-point underdog against the heavily favored Broncos but wound up walking away with a straight-up victory in double overtime.
Which team will cover the 7.5-point spread?
Although some members of the supporting cast have changed since the Ravens won the Super Bowl this February, it’s still an elite team led by a top-notch quarterback in Joe Flacco and a great head coach in John Harbaugh.
Baltimore is capable of pounding the rock with Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, which should be extra effective with Denver’s superstar linebacker Von Miller out of the equation.
As long as the ‘dogs are moving the chains and utilizing a balanced attack to attack on offense, they will be able to keep the score close. Denver signal-caller Peyton Manning may do some damage, but Elvis Dumervil and the rest of the Ravens pass rush should be able to at least slow the former MVP.
It would be downright shocking if Denver were to walk away from the season opener with a victory margin of more than one touchdown.
Point Total: 48.5 (via ScoresAndOdds.com)
Lean towards the over, as the weather projects to be fair and both sides aren’t afraid to air it out.
Flacco and Manning both have great arms that can make all the throws, with the latter having three elite weapons to hit in stride.
Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker should be able to find plenty of separation from the Baltimore defense, while Torrey Smith projects to streak down the field, well past the Denver secondary and into the end zone.
If it turns into a war in the trenches, Rice and Pierce are more than capable of churning up yards and making big gains in key situations. The Broncos running back corps may not be as skilled, but Ronnie Hillman, Montee Ball and Knowshon Moreno can hold their own and could platoon to great effectiveness.
No matter how you cut it, this one is looking like a point bonanza.
Since the 2005 campaign, only one Super Bowl winning team has lost the following year’s opener. That was the 2012 New York Giants, who also failed to cover the spread—something that has only happened twice in that eight-year span.
None of those teams have had to start on the road, but the Ravens proved during their run through the AFC last year that travel is no detriment to their success.
The bottom line is that these Super Bowl winners are often full of confidence and ready to prove all the doubters wrong.
While no one is saying the Ravens will repeat as champions, they are tough and disciplined enough to come back to Mile High and punch the Broncos in the mouth one more time.
Discount Baltimore at your own risk, especially if you are betting against the spread.
Ravens 28 – Broncos 24
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