Denver Broncos vs. Baltimore Ravens: Betting Odds, Preview, Prediction

OddsShark.comFeatured ColumnistSeptember 4, 2013

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 24: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos hands the ball off to running back Ronnie Hillman #21 against the St. Louis Rams at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on August 24, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

It's the rematch every NFL fan has been waiting for, especially the ones with 303 area codes.

Those with Denver phone numbers suffered through the Baltimore Ravens' Super Bowl run while their Broncos were left mulling a double-overtime playoff loss. Needless to say the Broncos have been waiting a long time to avenge the defeat.

Welcome to the 2013 campaign, as the Ravens open the season Thursday in Denver, where the Broncos are laying a consensus 7.5 points at most shops monitored by to accompany the posted total of 48.

Many have been concerned for the Ravens, who have covered the spread in five straight season-openers, coming into the season without their leader Ray Lewis (now retired) and Ed Reed (now a Texan). But the Broncos might not be any better off with their stop unit, without Elvis Dumervil (now a Raven) and Von Miller (suspended).

With Denver's pass rush changed up, it'll be interesting to see how Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco, who followed a rather ordinary regular season (3,817 yards, 22 TDs, and 10 INTs) with a stellar showing in the playoffs (1,140 yards, 11 TDs, 0 INT). Some critics have wondered aloud but the Super Bowl MVP's sub-par preseason (344 yards, 2 TDs, 4 INTs.).

He'll have his hands full in challenging Peyton Manning, the 2012 Comeback Player of the Year after guiding the Broncos to the No. 1 seed in the playoffs and 11 consecutive wins to close the regular season. Denver starts the season as co-favorites to win the Super Bowl, while the Ravens are favored to miss the playoffs entirely.

He has his receiving corps of Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker back after they both went over 1,000 yards and combined for 179 catches and 23 touchdowns in 2012. They'll be joined by veteran Wes Welker, who hauled in a minimum of 111 passes in five of six seasons as a member of the New England Patriots.

The Ravens won and covered all four playoff games last season after failing to cover in 10 of their last 14 during the regular season. They come into the 2013 season on additional spread streaks of 5-0 in Week 1 and 11-5 in September.

The Broncos, meanwhile, have covered their last four Thursday night appearances and 4-1 in intra-conference play.

On a total note, the Broncos have gone over the posted number in 36 of 54 since the 2009 season, while the Ravens have soared in seven of their last eight in September.

Taking a look within this series, the Ravens are on a 9-2 ATS win streak against Denver and have covered four of five in the Mile High town. The favorite is on a 4-1 ATS spree.

Computer Prediction: 36-27 Denver according to the Odds Shark computer


Stats, trends and lines courtesy of Follow Mike Pickett on Twitter.