Broncos-Ravens Betting Preview: Should You Buy Denver’s 2-0 Record?
USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Von Miller, Joe Flacco
Betting odds: Denver Broncos at Baltimore Ravens
- Spread: Ravens -5
- Over/Under: 44.5
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: CBS
All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets
Betting market: Baltimore opened -4.5 and moved up to -5.5 before settling at -5 behind 59% of dollars wagered at the time of writing (see live betting odds and data here)
It’ll be interesting to monitor whether this line moves back up and if Denver buyback is waiting to hammer the Broncos at the key number of +6. — PJ Walsh
Trends to Know: Denver is one of seven 2-0 teams but the Broncos are sizable underdogs in Baltimore.
According to data in Bet Labs going back to 2003, undefeated teams that are underdogs of more than three points on the road have struggled to cover: 36-52-2 (41%) against the spread.
Denver has the worst point differential of the 2-0 teams and will be playing on the road for the first time in 2018. — John Ewing
The Broncos may be 2-0 SU, but in the betting world, they are one of nine teams currently without a cover in 2018.
In a league that still includes Hue Jackson, it’s pretty remarkable that Vance Joseph (4-12-1 ATS, -8.2 units) is the least profitable coach since the start of last season. — Evan Abrams
You hear a lot of chatter about Andy Reid’s success when he has additional time to prepare for an opponent and rightfully so, but you don’t hear as much as you should about John Harbaugh.
Of all coaches (active or not) in our database, Harbaugh is the third-most profitable coach ATS (19-11-2) when he has eight or more days to prepare for an opponent in the regular season, trailing only the aforementioned Reid and Bill Belichick.
Of active coaches, only Belichick has a higher ATS win percentage in this spot. — Stuckey
Injury watch: Broncos QB Case Keenum (knee) didn’t practice on Wednesday, but was a full participant in practice Thursday and will start Sunday.
Keenum may or may not have right tackle Jared Veldheer (concussion). The Denver defense could also be at less than 100%, as cornerback Adam Jones (thigh) and linebacker Brandon Marshall (knee) failed to practice on Wednesday or Thursday.
For the Ravens, rookie tight end Hayden Hurst (foot) will miss another week, but the rest of the skill position players are healthy after Alex Collins (illness) returned to a full practice Thursday. Left tackle Ronnie Stanley (elbow) should be considered questionable.
The defense is a bit more banged up, as linebackers C.J. Mosley (knee) and Matthew Judon (hamstring) were limited in practice on Thursday, and defensive tackles Willie Henry (hernia) and Michael Pierce (foot) have failed to practice all week.
DFS edge: Ravens CB Brandon Carr is likely to shadow WR Demaryius Thomas. This isn’t ideal for Thomas, considering Carr has allowed a passer rating of just 5.0 when he’s been targeted this season (Pro Football Focus).
On a positive note, Emmanuel Sanders has run 71% of his routes from the slot this with the Broncos. Keenum has fared well when targeting him, completing 14-of-15 passes for 231 yards and one touchdown.
Sanders should be able to dominate slot corner Tavon Young, who has allowed a passer rating of 149.5 when targeted this year. Per the FantasyLabs Player Models, Sanders’ $6,900 price tag on FanDuel comes with a 94% Bargain Rating. — Justin Bailey
Bet to watch: Ravens -3 1H
Joe Flacco should be the perfect answer to the Broncos’ stout front four.
This season Flacco has the fourth-most dropbacks in the NFL, but just 27.4% of his dropbacks have been pressured, the seventh-lowest mark in the league.
Flacco’s first-half numbers are also superb — especially at home.
In 78 career first halves at home, Flacco has thrown more than one interception only once, and since the start of 2016, he has 13 touchdowns and just two picks in the first half at home against non-divisional opponents.
The veteran quarterback is 46-28-4 (62.2%, +15 units) against the first-half spread at home. That makes Mr. Elite the most profitable QB in the NFL in that spot since being drafted by the Ravens in 2008.
As Stuckey noted, Harbaugh is fantastic with extra prep time, and that includes a 19-12-1 record against the first-half spread. — Evan Abrams
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.