Week two of the preseason is here. Throughout the next few weeks, NFL bettors will get a better idea where the value will hide once the regular season begins. In this game, the Ravens host the Lions in a battle that should at the
very least see a few big hits.
NFL odds makers favor the home Ravens by -3, and while both teams will want to get their first
teams a little time in this game, we will still see at least half of the game played
by subs. That being said, who do you like in this matchup? Will the Ravens
continue their solid play from last year, or will the Lions begin to turn
around their tumultuous offseason?
Last week recap
The Ravens demolished the Falcons in their first preseason
game. Joe Flacco looked sharp, completing 9/12 passes for 88 yards and a
touchdown. After Flacco went out, Curtis Painter came in the game. As you might recall, Painter was made Colts fans cringe last season when he replaced an injured Peyton Manning. Painter not only played well last week but almost locked
up Baltimore’s backup QB position with one game. Painter threw three
touchdowns to lead the Ravens.
Lions didn’t start their preseason like they had hoped, losing to the Browns 19-17. Matt
Stafford was only in for a short time and, while in the game, he threw
an interception. The Lions’ defense didn't have a good outing, either. Of course, the starters didn’t play much but, either way, the Lions gave up almost 450
yards of total offense to the Browns. Preseason or not, that isn’t the way you
want to start your season.
What to expect
most teams in the NFL, starters will see more game time in this, the second game of the preseason, and maybe even some game planning. I
see no reason not to love the Ravens here. Baltimore has a vastly better
defense than the Lions. Even if the Lions’ outstanding front four play more than they did against Cleveland, that’s about all they have. Baltimore
will be utilizing the pass more than last year, and the Lions’ pass
defense won't be able to keep up.
Furthermore, if Painter can come in and relieve Flacco like he did last week, I
don’t see the Lions even being able to put up a fight. Although I expect Stafford to
play much better, it could be a long night in Baltimore
for the Lions if he doesn't.
The Sharp Pick
exception of 2008 - which was John Harbaugh’s first season with the Ravens - Baltimore has taken the preseason very seriously. Since 2009, the Ravens are 12-2 SU in the preseason
under coach Harbaugh. They have lost only one preseason game out of four every
year, and I expect that trend to continue. Lay the points with the Ravens.
Pick: Ravens -3