Spread: Ravens by 5
Money Line: Broncos +180.00; Ravens -227.27
In a game where all the attention seems to go to the quarterbacks and defenses, it is nice to see one where the running backs are going to be the deciding factor. That will likely be the case when the Ravens and Broncos play this week.
Both teams have good quarterbacks. Joe Flacco is off to a great start for the Ravens this season. While Case Keenum has thrown four interceptions, he has led the team to wins. Both also have good defenses with Denver having the better pass rush and Baltimore the more effective secondary.
Denver has done a better job against the run, but neither are poor against the run.
The big difference is in the running game. Between Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman, Denver has one o the better run games in the NFL (157.0 yards/game; 2nd in the league). Baltimore, on the hand, is struggling to gain yards on the ground (91.5 yards/game; 23rd).
Denver’s ability to run the ball is going to force the Ravens to respect the run game and the passing game of the Broncos. This will, in turn, make it easier for Denver to succeed at whatever Baltimore doesn’t try to stop.
Since the Broncos don’t have much of a run game, the Denver front seven will be able to focus on rushing the passer.
The Ravens are living off their passing game and defense this season; a formula that will not work against Denver. However, if the Ravens were to win, it’s doubtful they do by more than three (so take the points).
As for the over/under—this one is going to be close. I’m going with the over.