NFL fans will learn how authentic the 3-0 Denver Broncos are this Sunday when they play the Baltimore Ravens at home.
The Broncos, 3-0 in the AFC West and 3-0 against the NFL betting spread, are 1-point favorites against the perennially tough Ravens, but Denver’s schedule makes many take the unblemished record with a grain of salt. Denver’s wins are against the New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets – three of the worst teams in the NFL, in fact all are 0-3.
Meanwhile, the Ravens are 2-1 in the AFC North and 1-2 ATS. All of Baltimore’s games have come down to the wire: Wins against Kansas City and Detroit and an OT loss to Las Vegas. Last week, they needed a superhero kicking effort from Justin Tucker, who booted an NFL record 66-yarder, to win the game against the Lions on the final play.
The Broncos stats should be viewed through the lens of drawing an incredibly easy schedule so far. Still, for NFL odds purposes, on paper this game is a matchup of Baltimore’s relentless running game (No. 1 in the NFL again, gaining about 185 yards a game) and Denver’s run defense (No. 2, giving up about 60 yards a game).
In early Maryland betting sites action, the money has been heavy on the Ravens with Baltimore (a 1-point or half-point underdog at most sportsbooks as of Thursday afternoon) attracting 82% of the public money on the spread and getting 90% of the cash on the moneyline at about -110. The O/U is 44.5 to 45.5 and the betting public likes the under by a 2-to-1 margin.
Prediction: The Broncos might be better than folks thought before the season but their 3-0 start is largely due to an incredibly easy schedule. The Ravens keep playing in tight games, and last week’s win should not have come down to Justin Tucker’s 66-yard FG (although in Denver, he might kick one 70 yards). Baltimore’s big problem has been injuries and the most worrisome are in the defensive secondary. Still, the Ravens have Lamar Jackson. Ravens 27, Broncos 17.