NFL Betting Preview: Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills

NFL Betting Preview:  Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills

Sunday morning NFL action pits the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens against the improving Buffalo Bills. The Ravens enter this contest with a 2-1 record–they were beaten by Denver in their season opener but have responded with back to back home wins over Houston and Cleveland. Buffalo is just 1-2 SU on the year but 2-1 against the spread and have been competitive in all three games. So far they’ve responded well to new head coach Doug Marrone and his spread offense appears to be a good fit for rookie quarterback EJ Manuel.

For some reason, however, there’s a sentiment that Baltimore is a mess and that they’re a team to ‘go against’ for the rest of this season–including this game. In fact, Buffalo is a very trendy pick this week among ersatz wise guys in Las Vegas. We’re not going to bite. First of all, we like Doug Marrone and think he’ll be a good fit for rebuilding the once proud Bills franchise. But to suggest that they’re ready to compete against a class opponent like this is a bit premature. So far they’ve had to limit the playbook on offense to keep things simple for their talented young quarterback Manuel and it’s highly unlikely that Baltimore’s defense–which may be better this year than last–will be fooled by anything in Buffalo’s ‘vanilla’ attack. Baltimore’s blitz oriented defense may have a little less effectiveness against the mobile Manuel but it will also force him into making the sort of quick decisions that frequently confound young quarterbacks.

Baltimore is expected to have running back Ray Rice back in the lineup for this game which should help their offense and take some of the pressure off of Joe Flacco. Ultimately, we’re not sold on the Bills being ready to beat a team of Baltimore’s class. We’ll lay the points with the road favorite and also play this game ‘Under’ the total. Buffalo’s defense is improving and both offenses have issues. The Ravens’ defense is still very good. Our score projections call for a final total in the mid 30’s which should keep this contest safely under the total.