How To Bet On Lions Ravens – Ravens, Lions Clash In Preseason Matchup Of Playoff Contenders
The Baltimore Ravens came within a dropped pass of reaching the Super Bowl last season. If things go according to head coach John Harbaugh’s plan, 2012 will be a year of redemption for the franchise. The Ravens are hoping that their offense can finally match the level of the defense this coming year, and that it will be enough to finally capitalize on what appears to be a fast-closing championship window. After a rough first half to an eventual win over the Atlanta Falcons to open the preseason schedule, Baltimore’s starters will look to bounce back with a much better effort in their second online sports betting exhibition matchup as they host the Detroit Lions.
Detroit Lions @ Baltimore Ravens
Friday August 17, 2012 – 8:00 PM ET
M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland
NFL Betting Line: Baltimore Ravens – 1.5
Discipline has been a problem in an important offseason for the Lions, which became relevant again with a return to the playoffs under Jim Schwartz last season. Detroit parted ways with cornerback Aaron Berry after more off the field incidents over the summer, and while most of the starting positions have been determined, the defensive secondary and running back are two areas that remain unsettled.
NFL Betting Preview: Detroit Lions
One reason that the Lions were comfortable cutting ties with Berry even after losing Eric Wright to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers via free agency is that rookie corner Bill Bentley has really impressed so far. Bentley was a standout in camp, defended two passes with a tackle in his preseason debut, and should be in line for a starting job. Quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Shaun Hill both looked good for Detroit despite the former throwing an interception, but with injuries to both Jahvid Best and Mikel Leshoure there are question marks at running back. Joique Bell emerged with 89 yards rushing on 16 carries including three first downs on one drive in the preseason opener, and appears to be the frontrunner to land that spot behind Best and Leshoure on the depth chart.
NFL Betting Preview: Baltimore Ravens
Quarterback Joe Flacco looked great in his first action of 2012, completing 9-of-12 passes for 88 yards and a touchdown, taking two sacks while standing tall in the pocket. Wide receiver Torrey Smith was his main target with three catches for 43 yards, and he continues to look more and more like the No. 1 receiver Harbaugh believes he can be. Baltimore’s offensive line will need to do a better job keeping its quarterbacks upright, although credit has to be given to a strong performance by the Atlanta defensive line in that game. Running back Ray Rice managed just four yards on three carries and couldn’t possibly do less in this game unless he doesn’t play. The Ravens’ defense was beaten up pretty badly by Matt Ryan and the Falcons’ aerial attack in the first half of the opener, and while it is still only preseason that is not something any coordinator or head coach wants to see in live game action.
NFL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick
Both of these franchises feel they have a chance to be legitimate Super Bowl contenders this season, and the football betting future odds agree with that assessment. But this is still the preseason and while it is hard to assess what to expect from each side until the games that actually mean something in the standings, the Ravens should come out with a little more urgency after the way the starters played in Atlanta and of course playing in front of their home fans.
NFL Betting Pick: Baltimore Ravens