How To Bet On Ravens Falcons – Falcons Will Open Preseason With More Urgency
The 2012-13 NFL season will mark an important point in the direction of the Atlanta Falcons. Head coach Mike Smith is 0-3 in the playoffs through four seasons with Atlanta, and after retooling his staff with new coordinators in the offseason, he will be on the hot seat to finally lead the Falcons to a playoff win. New offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has plenty of toys to work with, including franchise quarterback Matt Ryan, but new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan will have his work cut out for him as he looks to change the culture of the defense and work in more 3-4 looks while keeping the 4-3 intact. The Falcons host the Baltimore Ravens to open their 2012 preseason schedule, a matchup of two legitimate playoff contenders from their respective conferences.
Baltimore Ravens @ Atlanta Falcons
Thursday August 9, 2012 – 7:30 PM ET
Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
NFL Betting Line: Atlanta Falcons – 2.5
The Ravens came within a dropped pass of reaching the Super Bowl a year ago, but unlike in Atlanta the window isn’t as wide open for the Baltimore franchise to deliver on its title expectations. Head coach Jim Harbaugh will have his troops fired up to play with a sense of urgency from the first snap, and that makes this one of the more intriguing matchups for the first week of the preseason.
NFL Betting Preview: Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore has been a strong preseason option spanning back over the past three seasons, with a 7-3 record ATS in its last 10 exhibition contests. Harbaugh is excited about a strong rookie class, particularly on the offensive side of the ball where guard Kelechi Osemele and center Gino Gradkowkski could be pushed in to action early on. Second round pick linebacker Courtney Upshaw will be expected to contribute in the middle of the defense from the outset, and should fit in perfectly in the Ravens’ 3-4 scheme. While quarterback Joe Flacco isn’t expected to see much action in this game, Tyrod Taylor offers some sportsbook intrigue as a young prospect at that position.
NFL Betting Preview: Atlanta Falcons
There are a number of players on the Falcons’ roster that will be leaned on heavily this preseason to see what they can bring, including most notably running back Jacquizz Rodgers, who is expected to take on a bigger role in the offense behind veteran Michael Turner. Atlanta’s top-three receiving options are settled with wide receivers Roddy White, Julio Jones, and tight end Tony Gonzalez, but Harry Douglas has emerged as a legitimate threat in camp and could surprise. The Falcons’ defense has shown a little more swagger since Nolan came over with new cornerback Asante Samuel and linebacker Lofa Tatupu, and while they won’t see many snaps on the field, their presence alone could inspire a higher level of play on that side of the ball.
NFL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick
The Falcons haven’t been a great team in preseason openers under Smith with a 1-3 record ATS. However, with the new coordinators and offseason additions trying to help change the culture in Atlanta, it could add some urgency to their outlook for this game. The Falcons are talented enough to keep up with a Baltimore team likely to rest most of its veteran starters on the road for a preseason opener, and should be able to cover the field goal spread for this football betting contest.
NFL Betting Pick: Atlanta Falcons