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NFL Preseason Betting: Ravens Continue To Push Forward Amidst Major Change

Posted by Stan Simmons on 8/19/2013 8:35:52 PM

The Baltimore Ravens said goodbye to an impressive list of veteran players that included Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Dannell Ellerbe, and Paul Kruger on the defense alone this past offseason, not to mention the loss of Anquan Boldin on offense. However, the Ravens did a good job of filling those voids in the offseason, and have looked good in back-to-back preseason wins. Next up for Baltimore is a date with the Carolina Panthers, a team that seems to be close but not quite there yet. The starters should see some extended playing time in week three, so it should provide a good indication of where these teams are.

Keep An Eye On: Cam Newton

The Panthers need their biggest superstar to play at an elite level in order for them to succeed, but Newton struggled with his consistency throughout all of last season and that has been the case again in these exhibition games. Newton completed less than half of his passes in last week’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, hitting 8-of-17 for 112 yards and failing to lead a touchdown drive. Carolina did manage to get two second-quarter field goals and it still is exhibition play, but head coach Ron Rivera will need his first-team offense to play with a greater sense of urgency this week. Playing the Ravens’ defense on the road will be an excellent test for Newton, so keep an eye on him this week as the NFL sports betting experts try and get a better idea of where he stands at this point in the year.

Watch The Progress Of: The Ravens Defense

For the first time in more than a decade the Baltimore defense will not have Ray Lewis lined up in the heart of their unit, and when you factor in all of the other pieces they lost it makes this group worth keeping an eye on. The Ravens rallied late to steal a win in last week’s online sports betting game against the Atlanta Falcons, but not before giving up 422 total yards of offense and conceding a 20-7 deficit through two quarters. Baltimore added several new pieces on defense including linebacker Elvis Dumervil and safety Michael Huff, and it will be interesting to see how this group continues to progress with the regular season just a couple of weeks away now.

Outlook:

Last week it was the Ravens’ third-string offense that guided the comeback online sportsbook win over the Falcons to improve to 2-0 in the preseason, a testament to the depth on this team and head coach John Harbaugh’s determination to fight for every win regardless of whether it counts or not. Baltimore is still progressing on both sides of the ball after dealing with so much turnover a year ago, but the Ravens are already further along than Carolina, and should be able to cover a field goal at home in this one.

Odds: Ravens – 2.5
Pick: Ravens – 2.5


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