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Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos Free Pick 9/5/13

Denver Broncos (0-0) vs. Baltimore Ravens (0-0)

NFL Football: Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 8:30 pm (Sports Authority Field at Mile High)

The Line: Denver Broncos -8.5 -- Over/Under: 48 See the Latest Odds

TV: NBC

The Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos face off on Thursday Night in Denver as they kick off the 2013 NFL season.

The Baltimore Ravens got hot at just the right time last season and they rode the hot streak all the way to a Super Bowl win. While the Ravens are the defending Super Bowl Champions, the expectations aren’t these this season as they had several key players depart. Joe Flacco is back and now with the title of Super Bowl winner attached to his resume he is ready to prove he is one of the best in the NFL. Ray Rice is one of the top running backs in the NFL and despite his limited size he is extremely tough as well as possessing breakaway speed. Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones are the primary receivers with Smith emerging as one of the better pass catchers in the game. With Dennis Pitta injured Ed Dickson and veteran Dallas Clark will look bring production from the tight end spot. Defensively the Ravens are without the departed Ray Lewis and Ed Reed but they are younger and still have a load of talent. Haloti Ngata us a beast in the middle of the defensive line, Terrell Suggs is of of the premier pass rushers in football, and Lardarius Webb is only getting better at corner. The Ravens aren’t getting a lot of respect and look for them to play with a chip on their shoulder.

Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos Free Pick 9/5/13

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos are one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl this season and after losing in brutal fashion in the playoffs to the Ravens last season they are looking to avenge the loss. Peyton Manning is back for what could be his final NFL season though last season he still looked to have at least something left in the tank. The Broncos haven’t had any one back stand out enough to take the starting running back job so it’s “by committee” with Ronnie Hillman, Montee Ball, and Knowshon Moreno. Demaryius Thomas found his game last year with Manning throwing to him and with Wes Welker playing across from him it should open things up even further. Defensively the Broncos aren’t even as good as they were a year ago losing Von Miller for the first six games of the year and blundering away Elvis Dumervil. Weseley Woodyard will lead the linebackers and the Broncos will try and fill in for Miller by using several players but barring them all playing at once it just isn’t going to happen. The Broncos secondary has a lot to prove after being roasted by the Ravens in the clutch moments of the playoff meeting last season. Denver isn’t short of motivating factors here it is more a matter of if they have the talent.

Denver is 4-1 against the spread in their last five games and 4-1 against the spread against the AFC. Baltimore is 5-2-1 against the spread in their last eight road games, 4-0 against the spread in their last four games, and 5-0 against the spread in their last five week one games. The favorite has covered the spread in four of the last five meetings of these two.

With Peyton Manning and Joe Flacco and league rules that cater to high scoring games we should have some fireworks here and my free pick is going to be on the over. My stronger play is on who will cover the spread and I will post that NFL pick in the Premium Area.

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Over 48

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