Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers NFL Pick, Odds, Prediction - 8/7/14
San Francisco 49ers (12-4) at Baltimore Ravens (8-8)
NFL Football: Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 7:30 pm (M&T Bank Stadium)
The Line: Baltimore Ravens -1 -- Over/Under: 35 See the Latest Odds
The San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens will meet on Thursday night in their first preseason game of the 2014 season. Too bad a rematch of the Super Bowl is a meaningless preseason game, huh?
Anyway, the 49ers enter this season as Super Bowl contenders with an offense led by pretty much the same guys, including quarterback Colin Kaepernick and running back Frank Gore. One thing to pay attention to is the fact the 49ers are extremely thin at running back with Kendall Hunter tearing his ACL and LaMichael James fracturing his elbow. That means plenty of reps for rookie Carlos Hyde. The 49ers backup quarterback is Blaine Gabbert, the former starter for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who failed miserably and completed just 48.8 percent of his passes last season. The 49ers are still one of the best defensive teams in the league, but you’re likely not going to see the starters too much. Backup linebacker Corey Lemonier could have a big game.
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The Ravens have a lot of off-the-field issues going on surrounding running back Ray Rice, but the veteran back is allowed to participate in preseason games. Joe Flacco and the rest of the usual guys are returning, as is a healthy tight end in Dennis Pitta. You’re likely going to see a lot of rushing attempts, as the Ravens ranked 30th in rushing yards last year and will want to try and improve in that category. The Ravens backup quarterback is Tyrod Taylor, a dual-threat player who can make things happen with his legs but isn’t the most accurate quarterback in the world. Defensively, the Ravens are quite deep with linebacker Elvis Dumervil and Terrence Cody holding down the fort for the second unit.
In a pick em game, I'm going with the home team in the Ravens. Gabbert is brutal and while Taylor isn't much better at the quarterback position, he can at least make plays with his legs. I also like the Ravens backup defense better than the 49ers. Take the home team in this matchup.