New Orleans Saints (7-9) at Baltimore Ravens (11-7)
|Date & Time||Thursday August 13, 2015, 7:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Baltimore Ravens -3 -- Over/Under: 37
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The New Orleans Saints and Baltimore Ravens play preseason ball Thursday night at M&T Bank Stadium.
The New Orleans Saints have a lot of work to do on the offensive side of the ball after losing a ton of key pieces. Drew Brees will have to find more weapons than just Marques Colston and Brandin Cooks in order for this side of the ball to be productive. The addition of C.J. Spiller certainly helps a backfield that struggled at times, but losing Kenny Stills and Jimmy Graham aren’t exactly light blows. Luke McCown is the No. 2 QB, but there’s a battle for third string between Ryan Griffin and rookie Garrett Grayson. Defensively, the Saints lost their leading tackler in Curtis Lofton and a guy with double-digit sacks in Junior Galette, but still have enough to build around with Jairus Byrd, Kevin Williams and Akiem Hicks on this side of the ball.
The Baltimore Ravens enter this season with almost the same team from last season and has to be a favorite to return to the playoffs. With another year of Joe Flacco, Steve Smith and Justin Forsett already in sync on the offensive end, you’re likely going to see a lot of Matt Schaub, who is the clear backup QB in Baltimore. Rookie tight end Maxx Williams is sure to get a lot of reps and Marlon Brown has a chance to expand his role at wide receiver. Defensively, the Ravens are still quite experienced and should turn to their younger core quite quickly. This includes players such as Zachary Orr, Rashaan Melvin and Brent Urban. Of course, it doesn’t help that Matt Elam, Tray Walker and Terrence Brooks are banged up.
The Saints are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games. The Ravens are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 Thursday games. Saints are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
The Ravens are not only at home, but they have an OK backup QB in Schaub who has tons of starting experience. The Saints don't have much after Brees. I like the Ravens and the low line here.