The Baltimore Ravens will pay a visit to Lincoln Financial Field this Sunday afternoon to square off against Philadelphia in the Eagles home opener. The game is slated to get underway at 1 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast locally on CBS.
This betting preview is part of an ongoing series that started with Game 1 of the preseason where I take an in-depth look at each and every Eagles game this year and offer a free NFL pick using Doc’s Sports Unit Betting System. The point is to show that specialization can be a successful sports betting strategy.
Instant $250 Free Bonus Bet from Bovada -
Betting Lines by 5Dimes
Pointspread: Philadelphia -1
Total Line: 46.5
Game Overview: Baltimore
The general consensus from the betting public is that this Baltimore team is lock to win this week after an impressive debut against Cincinnati this past Monday night. The Ravens completely outplayed their AFC North foe in every phase of the game en route to a 44-13 pasting as seven-point favorites at home. Front and center in the line of stars for their prime-time performance was quarterback Joe Flacco. Head coach John Harbaugh finally decided to take the reins off his four-year starter and it resulted in a 21-of-29 performance for 299 yards and two touchdowns. He was able to improvise at the line of scrimmage and make the big plays when he needed to the most. Ray Rice complemented the passing attack with 68 yards on the ground on just 10 carries.
There were concerns about Baltimore’s aging defense heading into the season without all-pro linebacker Terrell Suggs in the lineup for the foreseeable future, but both Ray Lewis and Ed Reed looked like 20-somethings flying all over the field. Reed’s 34-yard interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter essentially put the game out of reach.
Game Overview: Philadelphia
Michael Vick saw minimal action in the preseason due to minor injuries, and the rust showed in a very shaky performance against Cleveland last Sunday. The Eagles escaped with a narrow 17-16 win as nine-point favorites on the road and needed a last-minute score to avoid complete disaster. Vick ended the day throwing for 317 yards and two touchdowns, but he put the ball up 56 times and was picked off four times. The biggest concern was his obvious indecision in the pocket that led to most of these mistakes. I would not expect another performance like this against the Ravens, but it may take a few weeks before he returns to form.
The good news in this game was the performance of some other key players and the defense as a whole. This team is still having problems with costly penalties, but LeSean McCoy looked good running the ball with 110 yards on 22 carries and Jeremy Maclin hauled in seven receptions for 96 yards, including an 18-yard scoring strike late in the first half. Philly’s defense held the Browns to just 210 yards of total offense and made life miserable for rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden.
Game Betting Trends
These two teams meet only once every four years so it is hard to draw any conclusions from past head-to-head matchups. The Ravens are now 10-3 against the spread in their last 13 games in September but they are just 2-8 ATS in their last 10 following a Monday night game. The Eagles are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 home games and 1-5 ATS in their last six Week 2 games.
Sunday’s contest will be much closer than most people expect, but you cannot ignore current form when trying to handicap an outcome. Vick could still turn things around overnight, but that will be hard to do against a quality defense like Baltimore. After losing three units last week betting on the Eagles using Doc’s Sports Unit Betting System, I am going with one unit against them this week.
Pick: Take #207 Baltimore (+1) over Philadelphia for 1 unit
Season Results: -2 Units (-$240)
Doc’s Sports is offering $60 worth of member’s NFL picks absolutely free – no obligation, no sales people – you don’t even have to enter credit card information. You can use this $60 credit any way you please for any NFL handicapper on Doc’s Sports Advisory Board list of expert football handicappers. Click here for more details and take advantage of this free $60 picks credit today.