NFL Betting: No Flacco, No Problem For Ravens NFLX Week 2

Jason Lake

Wednesday, August 17, 2016 2:45 PM UTC

Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016 2:45 PM UTC

Joe Flacco didn't play a down in the preseason opener, but the Baltimore Ravens still beat the NFL odds. Flacco probably won't face the Indianapolis Colts, either.

Baltimore Ravens vs Indianapolis Colts  
Joe Flacco hasn't taken a snap yet this preseason. Neither has Andrew Luck. But both their teams won their exhibition openers SU and ATS; the Baltimore Ravens (+1 at home) messed up our NFL picks by beating the Carolina Panthers 22-19, and the Indianapolis Colts scored a touchdown with no time left to down the Buffalo Bills (–2.5 at home) 19-18. Who needs a couple of broken-down starters, anyway?

That'll change when September rolls around. In the meantime, Flacco doesn't look like he'll suit up this Saturday (7:00 p.m. ET) when the Ravens visit the Colts. Luck, on the other hand, expects to see his first action since Week 9 of the 2015 regular season, when he was lost for the year with a lacerated kidney. Maybe that will be enough for the Colts to beat the NFL odds as 3-point home faves (+100). Then again, our early consensus reports show 96 percent support for Baltimore against the spread, and unanimous consent on the moneyline at +130.


Come Out and Play
Perhaps I was off the mark when I said the Ravens were unprepared for Carolina. Injured, yes, but not unprepared. As you can see by these preseason coaching records, Baltimore has a history of producing good results in August:

John Harbaugh, Ravens: 20-13 ATS, OVER 17-15-1
Chuck Pagano, Colts: 8-9 ATS, UNDER 9-8

We got cold feet with the Ravens last week because of their injuries on offense and their dubious QB depth. They were definitely overmatched in the first quarter, and Ryan Mallett did throw an interception. However, both he and Josh Johnson did a reasonable job in Flacco's absence. Mallett has enough talent to beat up on second-stringers; he's been unreliable in the regular season, but this isn't the regular season. You gotta keep 'em separated.


I Own This Place
Speaking of second-stringers, here are the QB depth charts for both teams at Rotoworld:

Ravens: Joe Flacco, Ryan Mallett, Josh Johnson, Jerrod Johnson
Colts: Andrew Luck, Scott Tolzien, Stephen Morris

Nothing much has changed since the start of the preseason. Tolzien and Morris both had decent days against Buffalo, each throwing a touchdown with zero picks or fumbles. But when it comes to Luck, you just never know what's going to happen anymore. He was supposed to get in a few snaps against the Bills, but owner Jim Irsay stepped in and tweeted that Luck wouldn't play. Maybe he'll do the same against the Ravens, especially with LB Terrell Suggs coming off the PUP list and getting in his first practices of the season. This isn't the kind of stuff we can put a percentage on, but even if Luck plays, we're inclined to stick with the program this time and ride with Harbaugh.

Free NFL Pick: Ravens +2.5 +107
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle
Preseason Record: 1-2 ATS, 1-0 Totals

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