NFL Picks: Falcons vs. Ravens Preseason Week 2

Jordan Sharp

Monday, August 12, 2013 5:30 PM GMT

It’s the battle of the birds in Week 2 of the NFL Preseason, as these two teams look to gear up for the regular season.

betting Odds for this game favor the Ravens at -3 ½, with a total of 39 ½. Will either of these teams put much stock in winning this game?

Week 1

The Ravens came out and destroyed the Bucs in Week 1of the Preseason, scoring 44 points for the game. Joe Flacco played two full series, which spanned the entire first quarter. Neither drive ended in a touchdown, and the first ended in an interception. However Flacco looked ok, going 7/9 for 57 yards in his two drives.

The Falcons on the other hand didn’t really play Week 1 to win, losing to the Bengals 34-10. Mike Smith has never been known as a preseason coach, and I think that might show up again here in Week 2. Matt Ryan played three series in the first quarter, with one leading to a field goal. However the Falcons have no reason to risk injury to any of their major skill players, and despite the fact that Steven Jackson played in two of those first three series, I doubt he sees much more playing time than that in this game. Julio Jones didn’t play at all in Week 1, nor did Tony Gonzalez and Roddy White only caught one ball before being taken out. Gonzalez won’t play in his game either, and Jones’ status is still up in the air after just returning to practice on Monday.

Smith’s preseason predictability 

Even though the underdog was the bet to be on in Week 1 of the preseason, I think we have to fade the Falcons here. The Ravens are dealing with some personnel battles that will help them in winning this game, and Smith doesn’t put much stock in the preseason, especially the first two weeks. Under Smith, the Falcons are 2-9 SU in Weeks 1 and 2 of the preseason, and I see no reason why that trend won’t continue this week.

Smith puts much more stock in Week 3, (4-1 SU in preseason Week 3 since taking over the Falcons) and with their sights on a Super Bowl, it would be really ironic if they suffered a key injury to the defending champs in the preseason. Even though the Ravens are slightly overvalued here, we can take care of that by buying a half point to give us more value on this NFL Pick.

[gameodds]16/227795/?r-1=43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

The Sharp Pick

John Harbaugh is 3-2 SU in Week 2 of the preseason in his career with the Ravens, and he is 12-9 ATS total in his preseason career. Despite both teams probably playing their starters longer, I like the depth that the Ravens have, and on top of that, they have some skill position battles going on, that might lead to a lucky score in this game.

Seeing as the early NFL Odds from BetOnline have the Ravens favored at -3 ½, buy the half point and lay the -3 with the Ravens. I see Harbaugh building off of their blowout win from last week, not regressing, and I see the Falcons continuing their early week preseason trends of losing SU and ATS.

My Pick: Ravens -3 (buying the half point to -120)