Week 3 of the NFL Preseason is almost always a dress rehearsal for teams, and the starters always get the most preseason playing time. The NFL odds favor the Ravens here at -3, with a total of 42 points. Who should we back in this Week 3 battle with our sports picks?
The Panthers only mustered up 9 points against the Eagles in Week 2. The Eagles turned things around nicely after their Week 1 embarrassment, but it proves that the transition of offensive coordinators in Carolina is going slower than we thought. Cam Newton was only 8-17 with 112 yards during the game. The Panthers’ offense failed to score a touchdown on a very soft Eagles’ defense, and Carolina’s offense only mustered up 278 total yards of offense. Even though they won in Week 1, it’s not like the offense played well there either.
For the Ravens, it looked like their preseason Week 2 game was headed for a loss, but a huge punt return for a touchdown by Asa Jackson late in the 4th quarter sealed the deal for the win, and likely Jackson’s roster spot. Joe Flacco was 7-9 passing with a touchdown and an interception during the game.
John Harbaugh now boasts a career preseason record of 13-9 ATS and 15-7 SU while Ron Rivera is now 5-5 ATS. With Week 3 coming up as a dress rehearsal, it’s hard for me not to like the champs, considering the obvious problems that are facing the Panthers right now on offense. Teams actually start to game plan for one another in Week 3, and in those scenarios, I’ll take Harbaugh any day.
Favorites take Week 2
While the underdog was the bet of Week 1 cashing in at 10-6 ATS, Week 2 saw a sharp turnaround in favorites cashing. NFL betting favorites went 10-5 ATS in Week 2 of the preseason. With that sharp of a turnaround, the betting odds for Week 3 are that much more interesting.
At only -3, I see the Ravens as undervalued here at home. Baltimore will want to throw the ball on the weaker pass defense for the Panthers, and even if the starters for Baltimore only play in the first half, I could easily see them putting up double digit points before coming out of the game. The Panthers have given up over 220 passing yards per game so far in the preseason, and those were against offenses not as good as the Ravens’.
The Sharp Pick
I see the Ravens staying undefeated ATS in the preseason after this game. With the kinks still needing to be worked out of the Panthers offense, combined with their below average passing defense, the Ravens should win this game rather easily.
Harbaugh’s preseason record really speaks for itself. In the exhibition games in Week 3, he is 4-1 SU in his career. The side with the steadier offense is going to win this game, and the fact that it’s the home team with the better coach makes it all that much more inviting. I see this line going up as the week goes on so, while you still can, lay the points with Baltimore.
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