NFL Picks: Ravens vs. Broncos Opening Odds

Ross Benjamin

Sunday, September 1, 2013 9:16 PM GMT

Sunday, Sep. 1, 2013 9:16 PM GMT

The defending world champion Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos will get the 2013 NFL season under way on Thursday night at Sports Authority Field in Denver, Colorado.

The NFL Season is upon us. Check out our Week 1 Opening Odds Report!

Kickoff is set for 8:30 PM ET and the game is televised nationally on NBC. According to NFL odds, Denver is a 9-point favorite and the total set at 48. Who is the sure-fire sports pick in this game?

The Series

Since the turn of the century these two clubs have met 10 times. The Ravens have won 8 of the 10 meetings and have covered in 7 of the 10. The last 3 meetings have all taken place since 10/10/2010 and each of those contests went over the total with an average combined score of 57.3 points per game. The most noteworthy of the games played between these teams came in last season’s playoffs. Denver was the #1 conference seed and was a clear cut favorite to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. The Ravens came to town and pulled off a 38-35 upset as a 9.5-point underdog which propelled them to their second Vince Lombardi Trophy in franchise history.

Season Openers

The Ravens are a perfect 5-0 SU & ATS in their last 5 season openers and have won by an average of 16.2 points per game. The Ravens have covered 4 of their last 5 opening away games and won 3 of those 5 outright.

The Broncos have gone 8-4 in their last 12 season openers and covered 7 of those 12. Denver has won 12 of their last 13 home openers. Their only loss came at the hands of the Oakland Raiders 23-20 in 2011. Denver has gone 8-2 ATS in home openers since 2000 as a favorite of 9.5 or less.

Since the start of the 1993 season, any away underdog that won 10 or more regular season games in the previous year is a dismal 11-28 ATS (28.2%). If they’re an away underdog of 2.5 or more the number sinks to 8-24 ATS (25%). Lets continue on with this thought process. Any away underdog of 2.5 or more in their season opener, that won 10 or more regular season games in the previous year, and the total is 44.0 or more is an abysmal 1-15 ATS since 1999.

Inside the Team Numbers

Despite their world championship run a season ago, the Ravens were just 1-4 SU&ATS in their last 5 regular season games as an away underdog. The defending world champs have gone a perfect 5-0 SU & ATS in their last 5 games overall when the total is 45.0 or more while winning by an average of 11.0 points per game. The Ravens have gone 14-6 straight up and 13-7 ATS in their first 4 games of the season since 2008.

Since 11/11/2010 Baltimore has gone over the total in 7 of their last 8 games as a road underdog with a total of 48.5 or less. Baltimore has seen 4 of their last 5 games overall go over when the total is 48.0 or more. The only game that stayed under during that stretch was last season’s AFC Championship Game at New England. In the last 2 seasons Baltimore has gone over the total in 7 of 8 during their first 4 games of the year.

Denver has gone over the total in their last 5 games as a home favorite with an average combined score of 53.4 points per game. As a matter of fact the Broncos have gone over the total in 21 of their last 28 home games, and if the total was 40.0 or more in those contests they surpassed the number in 18 of the last 22. Since the start of the 2006 season Denver has gone a dismal 2-11 ATS as a home favorite of 7.5 or more.

The Final Take

For my NFL picks, I don’t have a strong lean on either side in this game, at the time of this writing. However, I see this as being a high-scoring, entertaining game. Baltimore is more explosive offensively than the Broncos and has a clear edge when it comes to quick strike ability. Denver was very efficient as well as dynamic offensively a season ago, and I predict they will be even better this season. Both defenses are playoff-caliber type units but neither will be mistaken for the 1985 Chicago Bears.

[gameodds]16/226868/?r3=349-19-192/us&r-1=349-19-192/us[/gameodds]

NFL Pick: Bet the Baltimore/Denver game OVER 48 points at William Hill 

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