These two teams will face off in Week 1 of the football preseason. The Bucs are favored coming into this game at -2.5, with the total set at 35 points. Should you add them to your sports picks, or should you choose the Ravens? Let's review each team.
Super Bowl hangover
It’s been widely documented this offseason that the Ravens have lost some key parts of both their offense and defense. Eight starters left via free agency, and another one went down with an injury just the other day. Dennis Pitta fractured his hip and had to have surgery to repair it on Sunday. He will definitely be out for the opener, and he could miss up to the entire season.
The Ravens on offense are better suited to take a hit, but they were heading into the season assuming Pitta was going to be the 2nd option in the passing game, behind Torrey Smith and just ahead of Ray Rice. With a battle already going on to man the 2nd starting receiving job, this is a huge problem. Now heading into preseason Week 1 next week, they will have to hold a battle at TE and WR to find out who will likely be the 2nd and 3rd options in the passing game. That could either hurt or help their Week 1 preseason NFL odds.
Coach John Harbaugh has been very good in the preseason in his tenure with the Ravens. He is 13-7 SU and is 4-1 SU in Week 1 of the preseason. Will the Ravens continue their trend of winning their first preseason game, or will the lack of holdover hurt their chances?
We continue our NFL offseason coverage with the Ravens Season Win Total Odds!
Tampa Bay battles
Josh Freeman is listed as the starting quarterback heading into the preseason, but he will be under a big microscope during that initial first week of games. I expect Greg Schiano will give the offense a little bit of a run in this game, but they are not without position battles on both sides of the ball either. In a report yesterday from camp, rookie Mike Glennon beat out all the other QBs on the roster in a skills test. I expect Glennon to get plenty of run in this game, and I think he will rise to the occasion, giving the Bucs some needed advantage in this game.
On offense, the Bucs also need to find a solid backup running back to Doug Martin, and I expect Tampa to run the ball hard with Glennon in the game. Veteran Brian Leonard and rookie Mike James will both get a lot of looks in this game. I expect both of these offensive battles to help the Bucs get the cover in this one, as the Ravens will look at this game more as an experiment and evaluation tool.
Don't forget to also check out our Buccaneers Season Win Total Odds!
The Sharp Pick
The Ravens will likely not play their starters very much in this game. Last preseason, the Ravens starters on offense only played a few series, while the Bucs’ players played most of the first quarter of Schaino’s first game. I see the Bucs with a lot more positions that need to be hammered out, and with the Ravens in no need of risking injury to a defense that lacks depth, I see the Bucs as victors in this one ATS.
Once Freeman gets done stinking, I think that the much more talented Mike Glennon, and the much more experienced Dan Orlovsky will take the Bucs home in this one. The Ravens’ backups at quarterback are Tyrod Taylor and Caleb Hanie. That could get ugly, and that’s why I’m adding the Bucs to my NFL picks.
NFL Pick: Bet the Bucs at -2.5 points
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