The Broncos know they're fortunate to be 2-0 – and extending their unbeaten streak will be a daunting task as they head to M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday for a date with the Baltimore Ravens.
The Broncos have won their first two games by a combined four points, defeating visiting Seattle and Oakland before hitting the road for the first time this season. The Ravens opened the campaign by walloping the Buffalo Bills 47-3 but ran into an offensive buzzsaw in the Cincinnati Bengals, who rolled to an 11-point victory last weekend.
NFL Point Spread and Betting Analysis
The Ravens are a comfortable favourite in this one after flexing their muscles on both sides of the ball in that 44-point home rout of Buffalo to open the season. Baltimore has gone 5-1 SU in its past six games as a home fave while surpassing the 40-point barrier on three occasions – but those are the only three games the Ravens have covered in that span. But the Broncos have been accommodating visitors of late, having gone 0-6 SU and ATS in their last six games as a road underdog while losing four of those by double digits and scoring 20+ points only once.
The total for this one sits at 43.5; Denver comes in as one of the strongest over plays in September, having gone 7-1 O/U in its last eight games in the month. And the Ravens have measurable over trends to match, having gone 6-1 O/U in their last seven home games against teams with winning records and 5-0 O/U in their previous five contests following an ATS loss last time out. And while there isn’t much history between the teams – they’ve met only a handful of times this decade – the over has cashed in four of their previous five meetings.
The Denver-as-Road-Underdog narrative might be difficult to ignore – but there are signs that the Broncos could surprise. They’re averaging 5.2 yards per carry on 60 attempts so far, led by undrafted rookie Phillip Lindsay and his 173 rushing yards on just 29 totes. And while quarterback Case Keenum (59.5-percent completion rate, 3 TDs, 4 INTs) has struggled, his primary target hasn’t. Emmanuel Sanders has become Keenum’s No. 1 option and is running with the opportunity, having hauled in 14 passes on 15 targets for 231 yards and a score.
The Ravens are a frustratingly inconsistent team from an offensive perspective, and they’ve got fans and bettors alike shaking their heads again this week. Head coach John Harbaugh says he’s not committed to using electrifying quarterback Lamar Jackson regularly, saying his usage will be “week-to-week, game plan to game plan.” While Jackson has been used primarily as a decoy in 2-QB sets, his speed makes him almost certain to invigorate a rush attack that has produced just 183 yards on 56 carries – good for a paltry 3.3 yards-per-carry average.