Thursday Night NFL Picks – Super Bowl Champion Ravens Take on Denver Broncos in Season Opener

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The Baltimore Ravens surprised many sports gamblers last year when they beat the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl. The Ravens lost a few key pieces from last season’s team, which means this first game against a tough opponent will let fans know how good this Ravens team is now. The Denver Broncos, unlike the Ravens, are on a current upswing and are the favorites to win the Super Bowl meaning this game will also be a good test as to how good they will be this season.

Thursday Night NFL PicksBaltimore Ravens @ Denver Broncos
Sports Authority Field at Mile High – Denver, CO
Odds: Denver -8

The Baltimore Ravens lost key wide receiver Anquan Boldin in the offseason which means their biggest question mark on offense will be the passing game. Can Joe Flacco repeat his spectacular late season performance and will Torrey Smith be able to produce like a number one receiver are the two things to watch for in this game. Flacco could be on the cusp of enter the upper-echelon of NFL quarterbacks but he will need to come out strong in this first game and prove he can be successful with a new receiving corps. Smith will also be watched closely because he is the team’s new number one option through the air even though he has never caught more than 50 passes in a season. Ray Rice has been a steady contributor on the ground the past four seasons and he will likely be a huge contributor on offense once again this year.

The Broncos made a splash in the offseason bringing in slot receiver Wes Welker from the New England Patriots to team up with Peyton Manning to make one of the best receiving trios in the league. The other two weapons through the air the Broncos have are Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas, two young but proven receivers. The Broncos will mainly move the ball through the air in this game as they will have Montee Ball, an unproven rookie, starting at running back. Ball may have a good game but sports books are expecting the Broncos to put up plenty of points like they did when these teams faced off last January in the playoffs and went into two overtimes. It was the Broncos’ defense that let the team down that day and with Von Miller being suspended this game the defense could struggle once again.

Even though both teams are known for having good defenses this game will likely be another high scoring one. The Ravens are breaking in rookies on defense and are dealing with the loss of two key players Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. The Broncos as mentioned aren’t at full strength in this game and have a few newcomers on defense as well. Therefor, the offenses will shine in this Thursday night game which will lead to my sports betting pick, the Denver Broncos, to come out victorious. Pick: Broncos.

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