NFL Preseason Week 3 Picks: Washington Redskins vs. Baltimore Ravens

Washington Redskins vs. Baltimore Ravens
Saturday, 8/23/14, 7:30 PM EST
Opening Point Spread: Baltimore -3
Current Betting Line:  Baltimore -2.5
Opening Total:  43.5
Current Total:  44
Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III must do a better job of getting out of trouble to remain healthy in 2014
Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III must do a better job of getting out of trouble to remain healthy in 2014

Washington has won its first two games of the 2014 preseason, including a 24-23 victory over the Cleveland Browns as two-point home favorites on Monday Night Football, while going OVER the betting total of 41.5.  The Redskins’ defense will be challenged in a major way in this affair, which can’t be ignored when making your NFL betting picks, as the Ravens are averaging a league-best 194 rushing yards per game during exhibition play.  That particular rushing average is 69 yards per game more than any other franchise at this point in time.

The Redskins want starting quarterback Robert Griffin III to be more aware of when to slide when in trouble, as he continues to learn from his mistakes under first-year head coach Jay Gruden.  Washington expects the starting units to play at least the entire first half against Baltimore, which is important to consider when looking over the NFL betting odds for Week 3.

Baltimore has also produced victories in its opening two preseason contests, including a 37-30 victory over the Dallas Cowboys as 2.5-point road favorites last week, while going OVER the betting total of 43.  The Ravens scored a touchdown in every possible way in that matchup, while signal-caller Joe Flacco completed 9 of 17 passes for 113 yards—connecting on eight of his final 10 throws.  Head coach John Harbaugh continues to motivate his locker room heading into the 2014 regular season, as he wants to move past last year’s mediocre 8-8 record and missing the playoffs after winning the Super Bowl the previous campaign.

The Ravens made it clear that they wanted to emphasize a strong running game when hiring former Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak as their offensive coordinator.  Baltimore has plenty of talent in the backfield—led by Bernard Pierce and Ray Rice.  The franchise has won five of seven preseason meetings between these two sides, including a perfect 3-0 mark when playing at home.  Harbaugh has compiled a 17-9 SU record in games before the regular season.

Sports bettors will likely back the Redskins due to covering their third game of preseason play in the last seven years.

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