NFL Week 1 Preseason Picks: Baltimore Ravens vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Baltimore Ravens vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Thursday, 8/8/13, 7:30 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Tampa Bay -3
Current Betting Line:  Tampa Bay -3
Opening Total:  35.5
Current Total:  35.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Chiefs Ravens NFL Preview
The Baltimore Ravens will likely play their starters for three to four series Thursday

Baltimore is set to take the field Thursday night in its preseason opener, with most of the starters expected to see some action, including the likes of Joe Flacco, Ray Rice and Terrell Suggs.  “We’re not going to play the starters the whole game,” commented Ravens head coach John Harbaugh.  In last year’s preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons, the franchise had Flacco out on the field for four series.  Baltimore is 5-1 ATS run during Hall of Fame week and Week 1 games.

The Ravens have taken some major hits at the tight end position, with Dennis Pitta already out for the season with a fractured and dislocated hip, while Ed Dickson suffered a minor hamstring tear.  Offensively, wide receiver Torrey Smith figures to have a big season, as he takes over the No. 1 role on the outside with Anquan Boldin going to the San Francisco 49ers.

Tampa Bay has been locked into training camp mode since July 25, which has the locker room ready for its first round of action against another NFL opponent.  “This has been a very physical, tough camp,” stated Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano.  He’ll likely expose his starters on both sides of the ball to one or two series, which means a lot of playing time for rookie signal-caller Mike Glennon.  Tampa Bay is 8-1-1 during Hall of Fame week and Week 1 contests in its last 10 opportunities.

The Buccaneers will likely have star cornerback Darrelle Revis on the sideline for this affair, but they’ll definitely be watching free-agent safety Dashon Goldson and rookie cornerback Johnthan Banks.  Tampa Bay has been working hard in the offseason to sure of its secondary—a unit that ranked No. 32 in defending the pass a season ago.  Defensive end Da’Quan Bowers will also be monitored throughout his time on the field, as he tries to become a every-down player.

Sports bettors will likely back the Buccaneers due to the Ravens simply going through the motions before the regular season.

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