San Francisco 49ers vs. Baltimore Ravens: NFL Preseason Week 1 Betting Odds and Picks

San Francisco 49ers vs. Baltimore Ravens
Thursday, 8/7/14, 7:30 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Baltimore PK
Current Betting Line:  Baltimore -2
Opening Total:  35
Current Total:  37
Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes

The Baltimore Ravens are hungry to get back to the NFL Playoffs in 2014
The Baltimore Ravens are hungry to get back to the NFL Playoffs in 2014

San Francisco starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick is expected to play two drives in this preseason opener, which is important to consider when making your pro football picks, as offensive coordinator Greg Roman prepares to simplify the offense in 2014.  The 49ers have plenty of perimeter weapons, with Michael Crabtree and Brandon Lloyd leading the charge, but both have been battling through minor injuries that’ll likely cause head coach Jim Harbaugh to sit them on the sidelines in this affair at M&T Bank Stadium.

The 49ers aren’t expected to do much defensively in this spot, as defensive ends Justin Smith and Ray McDonald have yet to practice with the team during the first 11 days of camp.  San Francisco would normally have revenge on its mind after suffering a 34-31 defeat to Baltimore in Super Bowl 47, but sports bettors shouldn’t place too much stock in that angle.  With nose tackle Glenn Dorsey out for the season, the competition at the position has taken an interesting turn, as many are unsure if Quinton Dial can perform at a suitable level due to his height.

Baltimore is focused on rebounding from an 8-8 campaign and missing the playoffs for the first time since John Harbaugh’s 2008 arrival, which can’t be ignored when looking over the pro football odds page.  The Ravens played an NFL-high nine games decided by three points or less a year ago—posting a 5-4 record in that situation.  Offensively, the team has a lot of work to do in the next month, but new coordinator Gary Kubiak will likely allow the group to improve upon its lowly 29th ranking in total yards gained in 2013.

The Ravens are 15-9 SU in exhibition play during the Harbaugh era, while they’ve won eight of their last 10 such contests at this facility.  Baltimore’s defense figures to be a major strength, with many around camp raving about the physical condition of Terrell Suggs, who has been named a Pro Bowler six times since being drafted in 2003.  The stop unit will be directed by Dean Pees, who assumed the coordinator role in 2012—serving in that role in New England as well from 2006-09.

Sports bettors will likely back the Ravens due to the 49ers’ willingness to sit out a lot of starters in Week 1.

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