Fans of the Denver Broncos must be happy with how the season has gone for their team. Their team is undefeated (3-0) and tied for first in the division with the Las Vegas Raiders. Yes, the three teams they have faced are 0-9 on the season. But they are still undefeated—which is something fans of the Kansas City Chiefs cannot say. While getting off to a 3-0 start this season is great, a 4-0 start would be even better.
However, the Broncos are not playing a bottom-dweller this week. They have the Baltimore Ravens coming (or rather limping) into town. But despite the many injuries the Ravens are dealing with, it would not be wise to overlook and/or underestimate them.
|Baltimore Ravens vs. Denver Broncos, Sunday, 10/3 @ 4:25 PM ET||Best Baltimore Odds||Best Denver Odds|
|BetMGM||+1.0 (-110)||Spread||-1.0 (-105)||DraftKings|
|BetMGM||Over 44.5 (-105)||Total||Under 45.0 (-110)||BetMGM|
Lamar Jackson is a talented enough and dynamic enough player that the Ravens will never be truly out of a game until it is over. The wins over the Chiefs and Detroit Lions are proof of that. But, the Ravens are dealing with an incredible number of injuries. Consequently, Jackson has been forced to do more than any quarterback should.
He leads the Ravens in rushing through Week 3, which is something a quarterback should never do. But it seems to be working for Baltimore. As usual, the Ravens lead the NFL in rushing yards per game with 185.3 yards per game. They are scoring points (27.3 yards/game) and are doing a decent job in the passing game (239.3 yards/game).
So, if the running game is fine after making do with the running backs they could pick up off the street, and the passing game is decent—why aren’t they undefeated? Surprisingly, it is because the defense is not very good this season. It is giving up almost 400 yards a game through Week Three—much of it coming in the passing game (331.7 yards/game). The stats make it look like they are decent against the run, giving up just 79.0 yards a game. But when it is so easy to throw on the Ravens defense, why would anyone run the ball?
The almost-loss to Detroit should be a wake-up call for the Ravens. They have to play better despite the many injuries they are dealing with. If not for the many mistakes the Lions made on that crucial 4th and 19 conversion, they would have lost that game.
All is right with the world when you are 3-0, no matter how bad your opponents may have been. The three teams the Broncos have faced so far (Giants, Jaguars, and Jets) are among the worst the NFL has to offer. So, it is fair to wonder if Denver is as good as their stats make them appear to be.
On the defensive side of the ball, they rank second in total yards allowed and rushing yards allowed, third in passing yards, and first in points. It looks like they can do no wrong and should dominate this season. But their opponents have been bad, which has made the team possibly look better than it is. While that perception regarding the defense is problematic, it is even worse for the offense. Because, while they have been winning games, they have not dominated anyone from an offensive perspective.
Statistically, they look good. The offense ranks 14th in total yards, 12th in passing yards, 8th in rushing, and 11th in scoring. Teddy Bridgewater has the fifth-highest rating through three games. Teams have been daring Bridgewater to beat them, and he has been happy to oblige. But it is hard not to think about the teams the Broncos have played and wonder if they should have looked better.
While the Ravens defense has had its struggles, surely, they are better than the Jets, Giants, and Jaguars— right? Actually, the Jets and Giants defenses have played better than Baltimore’s defense (so far). So, maybe the Broncos defense is not a product of poor opponents. Maybe, it is pretty good.
It is a little surprising to see the Denver Broncos favored in the game. Yes, the Ravens have had some struggles while the Broncos have thrived. But has Denver been so good and Baltimore so bad that the Broncos should be favored? The answer to that question is certainly debatable.
However, a one-point spread tells us that oddsmakers think the game will be close and could go either way. That describes the outlook for this game perfectly; a good case could certainly be made for either team winning. If the Broncos are as good as advertised, they could absolutely exploit Baltimore’s poor secondary. But if last week was a fluke for the Ravens, this should be an easy win for Baltimore.
But who should you bet on? Flip a coin; there are too many uncertain variables in this game. Logic says the Ravens will win this one but it is not hard to get behind Denver winning it, too. As for the total, if you believe in Denver’s defense, then go with the under. If you believe more in Lamar Jackson and Teddy Bridgewater and think they can score some points, then role with the over.