Oddsmakers are expecting a close matchup in the Week 4 Ravens at Broncos matchup. Denver is just a -1 point favorite at home despite starting off the season 3-0. Some would say the Broncos great start on both sides of the ball has come from playing the Giants, Jaguars, and Jets – three of the five remaining winless teams in the NFL.
It’s not as if Baltimore has been playing dominantly though beating another 0-3 team, Detroit, just 19-17 last Sunday. The Ravens other win on the year was by 1-point at home against the Chiefs and they also lost at Las Vegas in the season opener. 69% of the betting public is on the visitors in this matchup.
Ravens Offense Up to the Challenge?
Baltimore could only manage 19 points last week against Detroit, and needed the longest FG in NFL history as time expired just to get the win. Justin Tucker was the hero with his 66-yard boot to beat the Lions, but the Ravens left that game with some serious question marks despite moving to 2-1 on the season.
Lamar Jackson led the Ravens to just one TD scoring drive at Ford Field, even though Baltimore did have another team 100+ yard rushing game. John Harbaugh’s team leads the NFL in rush yards/game with 185.3, but is that sustainable when it’s Jackson doing most of the heavy lifting? The Ravens QB leads the team with 252 rush yards this season, with 2nd leading rusher Ty’Son Williams (164 yards) getting just 5 carries vs. the Lions.
Another thing to consider is that the Ravens are playing their 3rd road game in four tilts this season and it’s in one of the toughest places to play at Empower Field at Mile High Stadium. That’s not just because Colorado is back to full capacity with 75,000+ in attendance, but also due to the altitude. If you’re a team like Baltimore that’s been traveling all season and now have to go to a place where it’s hard to catch your breath that can be a real issue.
Broncos Ready to Prove They are For Real
The combined record of Denver’s opponents heading into week 4 is 0-9, but that shouldn’t completely take away from how good the team has looked this season. The Broncos had their first home game of the season last week, and took care of business in the 26-0 shutout of the Jets. Even though it is just the Jets, holding an NFL team to just 162 total yards of offense is still impressive.
Through three weeks the Broncos defense ranks #1 in points allowed with just 8.7 per game. They are 2nd in total yards and rushing yards allowed and 3rd in passing defense. Jackson and the Ravens offense is a notch up from the likes of the Jets and the Jaguars, but the Ravens have traveled a lot this year and Jackson missed a couple practices during the week with a bad back. Von Miller already has four sacks in three games for the Broncos, so if he can get some hits on Jackson the QB may have a hard time being effective down the stretch.
Week 4 Ravens at Broncos Pick
It’s up to Bridgewater to put up big numbers against somebody not named the Jets or Jaguars. The offseason signee is hitting on 73% of his passes so far this year and the Broncos have put together a sound running game as well. Ultimately with Jackson possible not 100% and the Ravens doing all that travel so far this year this is Denver’s game to lose.
Broncos 28 – Ravens 24
Free Pick: Broncos -1