Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills Betting Pick
Opening Line: Baltimore -3
Baltimore blew out Houston last week, 30-9. Buffalo faltered in the 4th quarter in a 27-20 loss last Sunday to the Jets.
The Ravens won't have RB Ray Rice for this game but expect hard-running RB Bernard Pierce to be a good replacement in this matchup. The Bills allowed 182 yards on the ground last week vs. the Jets and have been poor in run defense for a number of years. Three of their starting D-linemen left last week's game due to injury and while some or all of them may be back, they are hurting. Where Baltimore can jumpstart their struggling offense is through the air. Buffalo is still without S Jairus Byrd and is also minus their top three cornerbacks. WR Torrey Smith should make some big plays on long throws, a specialty of QB Joe Flacco. The Ravens passing attack is nothing like last season but it should have a big day against a badly-depleted secondary.
Which QB E.J. Manuel will show up this week? The poised youngster who guided a last-second victory over Carolina two weeks ago or the befuddled youngster who was sacked eight times last week and was very inaccurate with his throws? The Bills, surprise, are dealing with some O-line issues early in the year and will have their hands full with OLBs Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs. To make matters worse, their most dynamic player, RB C.J. Spiller, is expected to miss this game with an injured knee. RB Fred Jackson is a decent replacement but lacks Spiller's explosiveness. The Ravens defense was torched in Week 1 vs. Denver (7 TD passes allowed) and surrendered nine passes of 23+ yards in that contest. They have allowed zero completions of that distance over the past two games.
ATS Game Pick
This game appears to be a mismatch. Buffalo has injury woes on both sides of the ball and really need Manuel to step up big in this game. We feel the experienced Baltimore defense can contain him and that the offense can do enough to get a big road cover.
Crew's Pick: Take the Baltimore Ravens -3