Betting On NFL – Panthers, Ravens Being 2010 Preseason Slate

NFL PredictionsThose betting on NFL odds for preseason games usually have their hands full, especially the early games which are glorified practices. However, it’s a great way to see how deep teams are, and we’ll take a look at Carolina and Baltimore, who face off on Thursday night.

Panthers Ravens Betting – Thursday, August 12, 8:00 PM ET

The Panthers tried to get some help for receiver Steve Smith, who broke his arm in the offseason and will definitely miss the game, and possibly the regular-season opener. They drafted Brandon LaFell and Armanti Edwards (who used to be a quarterback) to add some depth to that position, but the rookie everyone is waiting to see is Jimmy Clausen, who figures to challenge Matt Moore for the starting job. NCAA football betting players will remember Clausen from Notre Dame, and while he made some bad decisions on and off the field, he has a cannon for an arm. Carolina’s defense was solid last season, but they moved Jon Beason to the weakside and put Dan O’Connor in the middle. Beason averaged 140 tackles over the last three years in the middle, so it’s going to be interesting to see how he takes to it.

The Ravens also picked up some receiving help for pivot Joe Flacco, acquiring Anquan Boldin and Donte Stallworth to go with Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton. The Ravens also got Marc Bulger as backup for Flacco, and Troy Smith is still in town. The Ravens are stocked in the backfield, but Jalen Parmele is trying to elbow his way into the rotation. Defensively, the Ravens weren’t as intimidating as past seasons, and an injured Ed Reed had a lot to do with that. Reed is one of the top ball-hawking safeties in league history, and his work on the back end allowed the Ravens’ front seven to go after the backfield (losing Rex Ryan as their coordinator also hurt the Ravens). However, they’re aging a bit at linebacker, although Ray Lewis is still a beast, so that will be their main concern on Thursday.

NFL football betting lines have the Ravens as a 3-point favorite at home, and we’re giving them the nod to come away with the win on Thursday for a couple of reasons. One, the Panthers are very, very young on offense and are still learning their way around the league, while the Ravens picked up veterans, which will help their young players. Not having Smith around to physically tutor the young Carolina receivers really hurts the Panthers, especially in the preseason. Baltimore was very disappointed with their performance last year, particularly on defense, so look for them to get after the Panthers here.

NFL betting pick: Baltimore


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