Ravens-Bolts Free Pick
In one of the best matchups on the Week 2 NFL schedule, the Baltimore Ravens will head to Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday to take on the San Diego Chargers at 4:15PM ET.
The Ravens flexed their offensive muscles last week in a 38-24 win over the Kansas City Chiefs as Joe Flacco passed for 307 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Ray Rice also rushed for 108 yards on 19 carries as Baltimore covered the 13-point spread as a favorite.
The Chargers also won their opener, although they failed to cover the 9-point spread as favorites in a 24-20 win over the Oakland Raiders. Darren Sproles scored a 5-yard touchdown run with just 21 seconds remaining in the game to give San Diego the win.
Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Chargers 3-point home favorites over the Ravens on Sunday. The over/under for this game has been established at 40.
The last time these two teams met was in November of 2007 when the Chargers crushed the Ravens 32-14 as 9.5-point favorites. Before then, Baltimore squeaked out a 16-13 home victory to cover the 2-point spread as underdogs on October 1 of 2006.
The Ravens’ offense looked better than it did last week because it was playing an inexperienced Kansas City defense. They’ll find it a little harder to reach the end zone this week against a San Diego defense that should be more improved than it was last year. The front seven should keep Rice contained, although the Bolts’ secondary needs to do a better job of not giving up big plays on third down.
Baltimore’s defense will provide a stiff challenge for San Diego’s offense, as well. The Ravens do a great job getting pressure on the quarterback, which doesn’t bode well for Philip Rivers since his protection wasn’t great in the win over the Raiders on Monday might. This is going to be a knock down, drag-out fight.
We believe this is a three-point game either way and that favors the team getting points. Baltimore will pressure Rivers all game and without LaDainian Tomlinson (who is out with an ankle injury) to provide a balance with Sproles in the running game, the Bolts could have trouble moving the ball like they did against Oakland.
Along with Baltimore, we like the under in this game. The total has gone under in five of San Diego’s last six games when playing Baltimore.
Our NFL Free Picks for this Week 2 matchup are: BALTIMORE RAVENS +3 and UNDER 40.
229 Baltimore Ravens +3 Over 40
230 San Diego Chargers –3 Under 40
Baltimore is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
Baltimore is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road
San Diego is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing at home against Baltimore
San Diego is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Baltimore
Samari Rolle, CB, P-U-P List
Tom Zbikowski, S, Doubtful Week 2 (concussion)
L.J. Smith, TE, Questionable Week 2 (hamstring)
Tavares Gooden, LB, Probable Week 2 (knee)
Jarret Johnson, LB, Probable Week 2 (shoulder)
Ed Reed, S, Probable Week 2 (concussion)
Terrell Suggs, LB, Probable Week 2 (concussion, chest)
San Diego Chargers
Nick Hardwick, C, Out Week 2 (ankle)
Travis Johnson, DT, Out Week 2 (groin)
LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Out Week 2 (ankle)
Antwan Applewhite, LB, Questionable Week 2 (hamstring)
Louis Vasquez, G, Questionable Week 2 (knee)
Jamal Williams, DT, Questionable Week 2 (elbow)
Marcus McNeill, T, Probable Week 2 (hand)
Mike Scifres, P, Probable Week 2 (bilateral groin)
Posted: 9/20/09 1:20PM ET