The Baltimore Ravens, currently the reigning Super Bowl champions will take on the Buffalo Bills this Sunday 29 at Orchard Park in New York. As can be expected when a team that won the whole enchilada the previous year faces a team that hasn’t made it to the playoffs since the decade before last, Baltimore are the favorites with a 3.5 spread over Buffalo, according to Sportbook websites. The Bills haven’t had it easy in this start of the season, suffering losses against the Patriots and the Jets, and scoring a very tight 24-23 win over the Panthers.
As for the Ravens, they started their title defense on the wrong foot as well, losing to the Broncos. However, they have made up for that slip by making short work of the Browns and the Texans. There’s also the matter of the head coaches. Both John Harbaugh (Ravens) and Doug Marrone (Bills) are young but not only is the former more experienced in the big leagues, but he has already won a championship ring. Marrone’s only experience in the big leagues prior to assuming Buffalos’s reins was as offensive coordinator for the Saints, and before becoming head coach for the Bills, he was in charge of Syracuse University’s football team.
Sportsbook bettors should also consider who is going to be playing, and who isn’t. The Ravens’ star RB Ray Rice was out of commission for the game against Houston thanks to a strained left hip flexor, but his absence was hardly noticed. If he were to miss this Sunday’s game, QB Joe Flacco could always count on Bernard Pierce (although Harbaugh has stated that both Rice and Chris Canty could be back in time for the game). On Buffalo’s camp, running back CJ Spiller is expected to play, despite the fact that he injured his thigh (and not his knee as was originally reported). Spiller himself said that “(he) felt like he couldn’t get any power.” One has to wonder if that’s going to be the case again come Sunday, and whether he will do his team more damage than good by deciding to play, even if the Bills’ doctors have cleared him.