The Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns will exemplify the very concepts of football betting favorites and underdogs on Sunday, September 18th at M&T Bank Stadium. These are the odds for people who would like to place an online NFL bet:
Ravens -7 (-115) 43 (-110) Browns +7 (-105) 43 (-110)
Former Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan may have left Baltimore to become the Buffalo Bills’ head coach, but his spirit certainly lives on in Russell Street. The Ravens kept the Bills to 160 yards and sacked their former teammate QB Tyrod Taylor on two occasions. That’s the way Baltimore played defense under Ryan from 1999 to 2008, and that’s the way they won Super Bowl XLVII. On offense, Joe Flacco returned from a season-ending injury and threw 23 for 34 for 258 passing yards, including a 66-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Mike Wallace in the second quarter. Additionally, Justin Tucker kicked two field goals as the Ravens won their first season-opener since 2012 – the year they won that aforementioned Super Bowl. Football betting fans can make of that what they will.
And speaking of losing season-opening games, the Browns are nothing if not sticklers for traditions, and lost their 12th consecutive opener 10-29 to the Philadelphia Eagles. New Browns QB Robert Griffin III completed 12 of 26 attempted passes for 190 yards with no TDs and one interception. Cleveland kicked into gear in the second quarter when wide receiver Terrelle Pryor made a leaping catch for a 44-yard gain to the Eagles’ 9. After a pass interference call against Malcolm Jenkins that negated a stop on third down, running back Isaiah Crowell ran in from the 2 to cut it to 10-7. However, Philadelphia rookie QB Carson Wentz proved that not all debuts should be a humiliating defeat à la CM Punk.
Also faithful to tradition, RGIII injured himself while trying to pick up extra yards late in the game, despite his well-known inability to slide or get down in time and unorthodox running style. Griffin broke a bone in his left shoulder and has been placed on injured reserved for at least the next eight games. Good news or bad? That is for Cleveland football betting fans to decide. It is certainly good news for veteran backup Josh McCown, who will get to start against the Ravens.
McCown finished 2015 186 of 292 (63.7%) for 2109 passing yards with 12 TDs and four interceptions in 8 games in his first year with the Browns. On the Ravens camp, Joe Flacco and his surgically-repaired knee survived taking a few hits in his first game back – then again, if you’re an NFL player rehabbing an injury, you know a thing or two about taking hits. Flacco looked neither better nor worse for wear. He had a turnover in the second possession and was lucky in the third quarter when Buffalo CB Ronald Darby missed a potential pick-six after Steve Smith went zig Flacco thought he would zag. On the other hand, he found Mike Wallace for decisive 66-yard TDs that became the play of the game.