Baltimore NFL Free Picks
The Baltimore Ravens took a big step backward in 2013 after winning the Super Bowl following the 2012 season. Following an eventful offseason, the Ravens look to bounce back with a reloaded roster, hoping that they can put off the field distractions behind them and focus on what’s happening between the lines.
Ravens 2013 Record: 8-8
Ravens AFC North Lines: +240
Ravens AFC Lines: +1500
Ravens Super Bowl Lines: +3300
The Ravens’ offseason should be highlighted by a number of strong moves by the general manager, but instead the top story to come from the team’s summer is the antics of running back Ray Rice, who earned himself a two-game suspension following a domestic assault incident, which was caught on tape and broadcast to the world by TMZ.
Rice was already coming off a miserable season in which he appeared to lose a step, averaging 3.1 yards per carry in 2013, and really showing that his best days are behind him.
CLICK to GRAB OUR BEST Expert Sports & Football Picks for 2014 GAMBLING!
Rice’s loss opens the door for Bernard Pierce to have a breakout campaign, with fourth round draft pick Lorenzo Taliaffero also in the mix for carries. New offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak certainly has a fine pedigree as far as establishing strong running games wherever he lands.
Coming from the Mike Shanahan coaching tree following his days in Denver, Kubiak made big names out of plenty of backs from his time in Houston, and whoever can take over the lead role should enjoy a fine season, running behind an improved offensive line that should grade out as one of the better units in football.
Kubiak has also earned the reputation as a tight end-friendly playcaller, which could mean big things for Dennis Pitta. Pitta lost the majority of his 2013 campaign due to injury, but he entered the year with plenty of hope for a big season after a strong 2012 campaign. With Kubiak calling the plays, this could be Pitta’s year.
While it looks like Pitta will be in for a big statistical boost, wide receiver Torrey Smith remains the apple of quarterback Joe Flacco’s eye. With Anquan Boldin moving out a couple offseasons ago, and Pitta going down last year, Smith was the clear-cut top option for Flacco, and opposing defenses knew it.
Smith didn’t have the kind of elite season some expected, but with the cavalry coming in this year, it could be his time. He’ll also be supplemented by new addition Steve Smith, who comes over from the Carolina Panthers to line up on the opposite side and give opposing defense another wideout that they’ll have to respect.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Ravens did a good job of filling some of their holes through the draft. First round pick C.J. Mosley out of Alabama will surely find the field right away at the middle linebacker position, while second round pick Timmy Jernigan from Florida State will enter the defensive tackle rotation immediately.
Up front, the team’s aging core of Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, and Elvis Dumervil will look to provide a solid pass rush, while also helping to guide the team’s influx of young talent.
Ravens Futures Pick & Outlook
There’s reason for optimism in Baltimore as general manager Ozzie Newsome has done a fine job of moving in some good young pieces without sacrificing the present, putting the team in a good position to succeed both now and in the future.
With that said, the team should progress positively on offense with Kubiak calling the shots, but the team’s defense remains raw, and will take a year or two before returning to its elite status. Kubiak always had the offense humming in Houston, but it wasn’t until he coupled that with an elite defense that the results came. A 9-7 record feels like the ceiling for this year’s Ravens.
With training camps nearly over the NFL betting season is here at Cappers Picks. NFL Football handicappers have been hard at work putting out the team by team Football Predictions and NFL Season Previews for those of us who can’t wait.
Bet on the Super Bowl XLIX winner, plus 2014/15 Conference and Divisional winners today. What are you waiting for use our insider knowledge today to gamble on all the NFL Football Futures in our top online sportsbooks today.