NFL Picks: Battle in the Capital: Ravens vs. Commanders
As the second full week of preseason football winds down, a clash of geographical rivals sets the stage for an electrifying Monday night. The Baltimore Ravens make the short journey to the capital to face the home team, the Washington Commanders.
BUSR NFL Lines
Spread: Ravens -1 (-110), Commanders +1 (-110)
Moneyline: Ravens -128, Commanders +105
Total: Ravens O 37.5 (-110), Commanders U 37.5 (-110)
On the other side of the field, Washington had their own taste of victory as they beat Cleveland 17-15, surpassing expectations by winning as a one-point underdog. Now, with the memory of a 17-15 loss to the Ravens last August still fresh, the Commanders are ready to make a statement.
Baltimore enters this game with momentum, having consistently outplayed the Commanders in the last five preseason matchups. But while the record is impressive, their recent 335-272 outgaining by the NFC champions indicates potential vulnerabilities.
Moreover, key players like Tyler Huntley, who managed 8 out of 11 passes for 88 yards in the last game, might be sidelined due to injury. The absence of Huntley and the star Lamar Jackson puts the spotlight on Josh Johnson and Anthony Brown. While Johnson’s familiarity with Todd Monken’s system might be advantageous, it remains to be seen if this will translate to on-field success. Baltimore’s ground game showed promise with Justice Hill leading the charge, but fans might be disappointed not to see JK Dobbins, despite his recent return to team drills. And although the addition of Ronald Darby Jr. and Jadeveon Clowney brings fresh energy to the Ravens, they are unlikely to feature in this match.
The Commanders are showing signs of a turnaround in 2023. Their recent victory against Cleveland marked a strong start to the preseason. Now, they are set to challenge the Ravens’ dominating preseason run. Washington’s young quarterback, Sam Howell, who completed 9 of 12 passes for 77 yards, was just named the starter by coach Ron Rivera. While experienced player Jacoby Brissett showcased his talent with a touchdown both in passing and rushing, it’s still unclear how the team will finalize their quarterback lineup. The Commanders also have budding stars in players like Chris Rodriguez Jr., Brian Robinson Jr., and the receivers Dyami Brown, Dax Milne, and Mitchell Tinsley, who are all eager to cement their place in the team.
On their home turf and with the burning desire to avenge their consecutive preseason losses to the Ravens, the Commanders might just have what it takes to topple the giants. Their newfound cohesiveness and the Ravens’ questionable quarterback situation might just swing the odds in Washington’s favor.
So, if you’re placing your bets, it might be worth the risk to back the underdogs. Take the points and place your faith in the Washington Commanders. This Monday night, we might just witness a shift in the preseason dynamics.