Denver Broncos @ Baltimore Ravens – Sunday December 16, 2012 1:00PM EST
The online football betting world has watched Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos get better and better each week. It seems that Manning has a more talented corps of receivers in Denver than he had in Indianapolis. The only thing Manning is missing in Denver is a reliable running game. Veteran Willis McGahee is lost for the season with an injury and the full load of the running game has fallen on the fragile shoulders of Knowshon Moreno. If Moreno can stay healthy and live up to his potential, then the Broncos will be a Super Bowl contender. If Moreno cannot keep himself in the lineup, then the Broncos could be in trouble.
The Baltimore Ravens has prided itself on having one of the best defenses in the NFL, but it seems that there are cracks in the armor. The betting sites know that veteran linebacker Ray Lewis is practicing and preparing to come back into the lineup, but the fans wonder if it will be enough. In week 14, Washington rookie quarterback Kirk Cousins torched the Ravens for 31 points and a come from behind win. It seems that the Ravens have been having problems playing defense against pocket passers lately. The problem with that is that Baltimore faces one of the greatest pocket passers of all time in week 15.
All of the other elements of the Denver game seem to be holding together well. The sports betting experts are impressed with the consistency of place kicker Matt Prater, and the Denver defense seems as potent as ever. But the fans cannot shake the feeling that the success of the offense hinges on the health of Knowshon Moreno, who has a history of being injured. While having Peyton Manning as the quarterback is an obvious bonus for any football team, the Broncos could use a little depth at running back to help make a Super Bowl run.
It just seemed inevitable that the Baltimore Ravens would blame the ineptness of its offense on coordinator Cam Cameron and fire him. It was just a bit unexpected that the Ravens would fire Cameron with only three weeks to go in the season. The offense has been handed over to former Indianapolis Colts’ head coach and current Ravens’ quarterbacks coach, Jim Caldwell. Caldwell is well-respected by the players, but it will be interesting to see how this change affects the team as it prepares for the playoffs.
The Bottom Line
The sportsbook experts want to believe that this will be a close game, but it has all of the earmarks of another Peyton Manning domination. With the Baltimore offense in chaos and the Ravens’ defense still trying to pick itself up from last week, this could be one of those games that propels the Broncos into the status of legitimate Super Bowl contender.
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Pick: Denver Broncos