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NFL betting previews: Ravens and Raiders the Monday night picks

by Sean Goff | September 10, 2012

POWER PLAY: LaMichael James in action for the San Francisco 49ers (pic: Getty)

By Michael Nagle

A blistering start to the 2012/13 NFL season and not just for the Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears. All three formed the basis for some Ace tipping on the opening weekend. Last Wednesday, the Dallas Cowboys at +4 in the handicap dismissed Super Bowl champions the New York Giants 24-17 to justify the ‘lock’ vote in Cowboys to cut Giants down to size.

That was quickly followed by last Sunday’s clash of the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts with the ‘pick for me is the Over 43.5 at 20/23’  in Bears and Colts to get over it (Bears won 41-21) while the Over points total of 46.5 at 20/23 was the play in the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers (30-22) in Paddy Power’s online betting preview. 

With the Paddy Power Sports Network (PPSN) video from Las Vegas previewing all the hottest NFL action and betting tips each and every weekend it makes Paddy Power the best call you’ll make this NFL season.

Monday’s game of the night

Baltimore Ravens are considered dark horses (14/1) to win the Vince Lombardi trophy this season and the Ravens open their campaign with a home game against AFC North rivals Cincinnati Bengals at midnight tonight live on BBCi.

The Ravens strength has been their defence and stalwarts such as Ed Reed and Ray Lewis continue to command respect throughout the NFL.

However, this year Baltimore believers are placing their faith in quarter-back  Joe Flacco and a new no-huddle offence that they believe will lead them to the promised land.

In Torrey Smith, Flacco finally has a genuine deep threat at wide receiver while Ray Rice will continue to run for a lot of yardage on the ground.

The Bengals have in quarter-back Andy Dalton and receiver A.J Green two players who had impressive rookie seasons. But some of those performances, Dalton’s in particular, were hyped up out of proportion in my opinion.

Flacco went for a combined total of more than 400 yards in the two games with the Bengals last season and should be able to pick apart the Bengals secondary again tonight with relative ease.

My pick in this game is the Baltimore Ravens (-7.0) at 20/21.

Next Best

The second Monday Night game is another divisional match up with San Diego Chargers making the short trip up the California coast to take on Oakland Raiders.

These are two teams which are pretty evenly matched and this is reflected in the handicap line of Oakland (-1.0).

Philip Rivers had an average year last season by his very high standards and has lost one of his main targets in the passing game Vincent Jackson to a mega-money deal to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Chargers will be hoping his replacement Robert Meachem can fill a hole alongside finally fit tight-end Antonio Gates.

But with running-back Ryan Matthews is out of this game with a collarbone injury I have my doubts that the Chargers’ offence can get it done.

The Raiders have a very shaky quarter-back in Carson Palmer, but in running-back Darren McFadden they have a player who, if he stays healthy (that’s a big if), could be the leading rusher in the NFL.

I’m taking the Raiders to win this match at 5/6 in the match betting. 

With some key players missing for the Chargers, this is a rare opportunity for them to get one over their West Coast neighbours.

Weekend Review

After our tipping in the live games on Sky Sports on Sunday night we’re feeling as fortunate as David Akers did when he made NFL history with this 63-yard field goal.

Without doubt San Francisco’s win over Green Bay at Lambeau Field was the most impressive of the weekend and they have shortened to 15/2 from 14/1 for Super Bowl XLVII in Paddy Power’s online betting.

The New England Patriots are now firm favourites out on their own at 5/1, while the Packers have eased to 7/1 second favourites.

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