Washington Redskins vs. Baltimore Ravens
Date and Time: Thursday, August 10, 2017, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD
Preseason NFL Week 1 Opening Odds: Ravens -1, O/U 37.5
Redskins vs. Ravens TV Coverage: Local
The Ravens have to feel pretty good about where they sit from the standpoint of the quarterback spot in the preseason. Joe Flacco never really plays all that much, and there's no reason to throw him to the wolves for more than a drive or two on Thursday night. If history repeats itself, though, several of the starters are going to be on the field with backup Ryan Mallett for at least a drive or two.
Mallett had to step in for Flacco at the end of last regular season, and he looked pretty good in doing so. He has a strong arm and can certainly sling the ball all over the place, and Harbaugh isn't going to be afraid to turn him loose to try to get him on the same page with some of the top receivers on this club.
After Mallett will come a combination of Dustin Vaughan and Josh Woodrum. Neither man figures to make the final roster, but Harbaugh always seems to get the best out of his reserve quarterbacks this time of year.
At the quarterback spot, Jay Gruden will be calling upon Kirk Cousins for a drive or two before turning the ball over to Colt McCoy for at least a quarter or two. Nate Sudfeld, who threw for 238 yards and three touchdowns in the NFL preseason last year, is the only other quarterback on the roster. Those stats from a campaign ago have to exude some confidence in bettors.
It's worth remembering that the Ravens have a nasty battle brewing for a lot of the top receiving spots on this team. Benjamin Watson, Larry Donnell, Maxx Williams, Nick Boyle and Ryan Malleck are all going to have a legitimate shot to replace the injured Dennis Pitta, especially with Crockett Gilmore down injured as well.
Plus at wide receiver, Jeremy Maclin is brand new to the team, Breshad Perriman is still trying to prove his value as a first round pick from two seasons ago, while Michael Campanaro, Chris Moore, Chris Matthews, Vince Mayle, Kenny Bell, and a few undrafted rookies are all fighing for spots as well. The only constant really seems to be Mike Wallace, and he wouldn't be asked to do much in the preseason anyway.
Thus, we suspect we'll see a lot of action for the Washington secondary in this game. The Redskins do have a strong secondary, though it should be noted that there are five rookies who are fighting for spots on this roster.
Redskins vs. Ravens Free Picks
The oddsmakers are probably sending us a message by lining the Ravens as short 1-point favorites at most of the top online sportsbooks. Baltimore still figures to have a good team this season, and its depth is only going to help out in this game.
In the second half, though, we feel a lot more comfortable with Sudfeld than we do with the trash that Baltimore is going to throw out at quarterback. Sure, the history for Harbaugh is good, but Jay Gruden's three straight 3-1 records in the preseason isn't exactly shabby either.
The oddsmakers are sending you the message that they believe this game is going to be a tight one. With that being said, we're taking the point and expecting the modest upset.
Redskins vs. Ravens ATS Pick: Redskins +1 at BookMaker.eu
Redskins vs. Ravens Score Prediction: Redskins 20, Ravens 19