Ravens vs. Cardinals Analysis & Spread Prediction
Baltimore Ravens (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) vs. Arizona Cardinals (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS)
When: Sunday, August 21, 8 p.m.
Where: State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.
Point Spread: BAL -6.5/ARI +6.5 (Bet all your football games at -105 instead of -110 at BAS!)
Total: O/U 38.5
Does the streak continue here? This match might be the toughest challenge yet that Baltimore has faced in keeping its incredible run of 20 straight preseason victories going, as Arizona’s reserves looked very good in beating Cincinnati. Granted, the Cardinals were also going against the Bengals’ backups, but they’ll be facing Ravens backups here, and they’re at home. Plus, they’ve got a weapon in Trace McSorley, an ex-Baltimore quarterback who should know more about what he’s facing in this game than any of the Ravens’ previous opponents during the preseason streak.
Baltimore will, of course, play to win, but the Ravens won’t be playing their starters much either in this game. The streak is more about pride on the part of Baltimore’s backups than it is the Ravens actually trying to get preseason wins and extend the streak. The Ravens had zero problems with Tennessee, but the Titans offense wasn’t exactly lighting the world on fire in that game. Unless the Bengals’ reserves are just totally inept on defense, the Cardinals should present a more formidable challenge for Baltimore’s defense.
How the Public is Betting the Ravens/Cardinals Game
If there’s one thing that Joe Football Fan knows, it’s never bet against the Ravens in the preseason. Baltimore has dominated both SU and ATS, and as a result, bettors have pushed this line from -4 to -6.5, with the total falling from 41.5 to 38.5.
Running back J.K. Dobbins (knee), linebacker Trent Harris (undisclosed), wide receiver Tylan Wallace (knee), running back Gus Edwards (knee), linebacker Vince Biegel (Achilles), tight end Charlie Kolar (hernia), linebacker Tyus Bowser (Achilles) and tackle Ronnie Stanley (ankle) are out.
Tight end Zach Ertz (calf) is out.
When Baltimore Has the Ball
The Ravens have cut Brett Hundley, so Anthony Brown and Tyler Huntley will run the show after carving the Titans’ defense to pieces in the preseason opener. The Ravens had no problem opening up the playbook for longer passes against Tennessee, as four different receivers had at least one catch for 20+ yards, and the two quarterbacks combined to complete 26 of 33 passes.
The running game was serviceable, although none of the backs Baltimore tried got more than six carries for the day. With J.K. Dobbins questionable for Week 1, Baltimore is likely to give fewer reps to the guys standing out in preseason, as they might be forced into action for the season opener if Dobbins isn’t able to get healthy in time. The passing attack is much more expendable should injury occur, so the Ravens will be more likely to pass here.
When Arizona Has the Ball
If Trace McSorley can keep playing the way he did in Cincinnati, the Cardinals will either have to keep him on the roster or trade him to another team because what he showed against the Bengals says that he can help someone as a backup or No. 3 option. McSorley made plays with his feet and arm last time out, completing 13 of 22 passes and establishing connections with Andy Isabella and Greg Dortch.
The Cards will be looking to push that connection, as they’d like to deal Isabella to another team after upgrading their wide receiver position. With guys like A.J. Green, Marquise Brown, and DeAndre Hopkins on the roster in Arizona, Isabella saw his playing time dwindle to next to nothing in the desert, and he and the Cardinals are both hoping a strong preseason can entice someone to give him a chance. The same is true of the rest of the Cardinals’ wideouts here; they know there’s almost no chance for them to get real playing time in Arizona when the games count, but if they can impress here, they could get a call from someone with available playing time.
The streak is legendary at this point, but Baltimore’s ATS performance is even better. The Ravens have managed to go 18-2 ATS during the streak, which makes it very difficult to go against Baltimore in August no matter what the line is. The Cardinals are a mere 2-4 SU under Kliff Kingsbury in practice and have only twice put up more than 20 points in a preseason game. However, the Cardinals also didn’t have this kind of depth at wide receiver at their disposal.
The weather won’t be a factor; the Cardinals will close the roof to avoid the desert heat.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread
I’m not going to do anything crazy like pick the Ravens to lose this game, but I am a little concerned about giving this many points given what McSorley did last week and how well he knows Baltimore. This kind of spread seems a few points too high, and I have no problem fading the public in this situation. I think Baltimore gets another win, but I think Arizona keeps it under seven for the cover. Boost your football betting bankroll by taking advantage of a 125% real cash bonus up to $400 on your first deposit when you use bonus promo code PREDICTEM at GTBets Sportsbook! They also offer you a free half point every time you bet your favorite football and basketball teams! Click here to get your free bets today!