Baltimore Ravens vs. Detroit Lions Betting Odds And Preview: Early Action Backs The Underdog

The Baltimore Ravens (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) visit the Motor City for a date with the Detroit Lions (0-2 SU, 1-1 ATS) in NFL Week 3 action Sunday (1 p.m. ET, CBS).

The Ravens may be on the road, but it’s no surprise to see them installed as comfortable favorites.

Most online sportsbooks opened the Ravens -9 on Tuesday, while FanDuel went -9.5. Since then, action on the underdog has pushed the spread to as low as 7.5 at some shops, while Detroit +9 is available Wednesday at DraftKings. Bettors will want to poke around for the best value, depending on the side they like.

Post-Primetime Letdown?

The Ravens are coming off back-to-back dramatic primetime finishes, a loss in Las Vegas and then a win at home against the Chiefs. Is it reasonable to expect the same high-octane intensity from Baltimore in this matchup?

That’s what they’re paid for, isn’t it?

It’s only human nature to lack a little juice coming down from such an emotional high. However, quarterback Lamar Jackson is at least saying the right things after his team’s 36-35 win over Kansas City.

“We’ve got to move on to Detroit now,” the 2019 NFL MVP said. “We didn’t win the Super Bowl yet; it’s just one game. We’ve got to just keep staying focused.”

The win over the Chiefs prompted a big adjustment on Ravens futures, as SuperBook USA shortened their odds to win the Super Bowl from 25/1 after their loss to the Raiders to 12/1.

The Lions will need to manage their emotions as well after facing division foe Green Bay on Monday night. However, they may not have the same struggle finding those extra revs. After all, they’ll be hosting one of the league’s premier organizations and a Super Bowl contender.

Nice To Meet You

The Lions aren’t stocked with household names, but they have talented individuals who will factor heavily into Sunday’s matchup. Tight end T.J. Hockenson and running back D’Andre Swift are two Lions in particular to highlight ahead of Sunday.

Darren Waller finished with 10 catches, 105 yards, and a touchdown on 19 targets against the Ravens in Week 1. Travis Kelce followed that up with a 7-109-1 line of his own on eight targets. Hockenson isn’t mentioned alongside that tight end duo — yet — but he’s an up-and-coming player at the position.

The Ravens have allowed the sixth-fewest rushing yards through two games, so the sledding may be tough on the ground. However, Swift and running mate Jamaal Williams are effective pass-catchers. The Lions need their studs to be involved if they want to experience success offensively.

A Game Of Give-And-Take

Detroit appeared primed to cover the 11.5-point spread against the Packers when they went into the locker room with a 17-14 advantage. However, they served up 21 unanswered points and completely stalled offensively.

Jared Goff had some moments, going 4-for-4 on the Lions’ opening touchdown drive. In the end, though, he was done in by soft giveaways. Goff fumbled a snap, threw an ill-advised interception, and failed to convert a 4th-and-1 in which he ignored open receivers. All of these miscues occurred in the second half and gave the Packers everything they needed to pull away.

Baltimore has forced three turnovers through the first two weeks, including a pair of key takeaways to sink the Chiefs. Nobody expects the Ravens to falter, but they’ll cruise to victory if Goff and Co. are careless with the rock.

Betting Analysis

  • Opening lines — BAL -8.5, O/U 49 (SuperBook)
  • Best Baltimore line (as of Wednesday): PointsBet, WynnBet — BAL -7.5 (-110)
  • Best Detroit lines: Caesars, BetMGM — DET +8; FanDuel +7.5 (-105)
  • Best Baltimore moneyline: Circa — BAL -370
  • Best Detroit moneyline: DraftKings — DET +350
  • Total: Ranges from 49.5 to 50

Everyone seems to have had a wisecrack or snarky remark for the Lions ever since head coach Dan Campbell’s introductory press conference. They’ll continue to be the butt of jokes for as long as they’re losing. And with the Ravens drawing moneyline prices as high as -475 at DraftKings Sportsbook, another loss is likely in store.

Those favoring the Ravens may not like the value of betting the side. However, there may be some appeal in laying the points after the line moved to BAL -7.5 at several shops.

Can Detroit take better care of the football Sunday? The Lions are getting 9 points at DraftKings. If they can avoid silly turnovers, they could make the game relatively competitive.

About the Author

Craig Williams

Craig Williams is a Charlotte-based sportswriter who has worked professionally in the gaming, fantasy, and sports business industries. He’s an avid fantasy football player, managing over 100 leagues across multiple formats. When he’s not pouring over Vegas odds and statistics, he’s indulging in soccer and enjoys anything from LigaMX to Champions League.