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Monday Night Previews
Ravens at Jets and Chargers at Chiefs
What better way to cap off Week 1 then with a Monday Night Football doubleheader!
Sunday featured its share of hard hits and upsets and tonight promises to deliver more of the same when Baltimore stops in at the new Meadowlands Stadium.
BALTIMORE AT NEW YORK JETS
Line: Jets -2.5
Sportsbooks opened this game at New York -3 but the Darrelle Revis holdout and 65-70 percent support from Ravens backers edged this line off the key number down to -2.5.
Both of these teams finished last season at 9-7 straight-up (SU) and put up a good fight in the playoffs. Key additions to the offense will bolster the attack but the edge in QB has to go to the Ravens. Joe Flacco is in his third year and having a legitimate downfield threat in WR Boldin will stretch the field for a passing game that ranked 18th overall last year.
Mark Sanchez was prone to turnovers and rookie mistakes in 2009 and the absence of WR Holmes (suspension) won’t help. New York will look to its ground game to take pressure away from Sanchez but this Ravens defense ranked first overall at limiting yards per carry.
New York also saw their leading rusher RB Jones leave for Kansas City; although RB Greene did show he was ready to take over. Veteran RB Tomlinson will also help and LT showed in preseason he still has a move or two left in the tank.
Monday Night Pick:
Revis will cover Boldin but Flacco also has TE Heap, TJ Houshmandzadeh, WR Mason and one of the top RBs in the game with Ray Rice. Beyond the hype that Coach Ryan has put into his team’s Super Bowl chances, the Ravens are one of the top teams in the conference. Getting points, we like the road team.
Take the Ravens
SAN DIEGO AT KANSAS CITY
Line: Chargers -4.5
It was an active off-season for San Diego and rookie RB sensation Ryan Matthews is set to take his first steps as the new face of the Chargers ground game. WR Jackson’s absence will be felt, but TE Gates and WRs Floyd and Naanee will still provide plenty chances for QB Rivers to connect.
More unsettling for Rivers may be the contract dispute that will keep veteran left tackle Marcus McNeill away from Monday’s game. For a Chiefs defensive unit that finished 30th overall last season, it’s never going to be any easier for them trying to break into the Chargers pocket.
San Diego was slow out of the gate last year, going 2-3 SU and 1-4 against the spread (ATS). Denver’s 6-0 start triggered an alarm that sent the team into an 11-game winning streak beginning in Week 6 at Arrowhead against this Chiefs team.
Monday Night Pick:
Slow starts aren’t new for San Diego, the team is 5-7 in September the past three seasons, but the sense of urgency is more apparent right now and we don’t see HC Turner letting this game slip by. Lay the points on the road with the better team in this one.
Take the Chargers
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