The Baltimore Ravens will open up their NFL preseason play on the road as they face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night August 4th.
Kick off time from Tampa Bay is scheduled for 4:30PM Eastern Time with live television coverage available only in the Baltimore and Tampa Bay home markets.
The odds from this week one NFL preseason affair have the home side Tampa Bay Buccaneers favored by -3 points with the over under line coming in at 35 ½ points. Money line odds on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are -155 odds with the return on the road underdog Baltimore Ravens on the money line at +135 odds.
As is the norm in the first week of preseason starters will see little if any action from one to two series. Fifth year pro Josh Freeman will get the start under center. Freeman will be feeling the pressure this season for his job as the Buccaneers drafted Mike Glennon out of NC State in the draft. Also on the roster for Tampa Bay are NFL veteran Dan Orlovsky and Adam Weber. The Buccaneers are loaded at the running back postion with Doug Martin, Peyton Hillis and former Bengal Brian Leonard competing for carries. Rookie Mike James out of Miami and second year pro Michael Smith will see action. On defense the Buccaneers look to improve an awful pass defense from a season ago by drafting cornerback Johnathan Banks from Mississippi St and by bringing in stop corner Darrelle Revis.
The defending Super Bowl champions went through a lot of changes in the offseason. Linebacker Ray Lewis has retired and they lose a key player in their passing game in Anquan Bolden. Safety Ed Reed bolted for Houston. Joe Flacco signed a huge contract in the offseason and will wear Ravens colors for a long time. There is NFL experience behind Flacco in sixth year pro Caleb Hanie and third year man Tyrod Taylor of Virginia Tech. Ray Rice returns and will see very little action at running back. Competing for carries will be Anthony Allen, Damien Berry, Bernard Pierce and Bobby Rainer all very young backs behind Rice. The Ravens were an old defense last season and the team with their first four draft picks selected all defensive players including two linebackers. Defensive end Elvis Dumervil was a signee in free agency.