Denver, after being bet as high as -10 in this game, sit currently as a 7.5-point favorite at most sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Broncos finished the 2012 regular season on an 11-0 SU and 9-2 ATS tear, with the defense looking strong each week and Peyton Manning bouncing back to his career norms. But after earning the AFC's top seed and a bye week, the Broncos hosted the Baltimore Ravens and lost 38-35 as a 9-point favorite on a last-minute touchdown drive.
The loss is sure to be fresh on the minds of every Broncos player coming into this season opener, where the NFL odds have fluctuated since opening at -7.
Usually, the defending Super Bowl champions host the first game of the NFL season on Thursday night. But with the Baltimore Orioles scheduled to play in Baltimore, Joe Flacco and the Ravens are forced to open the 2013 season on the road.
Baltimore went 10-6 SU and just 6-9-1 ATS during the regular season last year, but went 4-0 SU and ATS in the postseason to win the Super Bowl behind the brilliant play of Flacco.
While Denver returns just about everyone from last year's team (minus LB Von Miller, who is serving a six-game suspension), Baltimore had a lot of turnover this year. LB Ray Lewis, S Ed Reed, and WR Anquan Boldin are among the team's key losses.
The defense may take some time to adjust, but with Flacco under center and Ray Rice in the backfield, the offense should be fine.
Baltimore is 3-1 SU and ATS in its last four games against Denver, and each of the last three games between these two teams has gone OVER the total.
Giving up seven points to the defending champions seems like a bad proposition, but Manning should have a big day going up against a defense that has had no time to gel.
Factor in home field and a thirst for revenge, and Denver looks like the pick Thursday night.
PICK: Denver -7.5, computer says 36-27 -- follow line updates, injury news and trends on Twitter