Baltimore Ravens

Media roundup: Who's picking the Ravens?

•'s Pete Prisco predicts the Ravens will win by a touchdown over the 49ers.

Ravens 21, 49ers 14: This is the Harbaugh Brothers Bowl, matching coaches Jim vs. John. Expect a lot of intensity from both sides. The 49ers are actually the better defense in this game, which can't sit well with the Ravens. I think the Baltimore defense shows up big here. Neither team will run, although both will try. That puts it on the quarterbacks. I'll take Joe Flacco in that battle.

• All five analysts believe the Ravens will win, but only two think they'll cover the 3 1/2-point spread over the 49ers.

•'s "Bet On It" feature calls for San Francisco running back Frank Gore to rush for more yards than Ravens running back Ray Rice.

Frank Gore will outrush Ray Rice by at least 25 yards: The Ravens' offense has been tough to figure this year, and it's deserted Rice against some tougher fronts. And they don't come much tougher than San Francisco this season. The 49ers are allowing just 73.9 yards per game on the ground, tops in the NFL. For the Ravens to win, Joe Flacco will have to open things up through the air, meaning less rushing attempts for Rice. Gore won't have an easy task either against the Ravens' fifth-ranked rush defense, but Jim Harbaugh will ride him all game, whether it's working or not.

• Peter King of thinks the 49ers will be the team to celebrate a victory on Thanksgiving night.

49ers 20, Ravens 13: "I don't think we exactly figured this might be the game of the week -- or one of the games of the season -- when we scheduled it," commissioner Roger Goodell told me the other day. Who could have figured it? This was a made-for-TV game, the first matchup of head-coaching brothers in the 92-year history of the NFL. The one big X-factor in the game -- other than which Harbaugh brother gets the biggest piece of the post-game wishbone -- is whether the Niners can prevent speedy Torrey Smith from getting behind the secondary more than once or twice. By my pick, I'm trusting defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will figure it out.

• Merril Hoge and Eric Allen believe the 49ers will win, but the other six ESPN NFL "experts" expect the Ravens to be victorious.

•'s Peter Schrager picks the Ravens to beat San Francisco.

The 49ers are 9-1 and are a miraculous Cowboys comeback in Week 2 away from being a perfect 10-0. San Francisco's been the league's most surprising team -- and you can't take anything away from them -- but they also haven't played an elite team like Baltimore on the road yet. Philly's shown they're not an upper echelon squad, especially in home games, this year. This one is the 49ers' lone daunting road challenge before the playoffs, and I just can't see them getting past the Ravens in their building. Expect a low-scoring, gritty affair won at the line of scrimmage. According to my guy Gerry Sandusky -- yes, the Ravens radio play-by-play guy's name is Gerry Sandusky -- the Harbaugh brothers' parents won't be in attendance on Thursday. The Pick: Ravens 20, 49ers 13

• Michael Hurley of says the Ravens will win by more than the three-point spread against the 49ers.

I'm the first guy to point out when Vegas puts too much emphasis on a team traveling across the country, but this week is a little different. San Francisco is traveling 3,000 miles, on a short week, on a holiday, while riding a hard-to-maintain eight-game win streak, in a weird Brother vs. Brother head coaching showdown and a must-win for a Ravens team that is too good to be stuck in a three-team race to win the AFC North. There are just too many distractions and reasons for the Niners to lose.

It will be interesting, though, to watch the teams that allow the fewest (San Francisco) and third-fewest (Baltimore) points in the NFL and are tied for scoring the seventh-most points per game. When the teams are this easily matched, you go against the team that has too many opposing forces facing them.


Seeing other predictions on this week's NFL games? Leave them as a comment below.


[Compiled by Dean Jones Jr.]