Today’s final Thanksgiving Day game features the once-defeated San Francisco 49ers against the up and down (but mostly up) Baltimore Ravens. Here is the TV and spread info, plus what our writing team has had to say about this game throughout the week, including our picks…and yours.
San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens
- 49ers-Ravens Date: Thanksgiving Night, Thursday, November 24th
- 49ers-Ravens Kickoff Time: 8:20 PM EST
- 49ers-Ravens TV Network: NFL Network
- 49ers-Ravens Sirius: 92 (SF) | 86 (BAL)
- 49ers-Ravens Announcers: Brad Nessler and Mike Mayock
- 49ers-Ravens Point Spread: Ravens -3
- 49ers-Ravens Over/Under: 39
From Keith’s Thanksgiving Day football preview
What more can you ask for in a Thanksgiving evening game (other than for cable companies to all pick up the NFL Network)?
The Brothers Harbaugh square off against one another for the first time as NFL head coaches, with Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers, a surprising 9-1 and the runaway leader of the NFC West traveling to face John Harbaugh’s Ravens, who are tied for the AFC North lead after beating the Cincinnati Bengals last week.
These teams are built similarly, with punishing defenses (the 49ers are 1st against the run, the Ravens are 3rd) and elite, multi-purpose running backs (Frank Gore and Ray Rice). The winner of this game will likely be the team who is able to have more success running against the other’s front 7.
Of concern for the Ravens is getting Rice consistent touches. This season, Rice has averaged just over 14 carries per game, which for a star back is not nearly enough. He is a valuable part of the receiving game too, with 51 receptions, but the Ravens need to find a way to establish Rice early and often.
The Ravens’ game plan lately has been a pass-heavy attack, but Joe Flacco is not Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees; he is not the type of quarterback who can give his team the best chance to win by consistently throwing over 35 times per game.
I think the 49ers will be able to run on Baltimore, especially if Ray Lewis were to miss the game (he is questionable currently with a toe injury that forced him to miss the Cincinnati game). As long as Alex Smith is able to play conservative, mistake-free football like he has done in the first 10 games this year, I think the 49ers win.
- 49ers-Ravens Spread Pick: 49ers +3
Steve Kubitza’s 49ers-Ravens Prediction
From Steve’s 49ers-Ravens Preview
The build-up to this game will be very intriguing, with the only negative being that the game will be televised on NFL Network. If you do not have NFL Network, NFL.com always broadcasts the games online, with special commentary throughout the game.
The Ravens and coach John Harbaugh have had success in the past, and will continue to carry that success into this year’s playoffs. However, Jim Harbaugh and his up and coming 49ers will get the best of his brother’s team.
The Ravens are prone to having bad games, and this week they will simply be overpowered by the 49ers, who are looking for a quality win to prove themselves.
A win by the 49ers and loss by the Packers would tie the two teams for the lead in the NFC, with the 49ers having the advantage as their schedule is significantly easier than the Packers’ down the stretch.
- 49ers: 27 | Ravens: 21
My 49ers-Ravens Quick Pick
The Harbaugh Bowl! This one is going to be fun.
Two of the three best scoring defenses in the NFL meet up in this one. One, the 49ers, are coming off an easy win over Arizona. The other, the Ravens, is coming off a much tougher divisional matchup.
I expect San Fran to be a bit fresher, and seeing as how scoring will be at a premium 3.5 points seems like an awful lot. I want the points here, especially when I get them with a team that has been so good on the road this year.
- 49ers-Ravens free pick: 49ers +3.5
But most importantly, what do you think?
Who do you think will win The Harbaugh Bowl?
- San Francisco 49ers (70%, 280 Votes)
- Baltimore Ravens (30%, 122 Votes)
Total Voters: 402
And if the history of football on Thanksgiving Day interests you, this is a must-read article by Josh Tinley.