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Top 2 teams in NFC West face off

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Top 2 teams in NFC West face off

NEW YORK (AP) NFC Worst? Not anymore.

That was so 2010. Here in 2012, the NFC West is the best division in all of pro football.

And the two best teams in the division, the San Francisco 49ers (No. 5 in the AP Pro32) and Seattle Seahawks (No. 9) face off in the city by the bay on Thursday night.

Even though they come off their worst performance of the season in a 23-3 home loss to the Giants, the Niners are 7-point favorites - despite the Seahawks coming off a stirring comeback victory against New England.

You've got to dust yourself off and ride,'' 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. ``Right now we have no choice. We have to get to Seattle right quick. We've got a football fight coming.''

Much of that fight figures to be on the ground. Marshawn Lynch leads the NFC in rushing and is third in the league with 549 yards. Last year, he gained 107 against the 49ers and snapped San Francisco's string of 36 successive games not allowing a 100-yard gainer.

``Their running game is the bread and butter of their offense,'' Niners defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. ``And everything works off of that. He's one of the best backs in the league. He's the best back we played last year by far. He broke more tackles than any back we played against last year. He broke the most against us.''

For Seattle to pull slightly ahead in the NFC West race - the Seahawks, 49ers and Cardinals are all 4-2; the Rams are 3-3 - it must stymie the 49ers' running game. Frank Gore has 470 yards rushing and a 5.4-yard average, better than Lynch's 4.3.

With the way Alex Smith struggled against a Giants defense that hadn't been all that impressive beforehand, the Seahawks could present a huge challenge to San Francisco's passing attack at Candlestick Park.

Then again, the Niners need to prove something to themselves - and to the rest of the league.

49ERS, 27-14

No. 21 New York Jets (plus 10 1/2) at No. 8 New England

Patriots are angry at themselves - and they always are angry with the Jets.

BEST BET: PATRIOTS, 37-13

No. 15 Pittsburgh (minus 2 1/2) at No. 20 at Cincinnati

Two of the NFL's most disappointing teams. Go with the hosts.

UPSET SPECIAL: BENGALS, 21-20

No. 19 Dallas (minus 1 1/2) at No. 28 Carolina

Two more of the NFL's most disappointing teams. Breaking tradition, go with the visitors.

COWBOYS, 27-24

No. 32 Jacksonville (plus 4) at No. 29 Oakland

Two of the NFL's worst teams. Go with the visitors.

JAGUARS, 16-14

No. 23 New Orleans (minus 2 1/2) at No. 25 Tampa Bay

One more time - one last time? - going to believe in the Saints.

SAINTS, 30-24

No. 3 Baltimore (plus 6) at No. 4 Houston

Take Ray Lewis away from Ravens' linebacking corps and Brian Cushing from Texans' LBs and ...

RAVENS, 28-27

No. 7 Green Bay (minus 5 1/2) at No. 22 St. Louis

Pack really stepped up at Houston, but Rams are no pushover, especially at home.

PACKERS, 27-23

No. 18 Detroit (plus 5) at No. 6 Chicago, Monday night

Impressed by Lions' comeback win at Philly? We're not.

BEARS, 30-20

No. 13 Washington (plus 6 1/2) at No. 2 New York Giants

Giants showed their true mettle by manhandling 49ers. But Redskins give them trouble.

GIANTS, 28-26

No. 27 Tennessee (plus 3) at No. 24 Buffalo

Both teams pretty much were handed wins last week. Bills gladly accept another gift.

BILLS, 26-22

No. 14 Arizona (plus 6) at No. 11 Minnesota

Spread looks somewhat high. Vikes running game the difference.

VIKINGS, 19-16

No. 30 Cleveland (plus 3) at No. 26 Indianapolis

New owner means, uh, not much for Browns this week.

COLTS, 17-16

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2012 RECORD:

Against spread: 7-7 (35-54-2). Straight up: 7-7 (50-41)

Best Bet: 3-2-1 against spread, 5-1 straight up.

Upset special: 4-2 against spread, 3-3 straight up.

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Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season

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USA TODAY Sports

Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season

Enjoying a game at M&T Bank Stadium just became a little more affordable.

On Thursday, the Ravens introduced their new "Flock Friendly Fare," reducing the price of 21 of their most popular food and beverage items.  

The change comes as the organization focuses on revamping the fan experience in 2018. Fans will see an average of 33 percent in total savings and up to 53 percent savings on a single item.  

"As a lot of you probably know, after every game we survey fans to see how we're doing; what have we done well and what have we not done well. Over the years, one of the biggest criticisms we received was for the gameday concessions prices," Ravens President Dick Cass said on the team's website

Alcoholic beverages were all reduced by $1 with the addition of domestic 12 ounce beer for $5.

Chicken tenders with fries went from $11 to $7, while a slice of pizza went from $8.50 to $6. No single item will cost above $9.

On average, you will now be able to feed a family of four for $44 compared to $66.75 in years past. To see all of the reductions, click the arrow in the post below. 

In 2017, the Atlanta Falcons reduced their concession prices upon opening their brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Ravens, however, are expecting to lose $1.5 million in concession revenue due to the change. 

Introducing our new Flock Friendly Fare!

A post shared by Baltimore Ravens (@ravens) on

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Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

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AP Images

Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

Vegas has spoken and they are not optimistic about rookie Lamar Jackson starting under center for the Ravens in 2018.

Bovado, an online gambling site, has set the odds on how the top 2018 rookies will perform and they have Jackson getting 0.5 starts this season.

That number will come as a surprise considering the popular narrative that Lamar Jackson will be the Ravens' starter in no time. The team made it clear they are planning for life after Flacco when they traded back into the first-round of the 2018 draft to select the quarterback out of Louisville at No. 32

Flacco - who is entering his 11th season with the organization - is experiencing a decline in his performance of late, one that can not be put entirely on his shoulders as the team has failed in finding him valuable weapons to throw to. Nonetheless, Flacco's projected 2018 season is very much up in the air and it appears Vegas is betting on the one-time Super Bowl MVP to bounce back. 

However, the Ravens have failed to make the playoffs four of the last five seasons, and if that trend continues into 2018, the rookie could get his shot at flipping the script.

If you're a betting man, it could payoff to bet the over on Jackson. Low risk, seemingly high reward. 

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