Baltimore vs. Jacksonville
Sunday, 6:30 am PT - Yahoo.com
CRIS Opener: Baltimore -4 O/U 40.5
CRIS Current: Baltimore -4 O/U 39
Joe Flacco missed all of preseason; one of many injured veterans for the Ravens in August. Baltimore lost nearly a dozen guys to IR in training camp, losing key bodies on both sides of the football. Flacco has looked rusty, with only 338 passing yards through two games. And he hasn’t been tested – the ravens have not yet trailed this season. The Ravens, as a team, have only one explosive play on offense through two games. They’ve rushed for under four yards per carry. And now the key to their offensive line, six time pro bowler Marshall Yanda, has been placed on injured reserve after breaking his ankle last week.
Yanda’s injury cannot be overstated. With him gone, this team is now without three of their five OL starters from last year, as well as their top two backups from a season ago. This would be a problem for any offense. It matters even more with a QB and skill position talent that don’t have much familiarity with one another after the barrage of August injuries.
And for all the success the Ravens have had with their 2-0 SU and ATS start, let’s not forget two things. First, Baltimore has generated 10 turnovers. No other team has more than five. Every team looks good and covers spreads when they are +7 in turnovers over a two game span.
Secondly, John Harbaugh is not a ‘let’s lay points with him’ kind of coach, especially on the highway. The Ravens have been feisty underdogs for years under Harbaugh. However, they’ve got a grand total of one pointspread cover in their last eight tries as favorites away from home dating back to 2014; failing repeatedly in this role. I’ve got Harbaugh as 3-10 ATS in his last 13 tries laying more than a field goal on any field, and all three of those covers have come against the same team – Cleveland.
The defense Baltimore is facing this week is no joke. Say what you want about Blake Bortles (yes, I know Bortles sucks, but I think the Jags can cover in spite of him), Jacksonville’s stop unit is the best one the Ravens have seen this year. Offseason acquisition Calais Campbell has been a pass rushing force, who’s veteran leadership has been “off the charts” according to head coach Doug Marrone.
Free agent signee AJ Bouye gives them a stud cornerback duo with last year’s #1 pick Jalen Ramsey, on the other side. This defense finished #4 in the NFL in yards per play allowed last year. They dominated the game at Houston in Week 1. And they kept the Titans out of the end zone until the second half last week before finally wearing down late.
The Jags play in London every year. They won their London game in 2015. They won their London game last year, developing a following in the UK and at least some semblance of a home field edge at Wembley. This is the first ever game that the Ravens have played outside the continental US. Put it all together and the Jags catching more than a field goal are a clear choice for this bettor.