Ravens vs. Jaguars Odds & Picks: Expect Plenty Of Points On Sunday
Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Lamar Jackson
Ravens vs. Jaguars Odds
The Baltimore Ravens (8-5) have righted the ship with two straight wins after three consecutive losses. The Ravens are battling for a playoff spot and have one of the easiest schedules over the last three weeks.
Will their playoff push begin with an easy win over the 1-12 Jacksonville Jaguars?
The Jacksonville secondary remains ravaged by injuries, with cornerback Sidney Jones (Achilles) ruled out. The Jaguars will also be without starter C.J. Henderson (injured reserve), as well as Tre Herndon (Reserve/COVID-19 list).
After backup quarterback Mike Glennon continued to struggle, the Jaguars pivoted back to former starter Gardner Minshew.
Minshew provided a slight spark after Jacksonville was already in a 31-3 deficit to Tennessee, finding Keelan Cole on a 5-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter. The presence of Minshew has equated to a better team performance on both sides of the ball.
The lone bright spot on this offense has been running back James Robinson, who continues to see massive volume — he ranks first among all running backs with an 85.4% opportunity share. And his weekly stats could have been even better with multiple touchdowns nullified due to penalties: He lost a 22-yard run in Week 14 due to an illegal formation penalty.
Jacksonville does have wide receiver depth with D.J. Chark and Cole, while rookies Laviska Shenault and Collin Johnson have also been impressive.
The Ravens’ pass defense has been strong all season, but did show cracks against the Browns’ below-average passing attack in Week 14. Baker Mayfield tallied 343 passing yards and repeatedly attacked the Ravens with passes to Kareem Hunt (six receptions, 77 receiving yards, one touchdown).
The Jaguars’ offense will need to score to offset a defense that’s among the league’s worst — they ranks dead last in defensive DVOA, per Football Outsiders. They also have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and the fifth-most to opposing running backs.
The Ravens have battled injuries all season, especially in their secondary.
Cornerbacks Jimmy Smith (ribs/shoulder) is out, and four other defensive backs appeared on Friday’s injury report: Marcus Peters (calf), Davontae Harris (ankle), Tramon Williams (thigh) and Anthony Averett (ankle) are all listed as questionable.
The good news for Baltimore is that the offense has finally started to click, with consecutive games of 34 and 47 points. Lamar Jackson returned to his MVP level with the overall fantasy QB1 performance against Cleveland. The versatile signal-caller totaled 287 yards, including 124 on the ground, with three total touchdowns in the Ravens’ scintillating 47-42 win.
Since Mark Ingram’s injury, the rushing attack has been spearheaded by explosive rookie J.K. Dobbins and veteran Gus Edwards. They accounted for three rushing touchdowns last week while averaging a robust 5.1 yards per carry against a strong Browns rush defense.
Baltimore’s pass volume remains low, but it still has multiple big-play targets.
Tight end Mark Andrews has at least 78 receiving yards in his past two games, and Marquise Brown has a touchdown in three straight. More good news for the Ravens: Brown as well as fellow wide receivers Myles Boykin and James Proche have been activated off the reserve/COVID-19 list.
The Ravens’ defense is always among the NFL’s best, but there are enough lingering injuries to project it will not be at its usual efficiency.
Defensive linemen Calais Campbell (calf), Derek Wolfe (neck/back) and Broderick Washington (concussion) are all listed as questionable. In a game in which the Ravens are huge favorites, just how long will they play starters that were limited in practice all week?
With the playoffs on the line, Baltimore will likely win this home game by double digits. Jackson has this Ravens offense clicking, and his rushing efficiency appears to have returned to last season’s elite level.
However, the return of Minshew against a short-handed secondary should bolster the Jacksonville offense. The Jaguars should also be able to move the ball enough to get this total to 50 points.
I’m taking the over at 47.5 and would bet it up to 48.5 (shop real-time lines here).
Pick: Over 47.5