Jets vs. Ravens NFL Picks Week 15
In my preview for last Thursday's game, I wrote that I expected the Chicago Bears to win outright at home over the Dallas Cowboys, who were 2.5-point favorites. Was dead on there, but totally wrong on "under" the total of 42.5 as the Bears shockingly hung 31 points on the Cowboys and won by a touchdown.
Week 15's New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens matchup is the last Thursday night game of the season (and arguably the biggest TNF mismatch of 2019) as the NFL doesn't want teams at a disadvantage on a very short week in the final two games - although there will be Saturday games in Week 16.
There are a couple of story lines for Jets-Ravens . One is that Baltimore would clinch a second straight AFC North title with a victory. It also could clinch the top overall seed in the AFC with one but would need unlikely upsets by the Bengals over the Patriots and Broncos over the Chiefs on Sunday. It's essentially a done deal that Baltimore is going to be the No. 1 seed in the conference, though. Ditto that Lamar Jackson is going to win NFL MVP.
Jackson vs. Sam Darnold is the other storyline as two first-round picks from the 2018 NFL Draft face off for the first time. Clearly, the Jets in retrospect should have taken Jackson at No. 3 overall instead of Darnold; in fact, the Browns should have taken him at No. 1 over Baker Mayfield. Remember, though, that many scouts weren't sold on Jackson in the NFL because he was so small and likely to be injured with his running style. Baltimore trading back into the end of Round 1 to take the former Heisman winner may go down as one of the smartest picks in franchise history.
Jets at Ravens Betting Story Lines
The Buffalo Bills on Sunday did perhaps show other teams how to slow this Baltimore offense by holding Jackson to 145 yards passing (although three TD throws) and a season-low 50 yards rushing, but the Ravens won their franchise-record ninth in a row regardless 24-17. Jackson now has 1,017 rushing yards on the year, second most by a quarterback in league history. He should break Michael Vick's mark of 1,039 set in 2006 with the Falcons on Thursday.
That's assuming Jackson plays. He apparently suffered a quad injury in the victory. Jackson has yet to miss a start in his brief NFL career, playing in 20 straight games. Highly doubt he misses this one, either. The Ravens surely want to clinch that No. 1 seed ASAP and rest guys. Robert Griffin III is the Baltimore backup. He has not started a game since 2016. Starting tight end Mark Andrews (knee) and left tackle Ronnie Stanley (concussion) are more legitimately in question for this game. Seems more likely that Stanley sits.
The Jets have won four of five since a 1-7 start to take some pressure off Coach Adam Gase, although ownership already had said he was coming back in 2020. Maybe his seat will at least be a little less hot. Not sure the Jets have improved all that much considering their victories in that stretch were over the Giants, Redskins, Raiders and Dolphins.
It was 22-21 over Miami on Sunday as Gase avoided a sweep against his former team. Sam Ficken hit a 44-yard field goal as time expired, the longest walk-off field goal in franchise history. He had missed a PAT earlier. Darnold was OK, completing 20 of 36 for 270 yards, two TDs and a pick. He still makes a few boneheaded throws per game.
Jets running back Le'Veon Bell didn't play due to the flu, yet was seen out late the night before at a bowling area partying with some friends. Bad look for both sides; Bell has been a bust this season and might be one-and-done. He should play Thursday. Bell's backup, Bilal Powell, left with an ankle injury and is in question as is tight end Ryan Griffin (ankle). Star safety Jamal Adams sat with an ankle injury and also is questionable. Ditto cornerback Brian Poole (concussion).
Jets at Ravens Betting Odds and Trends
At 5Dimes, Baltimore is a 16-point favorite (+108) with a total of 45. On the moneyline, the Ravens are -900 and Jets +600. On some alternate lines, Baltimore is -17.5 (+140), -14.5 (-110), -13.5 (-138) and -10.5 (-185). The Jets are 2-4 against the spread on the road and 4-2 "over/under." The Ravens are 2-4 ATS at home and 2-4 O/U.
New York is 7-16-1 ATS in its past 24 as a road dog. The Jets are 3-7-1 ATS in their previous 11 after a win. Baltimore 1-7 ATS in its past eight as a home favorite and 3-10 ATS in their past 13 as a double-digit favorite. The under is 7-3 in the Jets' past 10 vs. the AFC. It's 4-1 in the Ravens' past five in December. New York is 1-4 ATS in its past five in Baltimore.
Jets at Ravens Betting Prediction
The Ravens are 8-2 all-time vs. the Jets but lost the last meeting in 2016. The QBs that day were Joe Flacco and Ryan Fitzpatrick/Geno Smith.
Obviously, there's no question that Baltimore will win this game, but it could be a bit of a letdown effort after playing a bunch of good teams lately. Probably be something like 27-13, so I'll take the 17.5-point alternate line on the Jets to be safe and go under the total.
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