The Jacksonville Jaguars opened up as 8 point dogs to the Baltimore Ravens and the line has since moved in some books all the way to 10 points. This is another game that most of the public expects the Jaguars to just get obliterated in, but like most of their games it's probably going to be within a single score with the Jaguars in the game late.
Is the game winnable for the Jaguars? Sure. In order for that to happen though, a lot of things have to go right.
OddsShark takes a quick look at the match up:
OddsShark Staff- Jacksonville gets a rare Monday Nighter and it's not a spot where they have excelled over the years, going just 2-7 ATS since 1999.And they face a tough Baltimore team that manhandled the Jets and Texans the past two weeks. The Ravens also boast a 7-1 SU run against the Jaguars.
The Ravens bring in the leagues 3rd rated defense to Jacksonville to take on one of the NFL's worst offenses. The Jaguars can run the football, but the passing game with rookie Blaine Gabbert and his hodge podge of wide receivers are one of the worst in the league. The Jaguars added what they hope is a boost to the receiving corps in Mike Sims-Walker, who was brought back this week after he was released by the St. Louis Rams. Sims-Walker is expected to get plenty of play time today, too.
"He's pretty much fit right back in," Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio said about the new receiver. "The quarterbacks have confidence in him. The coaches have confidence in him. I think he'll come in here and pick up where he left off. He'll have a chance to make some plays for us."
The Jaguars offense will likely once again center around running back Maurice Jones-Drew who is third in the NFL in rushing yards. He's been effective in every game, even against the Pittsburgh Steelers last week. The Ravens boast the leagues 3rd best rush defense however, so it won't be easy sledding. Jones-Drew figures to get plenty of work, however.
Defensively, the Jaguars should be able to keep the game close if they can contain Ravens running back Ray Rice. Rice, who's very similar to their own Jones-Drew, is a dangerous back rushing the ball and catching the ball out of the backfield. The Jaguars defense will want to force quarterback Joe Flacco to pass the ball, as he's struggled a bit this season and does not have a touchdown pass in his last two games. Flacco is complete just a hair over half of his passes and the Ravens offensive line has struggled keep him off his back.
The Jaguars pass rushers should be able to harass Flacco and force him to make some difficult and rushed throws. Defensive tackle Tyson Alualu, who's been playing with a leg injury, should be able to generate some inside pressure with Ravens guard Ben Grubbs ruled out of the game.
Overall, I think the game will look similar to last weeks match up with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Jaguars defense will bend, not break, and their offense will look laborious. If Sims-Walker can provide just a small spark in the Jaguars passing game, it could be enough to help them get in the endzone and score points.
Official Prediction: Ravens 20, Jaguars 17