Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6 SU, 4-4 ATS) vs. Baltimore Ravens (2-6 SU, 1-6-1 ATS)
NFL Week 10
Date/Time: Sunday, November 15, 2015 at 1PM EST
Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland
By Scott, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: JAC +5.5/BAL -5.5
Over/Under Total: 48
The Jacksonville Jaguars meet the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Stadium on Sunday in a battle of 2-6 teams looking for something positive in the second-half of the season. Jacksonville lost on Sunday, 28-23, to the Jets in a tough road loss where their own mistakes cost them what would have been a nice win. They take to the road again on Sunday against the Ravens, who are a bit refreshed coming off the bye week. Prior to their break, they scored a 29-26 home win over the San Diego Chargers.
While the Jacksonville passing attack has not necessarily made them appreciably better in a won-loss sense, its given them an edge they lacked in recent seasons where the Jaguars offense groped hopelessly for something positive. Blake Bortles has in fact shown measurable progress in his second season. What he eventually becomes is anybodys guess, but hes connected well with a nice young bunch of receivers like Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson. And if he could ever get this group all healthy at the same time, wed really see where this offense stands. TE Julius Thomas and Marqise Lee have missed a ton of time this season. Also giving this offense an air of credibility is the continued growth of TJ Yeldon, who is slowly finding his groove in this offense and lending it some needed balance. This offense has a lot of weapons and one could see it all coming together at some point. The low point totals are disconcerting, but theyre still working on things. Well see how well they hold up, with this being their 5th road game in their last 7 games.
Jacksonville has been allowing nearly 27 points per game on average and theyve been especially porous against the pass. In six of their 8 games, theyve allowed 25-27 points, with that being the general range of points given up by the Jags D. Its just that theyre not having a positive impact on games. Theyre usually just sort of there. They come up with some positive developments from time to time and have been key in the Jags two wins this season, but for the most part, theyre not coming up with enough key playshaving recorded just 7 turnovers and not rushing the opposing passer consistently.
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The Jaguars are certainly in a developmental stage and there are going to be some weeks where they dont fire. And for the most part, the offense seems to have a fundamental issue in converting production into actual points. And mistakes continue to undermine them at different spots throughout the season. On Sunday, four turnovers and a series of other miscues stopped them getting over the hump. And thats part of the downside in betting the Jags sometimes, though they are a respectable 4-4 ATS.
Baltimore is also 2-6, but Jacksonville is likely more comfortable in their 2-6 skin than Baltimore, who actually entered this season with some high hopes. The team and their supporters are hoping that the bye week and a win in their last game will give way to a strong second half, though their season might be reduced to just trying to save face. In their favor is the fact that 5 of their first 6 losses were by 5 or fewer points. They havent been far off and in their win against the Chargers, they were able to manufacture a win out of a close game, something theyve struggled massively with this season.
Baltimore QB Joe Flacco isnt having his most prolific season, with ten touchdowns and 8 picks through 8 games. It has hurt that their best weapon on offense is out for the season, with Steve Smith, Sr. going down for the season with a torn Achilles. Justin Forsett has had his moments, but for the most part, he has been hit-and-miss this season. And some key injuries, in addition to the lost of Smith, have rendered the Ravens a less-menacing version of their former selves across virtually all areas of the team.
Before going into the bye week, Baltimore showed that they still have some fight in them, though they beat the decimated San Diego Chargers by the narrowest of margins and beating the Chargers is something that hasnt been all that difficult to accomplish. They are dug in at home for an extended period of time, with the San Diego win at home, followed by a bye and now with two home games to follow. With some beatable teams coming into town like the Jaguars, the Ravens need to use this time in the season to at least partially right the ship.
The one thing that stands out is that Jacksonville is more at peace with their predicament, while Baltimore is struggling with their midseason identity. Baltimore has landed at 2-6 with a thud. They established a little momentum by the bye week, with them even catching a bad break just by the timing of the bye momentum-wise. I look for both teams to put forth a credible effort on Sunday. But with the blossoming Jacksonville pass-offense against the leaky Ravens secondary, they should be able to hit the scoreboard with some regularity. Im inclined to take the points in this one.
Scott’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im betting on the Jacksonville Jaguars plus 5.5 points.
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