One of the largest spreads so far this preseason will be tested Thursday when Jacksonville Jaguars come into
Baltimore as +7 underdogs. Which team will get the win and, more importantly, the cover in one of the final preseason games of the season?
Ravens got beat up by Calvin Johnson and the Lions last week, 27-12, as
Baltimore was handed their first preseason loss. Joe Flacco once again looked solid, throwing for 79 yards on 7-12 passing, but he didn't generate any points. Lions QB Matt
Stafford outplayed everyone in that game, throwing for 184 yards on 12-17
passing and two touchdowns.
As for the Jags, they looked like they were well on their way to another preseason loss at the hands
of the Saints, but they played well throughout the entire game, hanging with
the Saints long enough to give themselves a chance to win. They did just that in the end with a go-ahead touchdown with 13 seconds to go.
horrible rookie season in Jacksonville, Blaine Gabbert has been playing well so far in the preseason. He tossed two touchdowns against the Saints, one going to rookie
receiver Justin Blackmon. Although the Jags have been hit with some turmoil due
to the holdout of Maurice Jones-Drew, Gabbert's play has been a
sight for sore eyes in northern Florida.
What to expect
Ravens will surely try to play better than they did against the Lions.
Baltimore is still one of the NFL odds favorites to win the Super Bowl, and
while they didn’t play great against the Lions last week, they didn’t play
their starters very long, either.
The Jags, on the other hand, are still undefeated in the preseason, and they have been
trying to change the culture in Jacksonville. With the holdout of Jones-Drew,
Jacksonville is still chugging away without their best player.
NFL odds makers have installed them as +7 underdogs for some reason. Ifhe Ravens play their
starters for almost the entire first half, this one
could get ugly quick. Gabbert did look good against the the Giants pass rush in
the first preseason game, but will he continue his transformation as a
poised under center quarterback? The Ravens pass rush is still very deadly.
The Sharp Pick
trends have emerged this preseason, and some of them could be factors in this
game. First, 2011 playoff teams are only 11-14 ATS this preseason. With a
spread so large in this game, it’s hard to ignore that statistic. The Ravens
are 1-1 ATS this preseason.
There has been a large
discrepancy in preseason totals as well. The OVER is a solid cash so far at 18-12-3.
trend I’m paying attention to this preseason is home teams and home team
favorites. Home teams are only 12-19-1 ATS this preseason, and home team
favorites are a similar 12-17-1 ATS.
+7 spread, and after beating both the Saints and Giants, I like the
Jags taking points in this game. Home teams haven’t proved there worth this
preseason, so taking seven points seems good.
Pick: Jaguars +7