The Ravens rebounded nicely from their surprising loss at Tennessee by routing the Rams at St. Louis 37-7, while the Jets have issues on both sides of the ball right now, which was evident in a 34-24 loss in Oakland.
The bookmakers are expecting a closer game than we are here, as Baltimore has been installed as a favorite of (-3½) with the total set at 41½.
BETTING ODDS: OPEN: Ravens -3.5 | CURRENT: Ravens -3.5 | O/U: 42
1. Why Baltimore will cover the spread: The Jets were considered Super Bowl contenders this season because of their defense and their offensive line, but both of those units are very shaky right now. The Ravens can take advantage of a Jets’ run defense that is almost in-explicitly allowing 136.7 rushing yards per game on 4.8 yards per carry with possibly the best all-purpose running back in the NFL in Ray Rice, and the ferocious Baltimore front seven on defense could potentially overwhelm a New York offensive line that sorely misses the injured Nick Mangold more than many people expected.
The Jets have become a one-dimensional passing offense for the time being, and those are precisely the types of teams Baltimore feasts upon.
2. Why New York will cover the spread: Mark Sanchez is on his way to a career year, as he has passed for nearly 900 yards in three games while completing 63.1 percent of his passes and averaging a lovely 7.98 yards per pass attempt. With that said, the Jets will only cover this game if they can get their running game going. This was one of the best rushing offenses in the NFL the last two years, but apparently Mangold’s injury has affected the entre run blocking scheme, and thus the Jets are averaging a terrible 82.0 rushing yards per game on just 3.4 yards per carry.
3. Total Talk: Truth be told, we don’t expect the Jets to run well vs. this great Baltimore defense, which is the main reason we like the Ravens to cover this game. We do like the ‘over’ a bit also for a couple of reasons. We think that Sanchez will once again be forced to throw the ball more than the Jets would want, and he is quickly establishing himself as a high-quality NFL quarterback.
Even with the Jets being one-dimensional again, we still think that Sanchez can direct a scoring drive or two, and we also feel that the Baltimore defense is good enough to force some turnovers, actually leading to potentially more points due to shorter fields. When the Ravens have the ball, Rice’s expected success should allow Joe Flacco to also have some success through the air.
4. Betting Trends for the game: The Jets are 10-6 ATS as underdogs and 13-9 ATS on the road since 2009, but they are also 1-5 ATS the last six times they allowed more than 150 rushing yards in their previous game. The Ravens are a sparkling 46-22-1 the last 69 times they’ve been installed home favorites. Also, the ‘over’ is 16-4-1 in the Jets’ last 21 road games.