Sunday, December 20, 2020, M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland, 1 p.m. ET
Jaguars at Ravens Betting Preview: Jaguars (+12/5/-110), Ravens (-12.5/-110)
Running back James Robinson became the fourth undrafted rookie in NFL history to total at least 1,000 rushing yards, and the fastest to do so, reaching the feat in the fourth quarter of last week’s loss to the Titans. He is third in the league in rushing with 1,035 yards, to go along with seven touchdowns. He’s also is well on pace to break the league mark set by the Colts’ Dominic Rhodes, who ran for 1,104 yards as an undrafted rookie in 2001. With four receptions on Sunday, Robinson will become the first undrafted rookie running back to total 50 receptions in a single season in NFL history and the first undrafted player to do so since 2014.
Quarterback Gardner Minshew will start on Sunday after entering the game in the second half in Week 14, when he posted 178 yards and one touchdown on 13-of-23 passing and added 22 rushing yards against the Titans. The second-year quarterback has appeared in eight games (seven starts) this season and has completed 194 of 298 attempts for 2,033 yards and 14 scores. Baltimore’s secondary struggled against the Browns as it gave up 355 yards passing.
The Jaguars’ defense could be in for a long day against the Ravens. Jacksonville has allowed 1,892 rushing yards (145.5 yards per game) this season, as only the Texans (1,980) and Cowboys (2,115) have been worse against the run. That could mean trouble for Jacksonville against the Ravens, who have the league’s most potent rushing attack.
The Ravens may have discovered their mojo, at least offensively. They are coming off a thrilling 47-42 victory over the host Cleveland Browns. Baltimore twice held 14-point leads, but Cleveland kept rallying, eventually taking a 35-34 edge midway through the fourth quarter after quarterback Lamar Jackson left the game with cramps. After Jackson’s backup, Trace McSorley, went down with a knee injury with 2:12 remaining, Jackson returned from the locker room. On the ensuing fourth-and-5 play, he found receiver Marquise Brown for a 44-yard touchdown to give Baltimore a 42-35 lead after J.K. Dobbins two-point conversion. Jackson later set up Justin Tucker’s game-winning, 55-yard field goal with two seconds remaining.
Look for the Ravens to run the ball relentlessly against the Jaguars. Baltimore’s rushing attack ranks No. 1 in the NFL (173.8 ypg) and Lamar Jackson’s 6.3 yards per carry also leads the league. His 793 rushing yards are 10th overall and tops among quarterbacks. Rookie J.K. Dobbins 5.3 yards per carry ranks fifth in the NFL, while Gus Edwards (5.0) is tied for ninth. Baltimore is the only team with three players who have at least 500 rushing yards — Jackson (793), Edwards (536) and Dobbins (504).
Keep an eye on the Ravens’ opportunistic defense, which could create short fields for Jackson and Co. The Ravens rank No. 1 in the NFL with 24 forced fumbles, which are at least eight more than any other team. They are also second in the league with 11 fumble recoveries. Cornerback Marlon Humphrey leads the NFL with eight forced fumbles this season. Humphrey’s eight forced fumbles also tie for the second most by a defensive back in an NFL single season since the stat began being tracked in 2000, and they are a Ravens’ single-season record.
Jaguars at Ravens Betting Pick for Week 15
The Ravens have won two straight games after a stretch in which they lost four of five games that would have knocked them out of the playoffs if the postseason started today. The Ravens’ trajectory is trending upward, while the Jaguars haven’t won since Week 1. The Ravens’ running game should force the Jaguars to crowd the line of scrimmage, giving receivers more room to exploit in the secondary, which is what the Ravens did to the Browns. In a game fueled by stars, the Ravens’ are just bigger and brighter than the Jaguars’.
Jaguars at Ravens Betting Pick:
Ravens, 38, Jaguars 17
Jaguars at Ravens Best Bet for Week 15
The Ravens are allowing 21 points per game, and their secondary was just shredded by Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield, who threw for a season-high 343 yards on Monday. It’s not out of the question for the Jaguars to score at least two touchdowns, considering they are averaging 20.1 points per game. As for the Ravens, their offense is starting to resemble the juggernaut of last year, meaning putting up 30-plus points against a Jaguars’ team that is terrible against the run is a distinct possibility.
Jaguars at Ravens Best Bet: OVER 47.5 total points (-110)