Jacksonville Jaguars at Baltimore Ravens Betting Preview

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) 

Jacksonville Jaguars

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.

Baltimore Ravens

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)

Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns Betting Preview

Monday, December 14, 2020, FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio, 8:15 p.m. ET

Ravens at Browns Betting Preview: Ravens (-2.5/-110), Browns (+2.5/-110)

Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore (7-5) rolled to a 38-6 victory when the teams met in Week 1 but now finds itself in must-win mode even after a solid 34-17 victory over Dallas on Tuesday. The Ravens rolled up 294 rushing yards against the Cowboys and figure to unleash their top-ranked rushing attack (169 yards per game) against Cleveland as quarterback Lamar Jackson (94 rushing yards Tuesday) exhibited fresh legs after missing a game due to a positive COVID-19 test. Jackson established season highs of 275 passing yards and three touchdowns in the win over Cleveland during a season in which he has failed to reach 200 yards in seven of his 11 games played.

Wideout Marquise Brown has team-best totals of 41 catches and 555 yards, and the passing attack will be fortified by the return of tight end Mark Andrews (team-leading six receiving touchdowns) after he missed back-to-back games while on the COVID-19 list. Standout outside linebacker Matthew Judon (four sacks) also returns from a two-game stay on the COVID-19 list to aid a unit that rates third in scoring defense (19.3 points per game). Rookie linebacker Patrick Queen has a team-high 84 tackles and notched his first career interception in the victory over the Cowboys.

Veteran cornerback Jimmy Smith (groin) sat out Thursday’s practice but could return after a one-game absence. Wideout Dez Bryant will miss his second straight contest after being placed on the COVID-19 list on Thursday.

Cleveland Browns

The Browns (9-3) are looking for their fifth consecutive win as they work toward ending a 17-season playoff drought. Cleveland clinched a winning campaign for the first time since 2007 with last week’s 45-38 victory over the Tennessee Titans, and the Browns are much improved from the version of the squad that was trampled by the Ravens in September. The Browns feature the second-best running attack in the NFL (157.8 yards per game) as Nick Chubb (799 yards in eight games) and Kareem Hunt (739 in 12 contests) have formed a prolific duo.

Quarterback Baker Mayfield passed for four touchdowns and a season-high 334 yards against the Titans and has season totals of 2,442 yards and 21 scores against seven interceptions. Star defensive end Myles Garrett is tied for third in the NFL with 10.5 sacks, and he has dropped the quarterback 41 times in just 47 career games. Garrett has forced four fumbles for a unit that has 20 takeaways (10 interceptions, 10 fumbles), which is tied for third in the league.

Cornerback Denzel Ward (calf) has a chance to return after a two-game absence. Center JC Tretter and right tackle Jack Conklin are both dealing with knee ailments. The duo of Chubb and Hunt certainly hope those two are on the field to keep the running game churning.

Ravens at Browns Betting Pick for Week 14

The Ravens are well-accustomed to the Monday night stage, but Cleveland hasn’t been much of an attraction in recent years. How the Browns handle the hype and the change in day-of-game routine will be part of the challenge.

Baltimore looks ready to make a late-season charge after being beaten down by the COVID-19 issues. The Ravens badly need a victory Monday night to bolster their playoff chances.

Ravens at Browns Betting Pick:

Browns 27, Ravens 24

Ravens at Browns Best Bet for Week 14

Both teams can make big plays out of their run game, which is particularly important for the Ravens. Mayfield is coming off a superb game, and another strong performance tilts this game over the point total.

Ravens at Browns Best Bet: OVER 47.5 total points (-105)

5 NFL Prop Bets To Watch This Weekend

Last weekend saw some ridiculous action around the NFL, including a could-have-should-have-somehow-didn’t win for the Jets and the Steelers lose for the first time.

As we inch closer to the postseason, here are five prop bets we’ve got our eye on this weekend.

Jared Goff

Over/Under: Jared Goff (-113) throws for more than 271.5 yards against the Patriots

Prediction: Under

After a somewhat slow start to the season, it looks like both of these teams have finally found their footing. The 6-6 Pats travel to LA to face the 8-4 Rams on Thursday evening.

Entering the game, Los Angeles ranks sixth in the league in passing offense, averaging 271.2 yards per game. While the Pats may not be as fearsome as they were last year, New England has the seventh-ranked scoring defense in the NFL this season. New England’s defense ranks 13th against the pass (225.8 yards/game).

So what gives? My prediction is the Rams focus on attacking the Patriots on the ground; New England is in the bottom-half of the league against the run.

Dalvin Cook

Minnesota (+116) will be the first team to score in the Vikings-Buccaneers game

Prediction: Yes

The game between the Buccaneers and the Vikings could have major NFC playoff implications: Tampa Bay is projected to be the sixth seed in the NFC while the Vikings would be the seventh seed. The winner of this game will significantly increase their chances to reach the 2020 postseason.

This one comes down to the coin flip, but I’m more confident the Vikings defense can get a game-opening stop and put points on the board than Tampa holding Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson down early in the game.

Josh Allen

Over/Under: 5.5 combined passing TDs in the Bills-Steelers game.

Prediction: Over

Sunday night could feature one of the best regular-season games of the year. The Pittsburgh Steelers are looking to bounce back after suffering a disappointing loss at the hands of the Washington Football Team, ending their bid for an undefeated season. On the other side, the 9-3 Buffalo Bills are looking to continue building their confidence heading to the playoffs.

This game features two of the best passing attacks in the NFL. Buffalo ranks fourth in passing touchdowns this season while the Steelers rank sixth. Also, the Bills (fifth) and Steelers (11th) are among the league leaders in team Quarterback Rating.

In his last five games, Josh Allen has completed 72.6% of his passes and thrown 10 passing TDs. In his last five contests, Ben Roethlisberger’s has found the end zone more frequently than Allen (12 TDs to 3 INTs). I anticipate both QBs finding success come Sunday night.

This is a primetime game that will have a huge impact on how the AFC playoff race shakes out.

Nick Chubb

Over/Under: 299.5 total rushing yards in the Ravens-Browns game

Prediction: Under

The 9-3 Browns are coming off one of the best wins in recent franchise history, hammering the Titans 41-35 last week. Baltimore is hoping they can turn things around after winning only two of their previous six outings. The Ravens desperately need this game if they want to keep their playoff dreams alive while the Browns are looking to lock in a playoff berth.

This matchup will feature the top two rushing offenses in the NFL. The Ravens have the number one rushing attack in the league (169 rushing yards per game). Cleveland is right on their heels (pun intended), ranking second in the league at 157.8 yards per game on the ground.

Will these teams maintain their season averages on the ground, or will the opposing coaching staff try to take away the run game? My bet is to take the under in this prop – both sides will focus on the run (which means check Baker Mayfield’s props this weekend as well).

Patrick Mahomes

The Chiefs (+155) will be the last team to score a TD in the KC-MIA game

Prediction: No

After starting the year 1-3, the Dolphins have rebounded to win seven of their last eight – all while making multiple changes at the quarterback position. Kansas City, on the other hand, saw their chances at the top seed in the AFC increase dramatically when the Steelers lost to Baltimore. And they have no questions or concerns under center.

Miami is battling for a playoff spot and they’ve shown a lot of heart, but Kansas City’s offense is almost impossible to slow down. While I believe the Chiefs will win this game, I’m betting the Dolphins put points on the board last.

Dallas Cowboys at Baltimore Ravens Betting Preview

Dallas Cowboys

The last-place Cowboys (3-8) are remarkably just one game out of first place in the NFC East due to the season-long struggles of all four division clubs. Dallas likely would be leading the division if not for the loss of Dak Prescott (ankle) as the Cowboys have gone just 1-5 without the star quarterback. Running back Ezekiel Elliott (707 rushing yards) has just one 100-yard outing this year while being held below 55 on six occasions.Receivers Amari Cooper (71 catches, 848 yards) and CeeDee Lamb (53 for 650) have been productive despite the quarterback upheaval but have combined for just seven touchdown catches. The offensive line is beat up and will be without both tackles Zack Martin (calf) and Cam Erving (knee). The defense allows a league-worst 32.6 points per game and Dallas gave up over 40 for the second time this season when it lost 41-16 to the Washington Football Team on Thanksgiving.Safety Donovan Wilson (groin) was added to the injury list on Friday, and his status was uncertain. Cornerback Anthony Brown (ribs) is in jeopardy of missing his second consecutive game.

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens (6-5) have been ravaged with coronavirus issues and had 13 players on the reserve/COVID-19 (12 active roster, one practice squad) as of Friday evening. Quarterback Lamar Jackson remained on the list, and he missed Baltimore’s 19-14 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Wednesday. It remains uncertain if he will be cleared before kickoff. Trace McSorley is being prepared to make his first career NFL start after No. 2 QB Robert Griffin III sustained a hamstring injury against the Steelers.McSorley threw a 70-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Brown against Pittsburgh but completed only one of his other five attempts. If Jackson isn’t cleared, rookie Tyler Huntley would be promoted from the practice squad to be the backup, leaving the Ravens with two novice quarterbacks at a time in which they have lost three straight contests and four of their past five. Defensive end Calais Campbell and outside linebacker Matthew Judon — who share the team lead with four sacks apiece — are among the other Ravens on the COVID-19 list.Veteran cornerback Jimmy Smith (groin) exited the Pittsburgh loss, and his status will be observed closely by the Ravens. Baltimore ranks third in scoring defense (19.5 points per game) and eighth in total defense (333.1 yards per game).

Cowboys at Ravens Betting Pick for Week 13

Baltimore is already out of the AFC North race and badly needs a victory in terms of its wild-card hopes, so this will be a desperate group regardless of who starts at quarterback. The Dallas defense is among the worst in the league, so it wouldn’t be stunning if McSorley starts and has a productive game.The Cowboys will breathe a sigh of relief if Jackson isn’t on the field, but his absence doesn’t make things easier. The club’s five losses without Prescott are by an average of 18.8 points, so even staying competitive has been a challenge.Cowboys at Ravens Betting Pick:Ravens 24, Cowboys 13

Cowboys at Ravens Best Bet for Week 13

Considering McSorley looks to be the most likely starter for the Ravens, the under seems the best route. If Jackson were to play, that would change the scenario, but on the other hand, he might not be able to play in top form.Cowboys at Ravens Best Bet: UNDER 45 total points (-110)

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers Betting Preview

*This game was postponed from Thanksgiving night to Sunday due to COVID issues*

Sunday, November 29, 2020, Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, 1:15 p.m. ET

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers Betting Preview: Ravens (+4.5/-110), Steelers (-4.5/-110)

Baltimore Ravens

Reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson will look to atone for a four-turnover performance in Baltimore’s 28-24 loss to Pittsburgh on Nov. 1. The setback began a 1-3 stretch for the Ravens (6-4), who to avoid being swept by their AFC North rival for the first time since 2017 and avert their first three-game overall losing skid since Oct. 21-Nov. 4, 2018.

Jackson had 65 yards rushing in that contest and eclipsed 50 yards on the ground for the eighth time in 10 games with 51 in a 30-24 overtime loss to Tennessee on Sunday. Gus Edwards had 87 yards and a score in the first meeting with Pittsburgh and is likely to handle a bigger workload with fellow running backs Mark Ingram and rookie J.K. Dobbins being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday.

Mark Andrews, who leads the team in catches (38), receiving yards (454) and touchdowns (six), added to those totals with five, 96 and one in the loss to the Titans. The Pro Bowl tight end had just three receptions for 32 yards in the first meeting with Pittsburgh and has yet to find the end zone in four encounters with the Steelers. His matchup with the Steelers’ underrated secondary is a leverage point in this game.

The Steelers are focused on erasing Andrews and matching up with receivers behind their blitz packages outside. Containing linebacker T.J. Watt, the far and away leader in quarterback pressures this season, is another critical task for the Ravens’ injury-dinged offensive line.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers, who are the 18th team in the Super Bowl era to start a season with 10 straight wins, have answered a puzzling near-loss at Dallas three weeks ago with resounding victories over both Cincinnati and Jacksonville. Ben Roethlisberger recorded multiple touchdown passes for the fifth straight game and ninth time in 10 contests in Pittsburgh’s 27-3 romp against the Jaguars on Sunday.

Rookie Chase Claypool reeled in one of Roethlisberger’s two touchdown passes against the Ravens and also found the end zone versus Jacksonville. The 31-yard score on Sunday was Claypool’s 10th touchdown of the season (eighth receiving, two rushing), making him the fourth wide receiver with at least 10 scores in his first career 10 games in NFL history.

Like Claypool, tight end Eric Ebron has been making a habit of finding the end zone, albeit in a smaller sample size. Ebron’s 18-yard touchdown against the Ravens ignited a stretch in which he has scored in three of his last four games.

Ravens at Steelers Betting Pick for Week 12

James Conner showed some traction on Sunday by answering a three-game stretch in which he averaged 2.8 yards per carry with a robust 6.8-yard effort versus Jacksonville. Conner has scored a touchdown in each of his last three meetings with Baltimore, including a 1-yard run on Nov. 1.

Pittsburgh will inch closer to wrapping up the AFC North title with a win on Thursday, while Baltimore’s bid for a playoff berth will take a significant hit.

Ravens at Steelers Betting Pick: Steelers 28, Ravens 21

Ravens at Steelers Best Bet for Week 12

Pittsburgh’s opportunistic defense leads the NFL in both interceptions (15) and total turnovers (21), and those miscues often turn into points at the other end of the field. The Steelers, who sport a league fourth-best 29.8 points per game, will do their best to keep the scoreboard operator busy in this one.

Ravens at Steelers Best Bet: OVER 45 (-110)

Lamar Jackson Expected To Be Next Madden Cover Athlete

Baltimore Ravens’ Quarterback said he will be on the cover of Madden 21

On Tuesday, Ravens’ QB Lamar Jackson said he will be the cover athlete of Madden 21. The game is reportedly scheduled to be released in August. EA Sports has not officially announced that Jackson will be the cover athlete, but Jackson did reveal he will be on the cover in a Facebook Live video on the Raven’s Official Page.

Jackson said, “… It’s always been a dream of mine since I was a little kid… Since I first started playing Madden. It’s dope. (I’ve) had every Madden, so for me to be on the front of it that’s a dream come true. That’s an accomplishment for the kids around here where I’m from and stuff like that. It’s pretty cool.”

This news comes a year after QB Patrick Mahomes was featured on the cover of Madden 20. The Kansas City QB was able to break the dreaded “Madden Curse” that had gained popularity during the 2000s. Mahomes became the first player to be featured on the Madden cover and win a Super Bowl in the same year.

2019 was a breakout season for Lamar Jackson. Lamar was named League MVP and a First-Team All-Pro. He threw for 36 total Touchdowns as well as 3127 passing yards. The 23-year-old passer also became the first QB since Michael Vick to rush for more than 1000 yards in a single season.