NFL Picks: Shop Smart, Take Jaguars +6 to Upset Ravens

Jason Lake

Thursday, November 12, 2015 1:06 PM UTC

Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015 1:06 PM UTC

The Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens are both 2-6, but the NFL odds say Baltimore's the better team. Things aren't quite so clear in reality. Check inside for an analysis and NFL picks.

Jason's 2015 record as of Nov. 11: 30-30-2 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 21-27 Total

It's time once again to ask that age-old question: Are you ready to bet on the Jacksonville Jaguars? They've beaten the NFL odds in back-to-back games to improve to 2-6 SU and 4-4 ATS. They've got an up-and-coming quarterback in Blake Bortles. And they're getting 5.5 points for Sunday's matchup (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS) at M&T Bank Stadium with the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens are also 2-6 SU, and they've been hemorrhaging money at 1-6-1 ATS. Any takers? Anyone?

Apparently there are plenty of seats still available on the Jaguars bandwagon. Our consensus reports at press time show the betting public split nearly 50/50 on which side they prefer, but Jacksonville's side is only getting 39 percent of the action. Although it's a quiet marketplace for both teams, Baltimore has a bigger average bet of $75 to Jacksonville's $50, and the Ravens have drawn the only $1000+ bet on our survey. Those are the classic earmarks of a sharp NFL pick.


Broken Wings
Maybe “classic” isn't exactly the right word here. The Jags would be the standard old-school pick as the small-market underdog with an upward trajectory. Baltimore might have had some value earlier in the year after starting 0-3 SU and ATS, and according to trend guru Walter Cherepinksy, John Harbaugh has guided the Ravens to a 6-1 ATS record coming off the bye week. But a constant string of injuries has left the Ravens a shell of their formerly-reliable selves.

The killing blow may have been delivered in Week 8, when WR Steve Smith Sr. suffered a torn Achilles tendon and was lost for the year. Smith led the Ravens with 46 catches for 670 yards and three touchdowns; with him out of the lineup, their next leading receiver is RB Justin Forsett (27 catches, zero TDs). Baltimore now has 12 players on injured reserve, including such luminaries as LB Terrell Suggs (torn Achilles) and safety Matt Elam (torn biceps).


Who's Better, Who's Best
If, for some reason, you want to ignore those injuries, then the advanced stats say Baltimore's the better football team in this contest – but not by much. Football Outsiders has the Ravens ranked No. 16 in efficiency (No. 16 offense, No. 25 defense, No. 3 special teams) through Week 9. The Jags are just four spots behind at No. 20 overall (No. 18 offense, No. 14 defense, No. 29 special teams), but they're rising up the charts, and they're relatively healthy.

We certainly wouldn't recommend a large bet on Jacksonville in any situation just yet. However, on what promises to be a clear day in Baltimore, we have no trouble putting a small wager down on the Jaguars, especially when they're available at +6. Shop smart, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.

Free NFL Pick: Take the Jaguars +6 (–115) at Bovada

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