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Ravens vs. Jaguars Monday Night Preview: Week 7 Free Pick

Baltimore vs Jacksonville Monday Night Football Handicapping Predictions

The lowly Jacksonville Jaguars survived better than many handicappers expected last week in a trip to Pittsburgh but life gets no easier this week, even at home. On Monday Night Football, the Jags host a Baltimore Ravens team that dominated the same Pittsburgh Steelers that beat them last week.

NFL Week 7 Ravens vs Jaguars
Date: Monday, October 24, 2011
Venue: EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FL
Broadcast: ESPN
Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars Betting Lines from Bodog.com
Money Line: OFF
Spread: Ravens -8.5
Over/Under: 39

Baltimore Ravens (4-1)

The Ravens are a legit Super Bowl contender – most books place their futures third-best behind only Green Bay’s and New England’s – but they’re doing their damage very much under the radar. I think it’s because the Ravens’ offense has been so underwhelming so far.

When they romped Pittsburgh 35-7 in Week 1, it appeared Baltimore was ready to become a top-tier offensive team. Since then, however, they’ve lost to Tennessee, breezed past St.Louis, done almost nothing on offense against the Jets, and relied on five field goals from Billy Cundiff to beat Houston.

The Ravens’ “D” has been the key, ranking first in points allowed, third overall, third against the run and seventh against the pass. Offensively, though Ray Rice continues to look like one of the league’s premier backs, Joe Flacco hasn’t matched the promise he showed as a passer in Week 1. It looks like he may stay a second-tier passer – a modern-day Drew Bledsoe, perhaps? – for good.

Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5)

I’m still shocked that the Jags only lost by four points at Pittsburgh. I think the reason is actually that their defense is the real deal. Even after facing the Saints, Panthers and Steelers, it’s the NFL’s No. 8 unit. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

On the flipside, Jacksonville is dead last in the NFL in total offense. It averages 137.7 passing yards per game. I still don’t really blame rookie Blaine Gabbert. With the personnel in front of him, he doesn’t have a chance. The Jags desperately need to draft a receiver next spring.

The pick:

In theory, this game could be a carbon copy Jags/Steelers, but I think Baltimore goes a bit further and covers. The Ravens average three sacks per game, the exact average that led the NFL last season. They’re a more disruptive defense than Pittsburgh is this season, especially because defensive tackle Haloti Ngata is devouring the universe. There’s no better defensive lineman in football right now.

Even if the Ravens’ so-so offense sputters again versus the Jags’ underrated unit, I think their “D” will embarrass Gabbert on national TV. I like the Ravens to cover in a snoozer.

Ravens vs Jaguars prediction: Ravens 24, Jaguars 10

Money Line: OFF
Spread: Ravens -8.5
Over/Under: UNDER 39

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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.


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