2011 Season NFL Football Past Picks

October 24, 2011

24

Baltimore at Jacksonville

Monday 10/24 08:35 PM Eastern

2 units on Jacksonville PICK () (risk 2 to return 2)  RESULT: WIN

From a strictly statistical standpoint, it is hard to see how the Jaguars belong on the same field as the Ravens. Baltimore destroyed Pittsburgh in their opener and after stubbing their toe the following week in Tennessee in a letdown spot, the Ravens have reeled off three more wins both straight-up and against the spread, winning on average 33-13. Meanwhile, the Jags have lost five straight games and have managed to get to 20 points only once all season. With Baltimore leading the league in scoring defense (14.2 points per game), how will the Jags find points tonight? The public sure is buying in on that logic with over 80% of all bets placed on the Ravens. As a result, we have seen this line move from 8.5 to 10 - a big jump over a key number of 9. That movement takes a game with little value and makes it one with value on the dog. The bright spot for Jacksonville this season is a solid defense that ranks No. 9 in the league overall. So, to cover a double-digit line, Baltimore is going to have to do some real scoring here. They are capable, but the Ravens offense can be inconsistent. Joe Flacco can be very good, but can also be bad, especially on the road and he will face some resistance in this one. When laying 3.5 to 10 points on the road, the Ravens have lost 10 of their last 14 against the number. They have also only covered the spread in three of their last 12 games following a big 14-plus point win, suggesting a letdown may be in order here. Big home underdogs of over a touchdown have been a decent blind bet in the NFL. Since 1989, these teams have covered the spread 158 out of 286 games (55 percent) and have posted a 3-1 record so far this season. The line movement in this game over the key number of 9 could be significant. If we look at home dogs of over 9 points, that 55% jumps to 57% (88-66 ATS). If the home team has a straight-up win percentage of under 20% as is the case here, the home dog has gone 44-25 ATS (64%). Under Del Rio, the Jags are 9-2 ATS at home after back-to-back losses. My computer analysis for this game predicts a Baltimore win but by less than this spread. I agree. Take the points and play on Jacksonville in this one.

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