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Matchups Week 1: Jets vs. Ravens

Lamar Jackson

New York Jets vs. Baltimore Ravens

Spread: Jets +7

Game Total: 44.5

Team Totals: Jets (18.75), Ravens (25.75)

Weather: Outdoors, no concerning conditions

The Line Report

  • The consensus line for this contest is Jets +7, with some Jets +6.5 options available.
  • This line opened as Jets +4.5.
  • The floor for this line was Jets +3.5 with a peak of Jets +7.5. This line rose from Jets +4.5 to Jets +5.5 until Zach Wilson injured his knee, which pushed the line up to the +7 range.
  • DraftKings Pick’Em has the Jets +7.5.
  • Circa Sports Millions Pro Football Contest has the Jets +7.
  • The consensus total is 44.5 points, with a few 44 options available.
  • This total opened at 45 points, with a few 44.5 options. This total has hovered between 44 and 45.5 points.

Notable Injuries

Jets: QB Zach Wilson (Out), FB Nick Bawden (IR), OT Duane Brown (Out), OT George Fant (Questionable), CB D.J. Reed (Questionable).

Ravens: LT Ronnie Staley (Doubtful), RB J.K. Dobbins (Questionable), CB Marcus Peters.

The Jets Offense vs. the Ravens Defense

From a macro standpoint the Jets offensive line represents a relative stalemate against the Ravens front four. However, with LT Duane Brown out RT George Fant is moving over to the blindside while Max Mitchell takes over at right tackle. Brown’s injury impacts two positions for New York, which could create opportunities for Baltimore’s pass rush.

The Jets have an intriguing collection of pass catchers, to the point they will create matchup issues for certain defenses. After an injury ravaged 2021 campaign, Baltimore’s secondary is back and capable of mitigating New York’s promising group of pass catchers.

Notes and Observations

  • The Jets were 6-11 against the spread in 2021.
  • The Jets were 10-7 on overs in 2021.
  • Per The Edge, the Ravens yielded the third fewest rushing yards and the seventh most receiving yards to enemy running backs last season.
  • Baltimore surrendered the third most yards to wide receivers last season. Keep in mind the Ravens secondary was ravaged by injuries last year.
  • The Ravens gave up the third most receiving yards and the second most receptions to opposing tight ends in 2021.
  • When he was a starter in Baltimore, Joe Flacco fed tight ends like Dennis Pitta massive volume. As an example, in 2016 Pitta had ten or more targets in six of his 16 games. The Jets upgraded at tight end this offseason by bringing in Tyler Conklin and C.J. Uzomah. 

The Ravens Offense vs. Jets Defense

The Jets front four is more dangerous than many football fans might expect. With Ravens LT Ronnie Staley listed as doubtful, New York has an interesting advantage in the trenches. Lamar Jackson’s historic mobility is a great asset in pressure management, which will help Baltimore balance out New York’s line play edge.

Notes and Observations

  • The Ravens were 8-9 against the spread in 2021.
  • The Ravens were 8-9 on overs in 2021.
  • Per The Edge, the Jets allowed the 11th fewest rushing yards to quarterbacks last season. New York faced running quarterbacks in Jalen Hurts, Taysom Hill, and Josh Allen twice in 2021.
  • Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson missed five games last season, but he led all quarterbacks in rushing yards per game.
  • New York yielded the fourth most rushing yards and the second most receiving yards to running backs last season.
  • The Jets gave up the 17th most yards to wide receivers last year.
  • The Jets gave up the fourth most yards, the seventh most receptions, and the sixth most touchdowns to enemy tight ends last season.
  • Ravens tight end Mark Andrews led all tight ends in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns last season. Andrews also led tight ends in target share and share of team air yards while being second in ADOT amongst primary tight ends.

This is What You’re Betting On in Jets vs. Ravens

A bet on the Jets is a bet on two general conditions. The first is that Joe Flacco’s offense plays a turnover free contest. We can reasonably expect the Jets to come out with a muddy, largely conservative game plan against Baltimore, while dialing up the occasional shot play. Second, the Jets front four needs to have a significant impact in this contest. That’s the path to New York giving Baltimore a better game than most might expect. Joe Flacco lighting up his former team in a shootout victory would be an outlier outcome.

A bet on the Ravens is a bet on one of the most consistent football operations of this century. Baltimore’s 2021 campaign was ravaged by injuries, resulting in them falling short of the playoffs. Former MVP Lamar Jackson will enter this season with a “bet on yourself” mindset after he and the Ravens did not agree to an extension before opening day. Baltimore is talented and highly motivated entering opening day.

Winner/ Confidence Pool: The Ravens will be a near universal selection in winner pools. If you are in a large winner pool with weekly payouts, the Joe Flacco-led Jets would be an extremely aggressive differentiator pick. That said, if the Jets win, you’ll have a big edge against the field in that scenario. The Ravens will be a popular top option in confidence pools. If you’re looking to get different, even moving the Ravens to the second slot will make your rankings more unique in casual pools.

Spread Pool: I don’t expect to play either side of this game in handicapping tournaments.

Survivor: We expect the Ravens to be the most popular survivor play this week. That doesn’t preclude them from being a winning survivor play, but it’s worth noting. If you’re saving Baltimore, here are some attractive matchups going forward.