Baltimore Ravens vs. Jacksonville Jaguars kicks off Sunday (12/17/23) at 8:20 p.m. EST in Jacksonville, Florida as a home game for the Jaguars. Get Baltimore Ravens vs. Jacksonville Jaguars predictions and best bets below. Our best bet is on the Ravens -3 as they take advantage of a hobbled Trevor Lawrence and secure the win.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Prediction & Best Bet
When Trevor Lawrence went out with an injury, instant reactions had him projected to miss a couple of weeks with what turned out to be a high ankle sprain. With their division and playoff hopes on the line, Lawrence did the unimaginable and opted into playing. He clearly looked far less than 100% as he reverted to dump offs and screens early on, failing to keep within scoring pace of the Cleveland Browns in what ended up being a 31-27 loss.
Lawrence now gets the unfortunate favor of having to take on the Baltimore Ravens defense while still dealing with his injury. A daunting task as the Ravens defense grades out as the best unit in the league per DVOA. A majority of their impressive first ranked DVOA marks comes from their ability to shut down the pass attack, checking in at top-3 in Def Pass DVOA, EPA and Success Rate. With their front four being able to generate pressure by themselves, they are allowed to anchor their linebackers in place for extra coverage across the field.
That spells potential doom for Trevor Lawrence and the Jags pass attack as a majority of his production comes from the short throw. Especially while dealing with a high ankle sprain, being forced to get the ball out of his hands fast while losing out on his maneuverability in the pocket due to the injury. Worse yet, Lawrence continues to get zero help from his backfield as the ground game has yet to find any sort of consistency. The ground game ranks near dead last in Rush DVOA, Success Rate, and EPA, with Travis Etienne turning in one of his worst performances yet.
Like Lawrence, Lamar has been punishing opposing defenses with the short throw and have routinely put the Ravens offense in favorable distances to gain by excelling at Pass Success Rate. That is the weakness of the Jags defense as they rank league average in Def Pass Success Rate, putting them in an uncomfortable spot of having to either anchor the linebackers in coverage or sell out to stop the run.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Prediction & Best Bet: Ravens -3
Baltimore Ravens vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Betting Odds
This line has seen a drastic change since the injury to Trevor Lawrence as oddsmakers originally opened the Ravens as a +1 underdog. That number has since been quickly bet up to the key number of -3, with some books passing through the key number to -3.5. It’s crucial to get the key number, making it vital you secure a -3 instead of the -3.5.
As for the total, oddsmakers believed points would be scored at a sluggish pace as they opened the number at 39.5. Bettors believe points will come at a faster rate, backing the over up to as high as 42.5. A surprising line movement given Trevor’s injury status, yet he was able to carve up the Browns fearsome defense. This is still a pass as the Ravens elite coverage will pose as a far tougher test.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Key Injuries
Both teams are dealing with their share of injuries as Roquan Smith, Kyle Hamilton, Zay Jones and Travis Etienne are all listed as questionable on their injury reports.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Key Matchups
Can the Ravens stable of running backs continue to dominate on the ground?
Baltimore Ravens Rush Attack Vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Front Seven
Not only do the Jags front seven need to prepare for Lamar and his running ability, but the Ravens rotating cast of running backs as well. The likes of Keaton Mitchell and Gus Edwards have led the Ravens ground game to metrics of first overall in Rush DVOA, EPA, and Success Rate.
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That makes for an intriguing battle against a Jags front seven who grades out impressively well at stopping the run. As of writing, the Jags are top-5 in Def Rush DVOA and Success Rate. The issue for the Jags defense is that they struggle to contain the run when backed up into the red zone, giving the Ravens a higher quality chance of punching it in for six and limiting potential turnover worthy plays through the air.