This week’s edition of Thursday Night Football features one of the largest, scariest lines of the season. The Ravens are sprinting towards the playoffs while the Jets are meandering towards a pretty high first round draft pick. As such, Baltimore comes in as 14.5-point home favorites.
That large spread doesn’t mean the game lacks intrigue. For one, no one seems to be completely sure that Lamar Jackson is going to be ready to play. If the Ravens are forced to play another quarterback, or even change their offense around to protect their MVP candidate, this game has a chance to be closer than the expert’s think.
As always, our exclusive Statschecker Site should be required reading before you lay any of your hard-earned money down on the game. The immediate impulse might be to back the Ravens because they are arguably the NFL’s hottest team. Closer examination might just lead you to a different outcome.
This piece will give you five interesting facts that can be learned from the site. It’s just an appetizer for the main course our site provides. Whet your appetite hear and travel to the site to really get your fill.
1. The Ravens are money at night
Baltimore comes into the match-up having won 11 straight night games at home. Obviously, the mission here isn’t for the Ravens to simply defeat the Jets. To make any money you will need Harbaugh’s team to win comfortably.
There will be a significant home field advantage in the Ravens’ favor. Their fans understand just how good this team is. They will be in no mood to allow the Jets to upset any portion of their sizable momentum. The home field advantage will be a factor again on Thursday night.
2. Robby Anderson could be a sneaky fantasy play
The Jets don’t exactly sport a prolific offense heading into this game, but that doesn’t mean New York is devoid of fantasy options. The fact that Robby Anderson has scored a touchdown in three of his last four games means he could be a nice play against the Ravens’ inconsistent secondary.
The addition of Marcus Peters has helped solidify Baltimore’s back line, but Anderson has the combination of size and speed to make a deep play against anyone. Don’t be surprised if Sam Darnold gives him a couple of looks down the field. If he catches one, it could easily turn into a long touchdown for the Jets.
3. 1-5 is an ugly record
The Jets have managed to work their way to a semi-respectable overall record of 5-8 this season. That hides the fact they’ve only won one of six road games on the current campaign.
Expecting New York to reverse that trend against the Ravens is a really bad idea. This stat also shows that a blowout is possible. These two teams aren’t evenly matched, and New York’s ugly away record only adds fuel to the Ravens’ potential fire.
4. 33.1 is a huge number
Very few people outside of the greater Baltimore area expected the Ravens to have one of the top offenses in the NFL this season. Nonetheless, averaging 33.1 points per game makes it very clear that Jackson and his troops are a big-time offense.
If the Jets want to have any chance at all of winning this game they’ll need to hold the score down. Darnold will need to be super accurate and Le’Veon Bell will need to return to the lineup and play like he did in his Steelers’ days. No one should be comfortable with the idea of all that happening in a single game.
5. The Jets are soft against the spread
New York’s record of 5-8 against the spread mirrors their overall record. Unfortunately, it also means that Adam Gase’s team is 23rd in the NFL when it comes to beating the odds.
Again, 14.5 is a massive spread for an NFL game, but the Ravens have shown the ability to absolutely demolish opponents. If Jackson plays, it’s difficult to see the Jets holding up their end of making this a close game.
As long as Jackson plays, back the Ravens
Jackson is currently the favorite to win the NFL’s MVP award for a reason. He’s been an absolute star this season. If he’s healthy and the Ravens use his full range of capabilities, they should defeat the Jets comfortably.
At the moment, the tea leaves seem to indicate that will be the case on Thursday night. As long as Jackson doesn’t encounter any issues, back the Ravens with a relatively high degree of comfort. If his status gets cloudy, avoid this game like the plague.