The Baltimore Ravens are closing in on the No. 1 seed in the AFC and have already clinched a playoff berth as they take on the New York Jets Thursday in Baltimore. Lamar Jackson is now the heavy favorite to win the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award. Jackson is the first quarterback since Michael Vick in 2006 to rush for at least 1,000 yards in a single season. Lamar is battling through a quad injury but says he is 100% and will play on Thursday.
The Jets will most likely be without safety Jamal Adams who has not practiced this week due to an injured ankle. Le’Veon Bell is expected to play after missing Sunday’s game with the flu. Bell still made headlines over the weekend after going bowling just hours before the game.
There are some other key injuries effective in the betting line for this game. We will break down the line movement and offer our analysis on how these injuries could affect the outcome.
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Jets vs. Ravens Game Details
Date: Thursday, December 12
Time: 8:20 pm
Location: M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore, Maryland)
TV: FOX, NFL Network
Spread: Ravens -16.5
This line opened at Ravens -14.5 and has been bet up slightly to Ravens -16.5 at some books with the majority of the bets and money coming in on Baltimore. This line is correlated to the action and is moving with the market.
According to John Murray of the SuperBook in Las Vegas, a respected bettor laid 15 points with the Ravens on Wednesday, pushing the line closer to 15.5. Murray reported the line move on his weekly podcast. The line has continued to drift towards the home team.
Injuries & Analysis
The Jets injury report is littered with key players. Jamal Adams is at the top of the list. The safety is officially doubtful with an ankle injury. Offensive lineman Chuma Edoga, tight end Ryan Griffin, cornerback Brian Poole and running Bilal Powell have already been ruled out with defensive lineman Quinnen Williams and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas listed as doubtful to play. This is a laundry list of key players, especially in the trenches, and will not bode well for the Jets who are trying to gain an edge up front against a tough-nosed Baltimore squad. Quinnen Williams is the most alarming, as he is one of the Jets’ best run-stopper alongside Steve McLendon. If Williams doesn’t play, the Baltimore offensive line will likely double McLendon in the middle to open up more room in the A-gap for their elite rushing attack. Offensively, the Jets will rely on a fresh Le’Veon Bell, who did not play last Sunday, to fill in for the injured Bilal Powell. Ty Montgomery also could be a factor. Montgomery accumulated a season-high 61 scrimmage yards in the win last week over Miami.
The Ravens injury report lists quarterback Lamar Jackson as questionable with a quad injury, but widespread reports have stated Jackson will play. Tight end Mark Andrews is also questionable for the game with a knee injury. I can see Baltimore taking a conservative approach with Jackson’s rushing workload this week, which is why his passing yards prop has some value. I can also see Jackson not playing in the second half if the Ravens jump out to a big lead, which is bad news for fantasy football owners in the playoffs.
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith