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New York Jets vs. Baltimore Ravens Point Spread - Pick

New York Jets (5-8 SU, 5-8 ATS) vs. Baltimore Ravens (11-2 SU, 6-5-1 ATS)
Week 15 NFL
Date/Time: Thursday, December 12, 2019 at 8:20PM EST
Where: MT&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland
TV: Fox/NFL

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: NYJ +14.5/BAL -14.5
Over/Under Total: 45

The New York Jets come to MT&T Stadium to take on the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday Night Football. With the Ravens, you have the hottest team in the league, a squad that has worked themselves into the status of legitimate Super Bowl contender in the last few months. They won their ninth in a row on Sunday in what wasn't an easy matchup, beating the Buffalo Bills on the road, 24-17. They now get an incoming Jets' team that is coming off a 22-21 win over Miami last week when a late FG sealed the victory, which was their fourth in five games. Will the Ravens continue to rampage over the league or can an upstart Jets' squad provide the surprise?

At some point, one needs to realize the futility in questioning the Ravens and what they're doing right now. Since week 6, they have failed to cover just one spread. Week after week, such as their game last Sunday, a good case can be made for why they might not cover the spread. And yet, in every kind of condition and versus any kind of team, they see what they do well rise to the top. So as we approach the stretch run of the regular season, we have to decide whether we want to keep questioning it or if we should just jump aboard.

By now, it's no secret what Lamar Jackson is capable of doing, yet he keeps surpassing expectations. Even with the betting value on the Ravens not being so great with the big hype machine behind Jackson, he manages to keep putting up numbers and thriving against the best defenses in the league, On the road against a really tough Buffalo defense last week, we didn't see big stats from Jackson and his weapons, but three TD passes was enough, with the Baltimore "D" doing a lot of the heavy lifting. With TE Mark Andrews questionable, they might be without one of their top aerial weapons. But with Ingram and Jackson leading the run-game, they have options on this offense. You just wonder if you'll see a little dip is all.

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The thought of a Baltimore defense rounding into peak form should be frightening for other teams in the league. On Sunday, they were both stout and playmaking, They got to the quarterback 6 times, with Matthew Judon, Earl Thomas, and LJ Fort disrupting the Buffalo offensive flow. Their secondary is stiff and they are really impactful up-front, where opposing ground-games are often in quicksand. Not since week five has an opponent so much as surpassed 20 points against this bunch.

The Jets are starting to show some bite in a low-profile way. Some would even be surprised to find they have won four of their last five games. Granted, if you look at their last 6 games, it isn't too impressive—splitting two with Miami and needing a last second FG to do it, a 16-point loss to the winless Bengals, and wins over the Raiders, Redskins, and Giants. But for a team that seemed lost at sea not too long ago, it definitely counts as progress. On Sunday, they had a spurt on offense and even got some action on the ground without Le'Veon Bell, with some clutch play and a defense that tightened up being enough for the win.

A big part of the Jets getting on a little roll has to do with Sam Darnold's form getting better and better since he came back from a sickness. Since November started, he's been making less mistakes, is connecting better with his targets, and showing a better presence behind center. We'll see if Bell (questionable) is ready to return to action on the short week, as he battles an illness. But they got some good play from Bilal Powell (questionable) and Ty Montgomery, while Robbie Anderson was over 100 yards receiving and a TD, with Demaryius Thomas also hauling in a scoring grab. In the last five games, they have scored 34 points three times, with a 22 and 6-point output in the mix. Where on the spectrum will they fall against this Baltimore defense?

Signs from the Jets' defense is a little more mixed. Giving up 21 to the Dolphins and 22 to the Bengals translates into how many against a Baltimore home-offense? Still, their run-defense has been pretty stiff lately. Against a Baltimore aerial attack that might be compromised, one figures running the ball will be a big part of the Ravens' approach. The Jets are great in that regard with a lot of beef up front. They can get after the passer and make a lot of game-changing plays. They are inconsistent, but have a lot of go-getters who are really improving.

It's not an easy game to call. One could project an upstart Jets' team showing some fangs on defense with just enough of a spurt on the other side of the ball to make this more competitive than what people are projecting. The mind can just as easily go to the potential of a honed-in Ravens' team blasting the Jets out of the building. After all, if the Bengals can do it, so can Baltimore. Another component is that one doesn't want to be wrong over and over against the Ravens' juggernaut, as sometimes it's just wiser to buy in. I think the Ravens might not be totally shot out of a cannon this week, with the urgency not super-high after nine straight wins and a seemingly-unthreatening opponent coming into town on the short week. I'll take the points in this one.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the New York Jets plus 14.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today by signing up and betting the Jets-Ravens game at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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