Week 15 Picks – Who Wins ATS Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Baltimore Ravens

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Win three straight and the Baltimore Ravens earn a playoff berth for the sixth time in 7 seasons. And Latimore will get their first step toward clinching a postseason spot once they welcome the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars to M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday. Will Jacksonville spoil Baltimore’s playoff push with a shocking upset? Keep reading as we breakdown this critical AFC Week 15 Picks showdown.

Week 15 NFL PicksThe stage was set for another upset last Sunday whilst the Jaguars led Houston 13-10 in the 1st half. They held Ryan Fitzpatrick to only 27 passing yards, didn’t allow Houston to get a third down and held J.J. Watt in check heading into halftime. However, most of the momentum they built came crumbling down because they gained only 73 yards, managed only five first downs, and quit 17 unanswered points all in the 2nd half to fall 27-13.

Another late collapse is likely to be costly for the Jaguars as Baltimore have scored the second-most second half points in 2010 (15.2 per game). The absolute most successful part of the defense, the pass rush, may struggle to help keep Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco in check. Baltimore’s offensive line has offered the Ravens quarterback plenty of protection, which includes triggered the second-fewest sacks in the NFL (16).

Still, defensive tackle Sen ‘Derrick Marks may be able to beat the Ravens’ offensive line. Marks has 6.5 sacks in the last six games.

Offensively, the Jaguars may continue to struggle especially should they fail to stop the Ravens’vaunted blitz. Filling in for injured starting right tackle Austin Pasztor, veteran Sam Young is a liability in the offensive line as he was repeatedly beaten for three sacks from Houston’s J.J. Watt on Sunday. Young may continue to struggle lining facing Baltimore’s Terrell Suggs (8.5 sacks) or Elvis Dumervil (16 sacks, tied for first in the league).

If the offensive line may give Jags’ quarterback Blake Bortles enough time to create some throws, then he can exploit a vulnerable Ravens pass defense which includes allowed 267.2 yards per game. Bortles won’t need to worry a lot of about adding to his NFL-leading 16 interceptions. Baltimore has allowed 21 touchdowns to eight interceptions in the season.

To get some steam on the receiving game, Bortles will need to avoid throwing Cecil Shorts’way. Before three games, Shorts has caught only seven of 21 targets for 44 yards. Rookie Marqise Lee is a more viable target after catching 11 of 16 passes for 142 yards and a score before two games.

The Jags are 0-3-1 ATS within their four games as underdogs in excess of eight points this season.

The Ravens overcame a slow begin to rally past Miami 28-13 on Sunday in a casino game that was massive for both sides. Flacco had a large game racking up 269 yards with two touchdowns and an interception contrary to the league’s second-best pass defense. He also jump-started a key 12-play 97-yard touchdown drive in the 2nd quarter with a 15-yard run of his own.

Facing Jacksonville’s porous pass defense (244 yards allowed per game), expect Flacco to get going through the air especially with a gifted receiving corps. Wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. includes a team-high 889 yards receiving and six touchdowns this season.

While the receiving corps’leading touchdown scorer Torrey Smith (eight) might not be able to be up to speed with a knee injury, Kamar Aiken supplies a solid replacement. Aiken caught six of seven targets for a season-high 65 yards and a score against Miami.

while the Ravens can light the scoreboard through the air, their bread and butter is still their fifth-ranked rushing offense. Justin Forsett has been almost unstoppable rushing for 471 yards and five touchdowns before four weeks. He should be able to run roughshod against Jacksonville’s rushing defense which includes allowed 132.8 yards per game and 14 touchdowns in the season.

Meanwhile, Bernard Pierce and Lorenzo Taliaferro are capable backups to Forsett. Pierce and Taliaferro have averaged four and 4.3 yards per carry respectively.

On another side of the ball, the Ravens’ physical play has racked up 17 forced fumbles and 10 fumble recoveries this season. Big hits from Baltimore’s front seven such as for instance Dumervil and Brandon Williams could force the Jaguars to add to their 25 giveaways this season.

The Ravens’ pass rush will continue to miss Haloti Ngata (two sacks, two forced fumbles and two interceptions) because of suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Still, Baltimore’s defense stepped up without their All-Pro defensive tackle because they racked up six sacks and allowed only 13 points agianst Miami on Sunday. Expect the Ravens to hold exactly the same kind of pressure to hamper Jacksonville’s struggling offense, while Ngata remains off the field.

The Ravens are 4-2 ATS in home games this season. Week 15 Picks The Ravens dominate from the onset, but allow enough garbage time production for Jacksonville to cover +13.5.

 

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