Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars (+9.5, 40)
THE STORY: Mired in a five-game losing streak amid growing speculation that their coach's job is in jeopardy, one of the last teams the Jacksonville Jaguars want to see come to town Monday night is the Baltimore Ravens. Jacksonville is among the league's lowest-scoring teams and now must host a Ravens team that has surrendered an NFL-low 71 points. That's not exactly the ideal recipe to help beleaguered coach Jack Del Rio and the offensively challenged Jaguars avoid a sixth consecutive loss for the first time since the franchise's inaugural season in 1995.
TV: ESPN, 8:30 p.m. ET. LINE: Ravens -7.5, O/U 39.5
ABOUT THE RAVENS (4-1): Baltimore is riding a three-game winning streak and is coming off an impressive 29-14 win over Houston, a division rival of the Jaguars. Despite questions about their offense, last week’s scoring output was the lowest for the Ravens in any of their wins. Joe Flacco overcame two turnovers to throw for 305 yards and Ray Rice rushed for 101 yards and had five catches for 60 yards. WR Anquan Boldin had eight catches for 132 yards, both season highs. Baltimore limited Arian Foster, the league’s leading rusher last season, to 49 yards on 15 carries.
ABOUT THE JAGUARS (1-5): Despite its offensive ineptitude, Jacksonville showed some moxie a week ago, battling back from a 17-0 deficit in Pittsburgh to get into position for a failed Hail Mary pass at the end of the game. Rookie QB Blaine Gabbert threw for only 109 yards and a TD in his fourth start since replacing Luke McCown. Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for 96 yards on 22 carries. On an offense bereft of playmakers, Jones-Drew has managed to run for at least 84 yards in each game. He is third in the league with 572 yards rushing.
1. Last week, Ravens LB Ray Lewis became the first player in league history with at least 40 career sacks and 30 interceptions.
2. Jones-Drew needs six yards rushing to reach 8,000 for his career.
3. Baltimore has won seven of the last eight meetings with Jacksonville.
The line opened up just above the touchdown hook (7.5) but has been bet up to 9.5 as of Sunday afternoon. It would take an avalanche of Baltimore action to drive this number above another key number (10) but we know the public likes the Ravens a lot in this spot.
Not a lot to talk about with the over/under line. The total is jumping between 39.5 and 40.
The Ravens are 5-1 ATS in their last six Monday games and last six games as chalk.
The Jags are 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games against winning teams.
The over is 5-1 in the Ravens’ last six games overall while the under is 5-1 in the Jags last six games.
PREDICTION: Ravens 23, Jaguars 13. Baltimore has no problems shutting down Jacksonville’s one-dimensional offense.