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Jaguars Ravens Betting Tips – Jaguars In Trouble Minus MJD Again This Week At Baltimore

Posted by Tony Bryant on 8/16/2012 6:50:27 PM

The Jacksonville Jaguars were among the worst teams in the NFL last season, and that was with running Maurice Jones Drew leading the league in total yards. For whatever reason, the Jaguars are moving forward to the regular season thinking they can go without their only superstar, and it could wind up coming back to haunt new head coach Mike Mularkey. Mularkey has talked tough this week arguing that he wouldn’t have Jones-Drew at the top of the depth chart for week one of the regular season even if he came back, and will have Rashad Jennings slotted in that spot as the team travels to face the Baltimore Ravens this week.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Baltimore Ravens
Thursday August 23, 2012 – 7:30 PM ET
M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland
NFL Betting Line: Baltimore Ravens – 2.5

The Ravens have no issue at all in that spot after giving Ray Rice a new long-term extension this offseason, solidifying themselves as legitimate Super Bowl contenders. With so many starters penciled in, the preseason will be about shaking off rust while remaining healthy for Baltimore, but this is still their home opener after weeks of training camp.

NFL Betting Preview: Jacksonville Jaguars

Mularkey is known for his work with quarterbacks and has spent the offseason fine-tuning second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert to prepare him as the starter. The early results have been good, as Gabbert threw for 62 yards and a touchdown in a close win over the New York Giants, and showed a lot more poise under pressure by throwing the ball away when there was nothing there rather than forcing it. Jennings averaged 4.7 yards a carry on 12 touches against New York, but it’s still preseason and no running back in the league matched what Jones-Drew did a year ago. The starting defense did a good job to hold its own against Eli Manning and the Giants, but now it will be up to the reserves to step up after nearly falling apart last week.

NFL Betting Preview: Baltimore Ravens

Playing at home for the first time this preseason will give the Ravens an outlet to allow all of that energy built up in practices to finally come out, and the defense in particular will be looking to swarm. Head coach Jon Harbaugh is a master motivator that always seems to get the most out of his team, and should have them motivated to put on a show. Quarterback Joe Flacco completed 9 of 12 passes for 88 yards and a touchdown in Baltimore’s win over the Atlanta Falcons week one of the preseason, but the real betting surprise everyone seems to be talking about is the play of Curtis Painter, who threw for 76 yards and three touchdowns to lead the way in that exhibition opener.

NFL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

The Jaguars’ offense is still figuring a lot of things out without its best player heading in to this season, and a tough sports betting test against a dominant Baltimore defense won’t help. The Ravens had their way with Atlanta on the road in week one, and there is no reason to think they can’t cover a field goal at home to Jacksonville.

NFL Betting Pick: Baltimore Ravens

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