American football returns to England this weekend as the Baltimore Ravens tangle with the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium. The Ravens defense is off to a sensational start, having allowed just 10 points while racking up eight interceptions through two games. That doesn’t bode well for Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, who is one of the least accurate starters in the league and is without his top receiver for the entire season.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Point Spread: Jaguars +4 Date: Sunday, September 24, 9:30 a.m. ET Location: Wembley Stadium, London, England
Point Spread and Betting Analysis
The Jags are expected to keep this one competitive, but it’s difficult to see how that happens. Bortles looked bad against Tennessee – throwing a pair of interceptions – and the Baltimore secondary is much better than that of the Titans. Sports Interaction bettors overwhelmingly agree – they’re on Baltimore at an 82-percent clip as of Wednesday morning, putting their faith in a team that has a staggering 10 takeaways through two games.
The total is a rock-bottom 39.5, and recent history between these teams suggests that the under will be in play even despite the total sitting in the 30s. They’ve gone under the total in five straight meetings dating back to 2008 – and that includes a pair of totals in the 30s. You might also consider unders for both teams, with Jacksonville paying off at -118 to score fewer than 18 points and Baltimore at -118 to finish with fewer than 22 points.
Baltimore will look to do what it has already done effectively twice this season: Establish the run game. The Ravens have called 74 run plays against 51 pass plays, with Buck Allen (35 rushes, 137 yards) and Terrance West (27 rushes, 102 yards) sharing the load. This is one area where Baltimore has an edge, as the Jaguars have allowed a whopping 272 yards on the ground – fourth-most in the league – on an alarming 4.6 yards per carry.
If the Jaguars hope to win – or even cover – in merry ol’ England, they’ll need to do it on the back of rookie rushing star Leonard Fournette. He has already been given 45 touches through two weeks – and while his 3.5 YPC won’t blow anyone away, he has a pair of rushing touchdowns and will likely feature more in the passing game with Allen Robinson out for the season. Baltimore has allowed just 170 rushing yards through two games.
Ravens vs. Jaguars Prediction
Ravens 20, Jaguars 13