After losing their last two games, the Baltimore Ravens now have a challenging home game in Week 15 against the Green Bay Packers.
BetMGM’s latest NFL betting lines have the Ravens as 5.5-point underdogs in this game.
Can they cover the spread? Read on to find out my biggest keys for them in this game.
Lamar Jackson’s Health
The most crucial factor for this game, in my opinion, is going to be the health of Ravens’ QB Lamar Jackson. He had to leave last week’s game against the Cleveland Browns due to an ankle injury, and the Ravens went on to lose 24-22.
John Harbaugh has stated that he expects Jackson to play this Sunday because he does not have a high ankle sprain.
If Jackson cannot play for some reason, then they would have to turn to backup QB Tyler Huntley. He has played in three games this season and started in one in Week 11 against the Chicago Bears.
How has he done this season? He has a 67.8 completion percentage, 543 passing yards, a touchdown pass, and an interception.
Where Huntley comes up short is as a rushing threat. He has 16 rushes for 95 yards on the season. In comparison, Jackson has 133 rushes for 767 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.
In my opinion, the entire outlook of this game changes depending on whether Jackson can play.
Ravens’ Rushing Defense
Where the Ravens match up well with the Packers is on rushing defense. They allow the fewest rushing yards in the NFL, with just 85.5 per game.
Green Bay gets about 107 rushing yards per game. While that only puts them 20th in the NFL, they still need to maintain it. In the Packers’ two losses this season with Rodgers playing, they were held to under 100 rushing yards.
If the Ravens’ rushing defense can step up here and force the Packers to become one-dimensional, it might be enough to slow down the offense.
Controlling the Clock
Time of possession is significant for the success of NFL teams this season. Looking at the average time of possession per game, nine of the top 10 teams have records above .500.
The top two teams happen to be the Ravens (33:24) and the Packers (32:41).
What does this mean? Both teams rely on controlling the clock.
Baltimore could be the one team that could neutralize Green Bay.
They have experience controlling the clock while playing some of the best teams in the NFL. They have a 3-1 record against teams in the top eight in this category. An important note is that their one loss against these teams came when Jackson got hurt against the Browns last week.
If the Ravens can win the time of possession battle, they may win the game.
Will the Baltimore Ravens Cover?
In my opinion, I think the Baltimore Ravens will cover in this game as long as Jackson plays, they control the clock, and their rushing defense shows up. Then, they could be an excellent selection for the King of the Weekend promotion.
Do you agree, or do you think the Packers will cover? You can predict this outcome in BetMGM’s King of the Weekend contest. It is free to play, so create an account today. Pick the top six scoring offenses this week, and you could win $50,000.
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