Week 3 of the NFL continues Sunday morning, live from London, England. I have said more than a few times that I don’t really care for these games at all. They’re of course a gimmick to bring in more money, in a market that isn’t the hottest for American football. I know there are some followers of the game over there, but I’d rather keep the games here.
If anyone wants morning football to wager on, which could be 6:30AM for some of you, I will do my best to find a winning pick on the Ravens and Jaguars in London. The Jaguars have become a regular in this game, as the NFL is trying to etch out a fanbase for the Jags in London. Jacksonville plays in this game every year and has become familiar with the routine. The Ravens are playing in London for the first time in franchise history.
The case could be made that the Jags have a small piece of homefield advantage in this game. The trip over the pond is becoming routine for the Jags. Last week was pretty routine for them as well, as they got blown out in Week 2. This time it was the Tennessee Titans who made it look easy over the Jags in Florida. The Titans forgot about their Week 1 loss to the Raiders, and put together a 37-16 performance against the Jags. Big letdown for the Jaguars, after they defeated Houston, 29-7, in Week 1. The defense was flying around against the Texans, but Mariota made sure they didn’t have a repeat performance.
The Jags hope they get some of that mojo back from Week 1 and bring it to London with them. That game may have very well been a diversion and the Jaguars aren’t as good as that one indicated. I think you can say the same for every team in September, though. For instance, the Patriots losing in Week 1 against the Chiefs wasn’t anything to jump to conclusions over.
The Jaguars destroyed the Texans to start the year. Again, nothing to get excited about one way or the other. So, who are the Jaguars, Week 1 or Week 2? Given their history in previous seasons, the logical answer would be how they looked against the Titans. The Ravens are 2-0, but does their record reflect how good they are? I’m not so sure. Head below for our free Ravens vs. Jaguars pick from London on Sunday morning.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Betting Odds:
vs. Jaguars +3.5(-105)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Ravens vs. Jaguars Pick:
Beyond the Jaguars wanting to show some signs of life in 2017, this is the most important year for quarterback Blake Bortles yet. Bortles threw 23 touchdowns and 16 interceptions in 2016, regressing from 35 touchdowns the year prior. Usually by year three, quarterbacks are expected to show the complete package, a visual of what their future should be. Bortles fell back, though, and is now in a year where he must put up or risk falling into bust territory. Thus far he’s passed for 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions with a 56.4 completion percentage. You can’t really read too far into that, other than that could be better.
The Ravens haven’t been tested at all this season. They had the two Ohio teams, the Bengals and Browns to open the year. The Bengals have looked like a pile of garbage, and the Browns are the Browns. They haven’t trailed yet this season. The catalyst for their two wins has been turnovers. Baltimore have generated seven turnovers in only two games. I don’t care if it’s the Browns, if they had that many turnovers across two games, they’d be 2-0 as well.
Joe Flacco didn’t play a snap in the preseason, and he’s been okay, but hasn’t needed to do much. Flacco has thrown for 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. He threw for just 121 yards with a 52.94 completion percentage against the Bengals in Week 1. I don’t expect this Ravens’ offense to go very far this season. Again, they won off seven turnovers the last two weeks. They’ve averaged 302.5 yards per game for 22nd in the NFL.
I don’t know if the Jags are as bad as they looked last week, but I do know the defense is better than that. They held the Titans without a touchdown in the first-half, before the wheels fell off. They were 4th in the NFL with regards to yards allowed per game a year ago. London is nothing new to the Jaguars, and I think they’ll feel right at home against the Ravens. I like a field goal game here, with the winner getting a 3-point victory.
PICK: JAGUARS +3.5 (-105)