Today's Free Picks for
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Posted at 11:00 AM EST and odds are subject to change.
NY Jets +6½ over Baltimore
1:00 PM EST. Remember this time last season all the chatter about Lamar Jackson’s contract status? At that time, there were still two years left on his rookie deal, but surely, the Ravens wouldn’t let their star pivot head into the offseason before the final year of that favorable team deal without extending him and making sure he’s paid and happy right? RIGHT!?!
Here we are at the onset of the NFL’s opening weekend and Jackson is without a contract beyond this season. Maybe it’s no big deal and it won’t affect Jackson’s play on the field, or maybe he’ll injure himself and totally f**k up his and his family’s financial future for generations.
The Ravens were a team that was not only bitten by the injury bug last season, but was swallowed whole by it. In 2021, Baltimore went just 8-9, which is usually enough to cost someone their job, but not this time, as offensive coordinator Greg Roman is back to try and force his run-first system down the throats of his players. Jackson is still a stronger runner than passer, but one has to wonder how likely he’ll be willing to take off and get hit with no safety net.
In year two under Robert Saleh, the Jets appear to be on the rise. They’ve drafted some quality weapons to surround young quarterback Zach Wilson, although Wilson will not be available until Week 4 after suffering a knee injury in the preseason. This might not be a bad thing for the young wideouts, as veteran Joe Flacco will be under center until Wilson is healthy. We don’t love Flacco, but that doesn’t matter. Last we checked he’s got two arms, two legs, and a pulse, and he can still throw a tight spiral. In seven starts with the Jets the last two seasons, Flacco has thrown nine touchdowns to just three interceptions. Not bad, Joe, not bad.
Market perception is everything. To that point, the Jets' name is still MUD around most parts while the Ravens haven't lost a preseason in a lot of year and are expected to be contenders. That creates a situation where Baltimore is spotting a pretty significant pile of points on the road in Week 1. Perhaps they cover this number with ease, but if what we’ve seen from Saleh’s side in the preseason in regards to effort, enthusiasm, preparation and discipline, not to mention talent, than these Jets are not going to be an easy out. There's some bad numbers posted here in Week 1 and we trust this is one of them.
NY Jets +6½ -105 (Risking 2.10 units - To Win: 2.00)