Baltimore is one of my top Super Bowl sleepers, a year after missing the playoffs at 8-9 in an injury riddled 2021 season, following a 24-8 stretch from 2019-2020, but their chances of going all the way are going to depend largely on health, with as many key players coming off significant injuries as any team in the league. The Ravens have time to get healthy and make a run later in the season, but they enter the season in pretty rough shape injury wise and, as a result, I think they are overvalued as 7-point road favorites in New York against the Jets.
Stud left tackle Ronnie Stanley is doubtful after missing most of last season with an ankle injury. Running back Gus Edwards and edge defender Tyus Bowser will miss at least the first few games of the season recovering from a torn ACL and a torn achilles respectively, both of which occurred last season. Rookies David Ojabo (2nd round) and Travis Jones (3rd round) are also out to start the season, while starting cornerback Marcus Peters and their other top running back JK Dobbins are both legitimately questionable, both returning from ACL tears that cost them the entirety of 2021.
Despite all of the Ravens injury problems, I don’t think there is quite enough here for the Jets to be worth betting. My calculated line has them as 5.5-point home underdogs, which isn’t significant enough line value compared to this 7-point line. Part of that is because the Jets have injury problems of their own, with quarterback Zach Wilson being replaced by veteran backup Joe Flacco to start the season, who might not be a downgrade, but who also is a very underwhelming starting option at this point of his career, while rookie 4th round pick Max Mitchell will be forced into a starting role in week 1, with Mekhi Becton out for the season and free agent replacement Duane Brown now hurt as well. The Jets are still my pick for pick ‘em purposes, but I wouldn’t bet on them.
Baltimore Ravens 24 New York Jets 19
Pick against the spread: NY Jets +7