Sunday Night Football Picks: Baltimore Ravens host New York Jets

New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens
Sunday, 10/2/11, 8:20 PM EST, TV:  NBC
Opening Point Spread:  Ravens -3.5
Current Betting Line:  Ravens -4
Opening Total:  40
Current Total:  42.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Jets vs. Ravens NFL Preview
Jets head coach Rex Ryan will have revenge on his mind Sunday night in Baltimore.

Two AFC heavyweights will collide on Sunday Night Football when the New York Jets visit the Baltimore Ravens.  The teams met in the regular-season opener last year at New York with Baltimore earning a hard-fought 10-9 road victory.

The Jets went on to have a better season than the Ravens (-4, O/U 42.5) with their second straight trip to the AFC championship game, but each team’s ultimate goal obviously remains a Super Bowl win.  Both have shown weaknesses in their lone losses so far this season, although one of them will emerge from this game at 3-1.

Baltimore rebounded from a 26-13 loss at Tennessee by crushing St. Louis 37-7 on the road last week.  The Ravens were down emotionally in Week 2 against the Titans after routing Pittsburgh 35-7 in this year’s season opener, and they should have no such issues getting motivated for former defensive coordinator Rex Ryan and his Jets.

Ryan was a part of Baltimore’s coaching staff for 10 years before landing the top job with New York, and he has made it known that he still holds a grudge against his former team after getting passed over as head coach there in favor of John Harbaugh.  The Jets will need to do a much better job defensively against the Ravens if they are going to make Ryan happy and leave MetLife Stadium with a win.

New York ranks second to last in run defense this season and will need to limit Baltimore running back Ray Rice, who rushed for 81 yards on nine carries and caught seven passes for 83 yards against the Rams.  Rice was held to 43 yards on 21 carries in last year’s meeting while quarterback Joe Flacco did most of the damage through the air, throwing for 248 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.

Jets QB Mark Sanchez has been a much more prolific passer this season, topping the 300-yard mark twice in three games.  Sanchez only completed 10 of 21 passes for 74 yards against the Ravens last year and could not get his team into the end zone, with kicker Nick Folk accounting for all of the scoring with three field goals.

New York lost at Oakland last week 34-24 despite 369 yards passing from Sanchez.  Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson struggled running the ball for the Jets, totaling 97 yards on 21 carries between them.  Tomlinson did have a team-high 116 receiving yards on five catches and played a key role in last year’s meeting with 11 carries for 62 yards.

Baltimore is 7-1 against the spread in the last eight meetings with New York, winning each of the past six straight-up.  The UNDER is 2-0-1 in the last three games between the teams and 6-2-1 in the past nine.

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