Thursday Night Football Betting: Will the Ravens Extend the Buccaneers' Misery?

According to our numbers, this could be a dandy of a game.

Our nERD-based rankings have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the league's seventh-best team while the Baltimore Ravens rank one notch above them as the sixth-best squad.

Let's see if we can unlock some interesting betting angles.

Game Preview and Key Matchups

While we are used to Tom Brady and Lamar Jackson being elite signal-callers, they haven't been playing that way so far in the 2022 season.

These two passers have shown themselves to be mediocre through the air so far this season. In terms of Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back, among the 36 quarterbacks with 75 or more drop backs, both quarterbacks rank in the middle of the pack. Brady has posted a mark of 0.13 Passing NEP per drop back, with Jackson a bit behind at 0.09. Both sit with passing success rates under 50%, too.

Baltimore features a unique offense where no one has carried the ball more 50 times -- except for Jackson, who is one of the league's best runners. He's run 66 times for 510 yards and has tallied two scores.

On the flip side, Leonard Fournette has seen a heavy workload, but he's been one of the league's most inefficient runners. He's logged an ugly -0.13 Rushing NEP per carry on the season, toting the ball 103 times this year.

Defensively, this is pretty lopsided. The Buccaneers rank as the league's 4th-best D, per our schedule-adjusted numbers, while the Ravens' defense rates out 21st. The Ravens are 15th against the pass and 18th against the run.

Bets to Consider

Our algorithm sees this being a tight game as we project a narrow 23.2-21.2 win for the Ravens. With Baltimore a 1.5-point 'dog and priced at +112 on the moneyline, there's value in taking the Ravens to win -- something we project to happen 57.0% of the time. We rate a Ravens moneyline bet as a two-star play (two-unit recommendation).

We also have a lean on the total as we side with the under. The over/under is set at 45.5 points, and we expect the under to hit 53.8% of the time.

One player prop I am into is the over on Lamar Jackson's rushing yards at a line of 60.5 (-110). If recent history is any indication, Jackson could smash this mark. In the last six games, Jackson has run for 58 or more yards in every contest, including going for more than 100 yards twice. Last week, Tampa was absolutely shredded on the ground by Chuba Hubbard and D'Onta Foreman for 181 yards. In Week 5, Marcus Mariota rushed for 61 yards against the Bucs, so this makes for a tantalizing bet.

Historic Betting Trends

-- In the past 10 meetings between these two, Baltimore has beaten Tampa Bay eight times.
-- The under has hit in four of the Bucs' last five games.