nfl futures bets

Welcome to the Thursday Night Football betting breakdown, where I’ll provide a betting overview of the upcoming Thursday Night Football game utilizing moneyline, points spread and projected total odds from DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. Additionally, I’ll hone in on at least one player or game prop each week that I feel has profit potential at one of those three sportsbooks.

All betting takes will be classified as either a “lean” or a “pick”. A lean is a wager that we have a certain degree of certainty in. However, it’s one that still falls somewhere short of a high-confidence selection. A pick carries an additional degree of confidence based on a variety of factors. These include relevant injuries; past track record of each team in those bet types and under the specific conditions that apply; and recent performances of each team leading up to the game.

For more detailed information on this week’s matchup – including further game analysis, betting trends breakdown, betting tips specific to TNF, and a synopsis of the history of the line movement for the game, please see our Thursday Night Football Betting Preview over at TheLines.


As has been true for most of Baltimore’s opponents this season, the task ahead for the Jets‘ offense is a thorny one. The Ravens are shutting down both the run and pass with about equal success. The latest to find out first-hand were the Bills in Week 14. Josh Allen threw for a season-low 146 yards on a season-low 43.6 percent completion rate while managing a modest nine yards rushing. Then, Devin Singletary did rush for 89 yards on 17 carries. However, he was kept out of the end zone and also gained 38 of those yards on one rush; he was held to 3.2 yards per carry on his other 16 totes.

The Jets catch the Ravens’ secondary peaking. Baltimore has allowed an NFL-low 153.7 passing yards per contest over the last three games. They faced the trio of Jared Goff, Jimmy Garoppolo and Allen over that span, no pushovers by any stretch. Sam Darnold and Robby Anderson have hit their stride as battery mates over the last three games, with Anderson bringing in 18 of 26 targets for 302 yards and two touchdowns. He’ll be challenged to approach his per-game averages over that span Thursday. Baltimore goes three-deep at cornerback like no other team with Marcus Peters, Marlon Humphrey and Jimmy Smith. Multi-time Pro Bowler Earl Thomas patrols the back end behind them.

The Ravens also surrender just 95.6 rushing yards per game overall. Teams often have to rely on a big broken play akin to the one Singletary managed to gain some meaningful real estate on the ground versus Baltimore. Unfortunately for the Jets, Le’Veon Bell has seemingly proven incapable of such this season. He’s averaging a career-low 3.2 yards per carry and has yet to notch a run of even 20 yards. Then, while Bell seems recovered from the flu that kept him out of the Week 14 win over Miami, backups Bilal Powell (ankle) and Ty Montgomery (foot/hip) carry injury designations as of Tuesday afternoon.

The Ravens’ offense is in a much better spot, at least through the air. New York is surrendering 242.0 passing yards per game and is dealing with multiple injuries in the secondary. The biggest of those is Jamal Adams (ankle), who could well miss Thursday’s game after sitting Week 14. The Ravens are averaging a modest 207.2 passing yards per game, but their air attack is highly efficient. Jackson has upped his completion percentage to 66.3 this season and owns a stellar 28:6 TD:INT. The task at hand for running backs Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards is a lot more daunting against a Jets defense surrendering an NFL-low 68.5 rushing yards per contest on the road.

The Pick: Ravens moneyline (-800 at FanDuel Sportsbook)

TNF Point Spread

Two-touchdown-plus spreads are typically red flags in terms of betting on a favorite. In this day and age of NFL parity, blowouts would seem to be less likely overall than in another era. However, from time to time, there are still significant disparities between two teams’ talent and coaching staff. This shapes up as one such scenario.

The Jets are 5-8 (38.5 percent) against the spread this season, including 2-4 (33.3 percent) as an away team.

The Ravens are 7-6 (53.8 percent) against the spread this season, including 2-4 (33.3 percent) as a home team.

The Ravens are at home and still gunning for the top seed in the AFC. They technically don’t even have the division wrapped up. Therefore, I see them winning big enough in this spot to accomplish the cover on the elevated number.

The Pick: Ravens -14.5 at DraftKings Sportsbook

TNF Over/Under Total

The statistical mismatch between the Jets’ offense and Ravens’ defense was detailed earlier. While New York has talent on the offensive side of the ball, their body of work when traveling has been atrocious (15.5 points per road game).

The Over is 6-7 (46.2 percent) in the Jets’ games this season, including 4-2 (66.7 percent) in their away games. Then, the Over is 7-6 (53.8 percent) in the Ravens’ games this season, including 5-2 (71.4 percent) in their home games

The total allows for enough points to be scored on Baltimore’s side and for the Jets to hit their aforementioned road scoring average and still have the Under prevail. Ultimately, I see a Ravens team that’s allowed just 19.7 points per home game outperforming that number, helping the Under to come through in this spot.

The Pick: Under 45 points at DraftKings Sportsbook

Best TNF Prop Bet

Baltimore Ravens -14.5 and Under 44.5 points (+300 at FanDuel Sportsbook)

In line with my belief in a Ravens cover and the Under prevailing, I like the looks of this prop at a highly appealing price. Only two of Baltimore’s five home wins have actually been by more than Thursday’s projected spread. However, those have come within their last three home tilts and were against teams exponentially better than New York — the Patriots and Texans. Meanwhile, the Jets’ average margin of defeat on the road is 15.8 points. Additionally, five of their six road games have finished under 44.5 points.

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