• Bet Lamar Jackson u0.5 INTs: Only scrambling 7.3% of the time, Jackson could take off earlier and more often tonight, with his top tight end and receiver inactive.
• Jackson's turnover-worthy-play rate of 3.3% is league average, but he's running below expectation on such plays, contributing to an exploitable market overreaction.
• Bet Andy Dalton o4.5 rush yards: Buy low on Dalton, who didn't register a designed run in Week 8 for the first time since taking the QB1 reins.
Last updated: Nov. 7, 1:30 p.m.
Estimated reading time: 5 mins
Let’s dive into an injury-plagued “Monday Night Football” between the Baltimore Ravens and New Orleans Saints.
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Path to victory for the Ravens
• Baltimore's offense has few viable options to sustain success given the state of injury list: Our matchup model finds a slight advantage on offense when Devin Duvernay lines up against Paulson Adebo, who had his third-best coverage grade of the season vs the Las Vegas Raiders. But Adebo was a disaster the two games leading up to Week 7, which he missed on a short week with a banged-up knee. With Marshon Lattimore out, Adebo and Alontae Taylor are both susceptible to chunk plays in the passing game.
• Chris Harris Jr. is the toughest matchup in the slot, but our matchup model still favors Isaiah Likely: given the rookie won’t see more than 50% of snaps lined up against the veteran. Much has been made about the Ravens' offensive injury situation, but with Lamar Jackson still Lamar Jackson, there are enough weak points in an injured Saints secondary to offer exploitable matchups when the Ravens do need to pass. How much they actually pass will mainly be determined by Jackson’s performance in the running game, which we expect to perform quite well, especially when running off-tackle.
Path to victory for the Saints
• Andy Dalton is graded as a top-five PFF passing quarterback and should have some success against a lackluster Ravens secondary: Chris Olave should see a majority of routes lined up against Marcus Peters. Baltimore's defensive coverage scheme is close to league average across the board, but the Ravens have played the third-highest cover-0 percentage through nine weeks this season. If Lamar plays close to his MVP capability, the Saints will need Olave or Tre’Quan Smith to get deep against a Ravens secondary that’s been susceptible to chunk plays.
• The Saints' offense also stacks up well in the run game: And should see a big advantage when running B gap and out with Alvin Kamara. No Mark Ingram could actually be a boost, as the Saints might be more big-play dependent given their skill position unit tonight.
• Plenty of offense: PFF Greenline doesn’t see any value on the spread: But with matchups pointing toward offense, we turn to the game total. The one concern is Pinnacle being a point lower than the rest of the market, meaning we should see an even better number than 46.5 before kickoff.
Bet (wait until shortly before kickoff): Ravens-Saints — Over 46
Bet Gameplan: Playable to 46.5
Bet: Andy Dalton — Over 4.5 Rushing Yards (-110)
Bet Gameplan: Playable to -115
It’s our time. After a rough Sunday night, it’s time to turn back to what got us here, the QB rushing prop.
• Buy-low spot on Dalton: After he didn’t register a designed rush attempt last week for the first time since taking the QB1 reins. Technically, in Week 6, his rushing prowess was unleashed on a scramble, but he was on a two-week running tear before the Saints blew the doors off the Raiders in Week 8. This primetime matchup should be much more competitive, and if so, we should see Dalton once again use his legs to move the chains.
• Baltimore’s below-average in pressure and blitz rate: But even if the scramble opportunities don’t take center stage, there’s a case for Dalton to be used on a designed attempt or two in short yardage. This is related to no Ingram, and although Taysom Hill will be heavily utilized in short yardage, it’s entirely possible we see Dalton on an option-keep against an aggressive front-four.
Bet: Lamar Jackson — Under 0.5 Interceptions (-114)
Bet Gameplan: Playable to -120
• Everything is pointing toward the under for Lamar Jackson: with PFF projections liking his under pass attempts, completions and interceptions, based on the current betting market expectation. He hasn’t been scrambling at as high of a rate as usual, with a 7.3% scramble rate (9th among quarterbacks). The question is does this change tonight without his favorite pass-catchers in the fold. If things aren’t open quickly, Jackson could take off, especially if the Saints continue to play a high percentage of cover-1.
• Even if he takes his chances through the air: Jackson’s been league-average at turnover-worthy play rate this year (3.3%). His six interceptions this season have resulted from a ball bouncing off a defensive lineman's head, a few chaotic plays at the end of games, and then a few bad throws. The problem is Jackson is running below expectation on turnover-worthy plays, converting to interceptions at a higher rate than league average. This has caused a slight overreaction in the betting market, making this the perfect spot to buy-low.
Ben's ultimate primetime betting previews are 42-58 (-4.70 units) entering MNF in Week 9.