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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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NFL Preseason Jacksonville Jaguars at Baltimore Ravens Start Time, Odds and Free Pick

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The Jacksonville Jaguars will take aim at a third straight preseason victory tonight when they face the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore (7:30pm ET start time). NFL Preseason Jacksonville Jaguars at Baltimore Ravens Odds are not in the Jags favor, though. Mike Mularkey’s crew is presently getting 6.5 points from the hosting Ravens and they are a +245 moneyline play ($100 wins $245) to win tonight’s contest outright. The Over/Under in this evening’s AFC tilt is set at 41 points.

Jacksonville suffered through a miserable 5-11 season last year, and a good portion of the blame for the team’s failures landed on the shoulders of its first round pick, quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Gabbert produced epically bad passing numbers (2,214 yards, 50.8 completion percentage, 12 touchdowns, 11 interceptions), but the biggest criticism leveled at the former Missouri star was the ‘happy’ feet he displayed in the pocket.

While two preseason games is a small sample, Gabbert, with the benefit of a full off-season, has looked much better this summer. He was especially sharp last week, helping the Jaguars to a 17-10 halftime lead at New Orleans after completing 13-of-16 passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns.

Jacksonville, which produced 20 first downs and 313 total yards in its 32-31 win over the Giants in week one, tallied 352 yards (almost 100 yards more than its season average last year) in beating the Saints 27-24.

Nonetheless, the odds makers and betting public are clearly looking for the Jaguars offensive uptick to come to an end tonight. With Baltimore’s defensive starters playing, most likely, into the second half, a return to the norm is viewed as inevitable for Gabbert and company.

Jacksonville, which is still playing without the services of its biggest star in Maurice Jones-Drew, is hoping for a new norm, though. If Gabbert continues to progress and rookie wide out Justin Blackmon becomes the type of offensive play maker most expect he will, than the club’s hopes just might come true. It is certain this evening will provide new Head Coach Mike Mularkey and his staff their best opportunity yet to see if the team is, indeed, approaching a new level of play.

Free Pick: Take the Ravens -6.5 tonight. Baltimore is 3-1 in week three of the preseason under John Harbaugh, winning those games by an average of seven points per game. Baltimore is also 6-0 in its last six preseason home games, winning those six games by an average of 10.6 points per contest.

NFL Preseason Jacksonville Jaguars at Baltimore Ravens Odds:

Jacksonville Jaguars +6.5 (-110), Over 41 (-110), +245 (Moneyline)

Baltimore Ravens -6.5 (-120), Under 41 (-110), -290 (Moneyline)

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