How Will Lamar Jackson Do Without His Starting RBs?

  • Baltimore Ravens RB J.K. Dobbins went down with a season ending knee injury.
  • His backup, Gus Edwards, also went down with a season ending knee injury.
  • How will the lack of RB playmakers affect Lamar Jackson’s prop betting odds for the 2021-2022 NFL season?

BALTIMORE - The Baltimore Ravens have been going through serious injury woes in the last few weeks.

First, their starting RB J.K. Dobbins went out for the season after suffering a serious knee injury in the preseason.

Then, his backup - the new starter for the Ravens - Gus Edwards also received a season-ending knee injury right as the "Gus Bus" was revving up to go.

The Ravens have sustained other injuries but the two RB injuries might be the most consequential to QB Lamar Jackson.

The Ravens offense is founded on the option run, which allows the Ravens to threaten defenses with choosing to cover Jackson on the ground or Dobbins/Edwards.

This kind of offense generally relies on the running backs being genuine threats to break big plays, which forces the defense to respect the run game and opens up both downfield passing lanes and running lanes for Jackson.

In light of these injuries, it might be time for online gamblers to reexamine Jackson’s preseason O/U lines and compare them to his previous performance.

Lamar Jackson Regular Season Rushing Yards Odds

  • OVER 945.5 -115
  • UNDER 945.5 -115

Jackson’s rushing yards prop is intriguing because the effect that the RB absences will have is still unknown.

The Ravens could end up leaning more on Jackson as a runner in order to make up for their lack of backfield dynamism or they could end up being unable to set up the run to free Jackson up to make his big plays.

Jackson has rushed for more than 1000 yards in each of the two previous seasons, hitting 1005 in 2020 and 1206 in 2019.

He accomplished both of those numbers while only playing in 15 games each season, which adds another wrinkle to this bet - there will be 17 games this year, not 16.

Lamar Jackson Regular Season Passing Yards Odds

  • OVER 3450.5 -105
  • UNDER 3450.5 -125

Jackson’s passing has been highly criticized, and it could also be hurt by the lack of backfield playmakers, as the young QB relies on the run-pass option in order to generate enough time in the pocket for him to throw downfield.

Without the threat of Dobbins or Edwards breaking a play if they are not respected, the option could end up being unable to generate the kind of time Jackson needs in order to get the ball to his playmakers in the WR corps.

Jackson has never even approached this number of passing yards, with his best season, 2019, topping out at 3127 yards in the air.

It seems the NFL betting markets are expecting less running and more passing from the fourth-year QB and the Ravens might need him to make that adjustment as well with their two best RB playmakers out.