Baltimore Ravens Betting Primer: Super Bowl Odds, Win Total Pick, More
Will Newton/Getty Images. Pictured: Lamar Jackson.
Baltimore Ravens Odds
If you’re new to betting, the Ravens’ +650 Super Bowl odds mean a $100 bet would net $650 if they won. [Convert odds using our betting odds calculator.]
After a 14-2 regular season and a 28-12 loss to the Tennessee Titans in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, the Ravens are looking to knock the Chiefs off the throne and capture their own Super Bowl title. With Lamar Jackson leading the charge at quarterback, everything is on the table.
Our analysts take a closer look at their win total as well as key questions facing the team.
Ravens Win Total Pick
Sean Koerner, the Director of Predictive Analytics at Action, breaks down how he’s betting the Ravens’ win total.
My colleague Evan Abrams analyzed high win totals heading into 2019, finding that of the 161 teams with double-digit totals over the previous 30 seasons, only 62 (42.2%) went over. Then the six teams with double-digit totals last season went 3-3.
Historically, the market does tend to overvalue the top teams entering each season. I would say the main reason is underestimating just how unpredictable a typical NFL season can be — uncertainty hurts the superior teams and benefits the inferior teams. That’s why now as we’re entering a season with the highest levels of uncertainty yet, it’ll have an even more significant impact.
The Ravens are virtually tied with the Chiefs for the No. 1 spot in my power ratings.
The Ravens have a brief window in which they can spend large amounts of money to bolster the defense before they need to pay Lamar Jackson, and they’ve seized that opportunity. If you can believe it, they may be an even better team on paper in 2020 after upgrading their lone weak spot, signing star defensive end Calais Campbell to a two-year deal worth $25 million and spending a first-round pick on linebacker Patrick Queen.
Upgrades aside, I’m betting on the uncertainty of this season and taking the under.
If the Ravens benefit from good injury luck and Jackson plays all 16 games, they’ll crush 11.5 wins. But without him, the Ravens would be closer to a 7-8 win team. And given that he takes significantly more hits than any other quarterback and we now have to worry about positive COVID tests, the market seems to be underrating that potential downside.
PICK: Under 11.5 (-125; bet no further)
Key Questions for the Ravens
Stuckey, a football betting analyst and host of The Action Network podcast, runs through three key questions for the Ravens heading into 2020.
1. Who will step up at right guard? The offensive line should take a step back with the retirement of perennial Pro Bowler Marshal Yanda, the clear leader of the unit. The Ravens can turn to a myriad of inexperienced options or veteran D.J. Fluker to fill in, but none obviously have the pedigree and talent of Yanda.
Center is also a position to watch with Matt Skura, who did pass his physical, returning from a knee injury. It does at least help to have Lamar Jackson and two valuable bookend tackles in Ronnie Stanley and Orlando Brown Jr.
2. How fast can the rookie linebackers get up to speed? The Ravens drafted two linebackers over the first three rounds in order to address a need at inside linebacker — a weakness we saw the Titans exploit in the playoffs.
Both Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison should benefit from a significantly upgraded defensive line in front of them with the offseason acquisitions Derek Wolfe and Calais Campbell. If the rookie linebackers can smoothly handle the transition to the NFL, Wink Madrtindale’s defense doesn’t have many holes in front of an already stellar secondary that will get slot Tavon Young back from injury.
3. What will the loss of Earl Thomas mean? Three weeks before the season opener, Baltimore released free safety Earl Thomas for conduct detrimental to the team. It sounds like they had no choice for the locker room, but it does leave a hole at free safety. Thomas is no longer the player he once was in Seattle and seemed to avoid tackling like the plague, but he was still a very effective center fielder.
The job appears to now sit in the hands of third-year safety DeShon Elliott, who does not have much experience. Former cornerback Jimmy Smith might also get a shot back there as well as rookie Geno Stone. It’s certainly a position to watch early in the season, starting with Week 1 against Cleveland.
If the Ravens can figure out right guard and free safety, and the rookies contribute as expected, this team arguably has the best top-to-bottom roster in the NFL.
Jackson owns an uber-impressive 19-3 regular-season record to start his career but has lost both of his playoff starts. It’s not fair to pin two postseason losses entirely on a young quarterback, but they are what everyone will be talking about if Baltimore returns to the playoffs.