John Harbaugh and the Ravens Look to Continue Their 20-Game NFL Preseason Win Streak on Thursday
Via Cooper Neill/Getty Images. Pictured: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens hugs head coach John Harbaugh against the Kansas City Chiefs after an NFL game at M&T Bank Stadium on September 19, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland.
It started with the Raiders and the Jaguars last week, but now we are in the thick of it. Welcome to the preseason!
Tonight, Week 1 begins with the Giants–Patriots (+2.5) and the Titans–Ravens (-3). For the Giants and Brian Daboll, it’s year one and a new start, and for the other three coaches, it’s just another beginning to a season.
When it comes to the preseason, every coach treats the games and, more importantly for bettors, the results differently. Mike Vrabel, for example, is 4-7 straight up, while Bill Belichick is 13-6 straight up since 2016.
Maybe the biggest storyline around the preseason year in and year out is the success of John Harbaugh and the Ravens. Under coach Harbaugh, Baltimore has won 20 consecutive preseason games straight up dating back to the 2016 season, a stretch of five years.
The streak of 20 consecutive wins is an NFL record, breaking Vince Lombardi and the Green Bay Packers’ streak of 19 consecutive preseason wins (1959-62).
The Ravens opened as 3.5-point favorites against the Titans. The line peaked as high as -4.5, but it currently sits back at its opening number at -3.5
This year, the Ravens play three preseason games, opening up against the Titans, then facing the Cardinals and Commanders, with their only road game coming against Arizona.
During the 20-game streak, the Ravens are also 17-2-1 (89.5%) against the spread since 2016, covering the spread by an average of 11.7 PPG. A $100 bettor would be up $1,355 betting the Ravens, more than four times he or she would be up betting the next-best team (the Browns at 11-8 ATS, +$311).
After winning their 20th consecutive preseason game last year, Harbaugh said, “I just think it’s really cool. A lot of guys watching on TV, with their kids, telling their kids about that accomplishment and the fact they were a part of that. That’s the most meaningful thing. There’s other aspects of it, but to me, that’s the thing that means the most.”
One potential factor and advantage for Harbaugh? His keen ability to produce results with preparation.
Under Harbaugh, the Ravens are 10-4 ATS in Week 1, and he’s the most profitable coach in Week 1 in Bet Labs (since 2005). Not only that, but also when Harbaugh has 10+ days to prepare, he is 22-8 SU and 17-11-2 ATS as well.
Amazingly enough, Baltimore has stayed relatively consistent in its 20 consecutive preseason wins. The Ravens are 14-6 (70%) against the first half spread, covering the first half spread by 6.3 PPG. They are also 15-4-1 against the second half spread, covering the second half spread by 6.6 PPG.
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