Coming off a very disappointing 2021 season in which they went 8-9 and missed the playoffs, not to mention finishing tied for last place in the AFC North with the dysfunctional Cleveland Browns – the Baltimore Ravens are looking to bounce back in a big way. Baltimore collapsed last season, dropping six-consecutive games to finish the year to ruin an 8-3 start. So, you might not expect the Baltimore Ravens betting odds to be particularly promising after such a flop of a year.
The oddsmakers tell us another story: Baltimore currently has a regular-season win total of 9.5 wins, which is the highest figure in the AFC North with the caveat that the Cleveland Browns’ win total is still off the board due to all the uncertainty surrounding Deshaun Watson’s status for this season.
On paper, though, the optimism surrounding the Baltimore Ravens team stats and season outlook does make sense because it’s a very talented group. Of course, Lamar Jackson leads the way but with player Mark Andrews, a healthy J.K. Dobbins, athletic wide receivers on the outside, and an improved offensive line, Raven’s offense should be much better than a year ago.
Jackson Is The Key
Regardless of what else happens with Baltimore this season, the Ravens’ success ultimately starts and ends with Lamar Jackson. His mid-game ankle injury in Week 14 against the Cleveland Browns essentially sunk Baltimore’s year, as the Ravens lost that game and each of the next four to see their playoff hopes disappear. While Jackson’s numbers weren’t particularly impressive; he had just 16 passing touchdowns compared to 13 interceptions – the Ravens went 7-5 in the games he started and 7-4 in the games he was able to play the entirety of.
It’s clear that Baltimore was headed to another playoff berth when Jackson got hurt. So, with the AFC North looking like it won’t be as difficult to navigate this season, considering the questions at quarterback for the Browns, and Pittsburgh Steelers, as well as the Cincinnati Bengals trying to replace a bunch of lost starters… the Ravens should be contenders considering that Jackson looks to be fully healthy. Baltimore’s divisional odds currently sit a +200 to win the division which is currently tied for the best odds in the division with the Browns, who might still have to deal with a Watson suspension at some point.
The Defense Got Better
The Ravens are far from a title favorite but the +2000 Super Bowl odds for the Ravens are fairly impressive. A lot of people, including Vegas – are penciling them in as one of the best teams in the AFC. When you look at the Ravens’ roster and the top-tier head coach they have in John Harbaugh, that makes a lot of sense.
Another big question for Baltimore’s contention status is the defensive side of the ball. In addition to Jackson’s inconsistencies when healthy and his inability to stay on the field, the Ravens really struggled on defense with a particular problem in the passing game.
Baltimore was dead-last in the NFL in passing yards allowed, second-to-last in net yards allowed per pass attempt, and seventh-worst in both passing touchdowns allowed (31) and interceptions (9). Even with a top-five rushing defense, the Ravens’ secondary issues made it hard for them to stop anyone through the air.
If the Baltimore Ravens betting odds are to be justified, the pass defense will have to be better and, with some of Baltimore’s offseason moves, it should be. Safety Marcus Williams, formerly of the New Orleans Saints – was the big-ticket pickup and his coverage abilities will be critical for the Ravens. Also, Baltimore used three high NFL draft picks on defensive backs in April, most notably the No. 14 overall pick on Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton. He’ll be a nice addition to an already strong safety group.
Playoffs Or Bust
With the clock ticking on this current Baltimore nucleus, especially with Lamar Jackson still awaiting a long-term contract extension, the Ravens almost have to make the playoffs this season after a disappointing 2021 campaign. The Baltimore Ravens betting odds favor them to do so with Baltimore having -130 odds to make the playoffs. They’re also -140 to go over their regular-season win total and +1000 conference odds for the AFC, which is a flattering number considering that they tied for last place in their division a year ago-albeit under very different circumstances.
If you want to bet on NFL games this upcoming season, you could do a lot worse than siding with the Ravens. They’re in a so-so division with an elite coach and a talented quarterback to go with a very improved defense, not to mention a favorable schedule. There’s a reason the Baltimore Ravens always seems to be good, and the 2022 version should be able to return to that constantly contending form.Follow us on Twitter