NFL Betting: Baltimore Ravens A Smart Wager

Baltimore Ravens Betting
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Bovada recently posted their future odds for the AFC North, and the Baltimore Ravens are a smart pick for the betting market. As of this posting, the team currently has the third-best odds to win the AFC North at +225. Quite simply, this is highway robbery, and smart gamblers will put money into this as soon as they can.

NFL Betting: Baltimore Ravens Winning AFC North Is A Smart Gamble

The Ravens Themselves

The 2021 Baltimore Ravens finished the season with an unimpressive 8-9 record, but there is a lot more to their story than meets the eye. Baltimore dealt with an absurd amount of injuries throughout the 2021 campaign, and that obviously had a huge impact on the team’s final record. Now, injuries are inevitable in a physical game like football, so the 2022 Ravens will have to deal with some bumps and bruises throughout the upcoming campaign. However, it’s safe to assume that they won’t have to deal with the same number of injuries. Even with everything else being equal, just getting healthy should be good enough to add one or two wins to their record.

Additionally, even with all the injuries, the 2021 Ravens were better than their record would suggest. The Ravens lost the final six games of their season, but five of those losses came by a combined eight points. The difference between winning and losing close games like that has more to do with luck than actual skill, and the Ravens were remarkably unlucky in this regard last year. This type of bad luck typically doesn’t repeat itself from season to season, so a typical regression to the mean should lead to another one or two wins.

Of course, the 2022 Ravens are a completely new team, and they should be better than the 2021 iteration of the roster. While the Marquise Brown trade is a major loss, the team knocked it out of the park in the 2022 NFL Draft. Kyle Hamilton, Tyler Linderbaum, and Travis Jones all have the potential to be Day 1 impact starters, while David Ojabo would have been a first-round pick were it not for his injury.

Baltimore Ravens Betting Odds

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While the draft is the highlight, the Ravens also added plenty of great players in free agency. Marcus Williams should immediately upgrade a secondary in desperate need of death, while Morgan Moses and Michael Pierce should reinforce the offensive and defensive lines, respectively.

The Rest of the AFC North

The Baltimore Ravens should have a good team, but winning the AFC North won’t be easy when they share a division with the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals. Currently, the Browns have the best odds of winning the division at +185, while the Bengals are slightly favored over the Ravens with +200 odds. While it wouldn’t be too big of a surprise for either team to take home the division, both teams are being overvalued.

Let’s start with the Browns. Cleveland made waves by trading for Deshaun Watson, but that move could backfire in the short term. Watson will likely face some NFL discipline, and it’s highly unlikely that Baker Mayfield will play for the Browns if Watson faces an extended suspension. In that scenario, Jacoby Brissett will start for the Browns, and he’s simply not good enough to win a division this competitive.

Even if Watson does play the full season, it’s safe to assume that he’ll need some time to knock off the rust. The quarterback missed the entirety of the 2021 season and now has to learn a new playbook and develop chemistry with a brand new set of teammates. Watson is a great quarterback when he’s at the top of his game, but it will take a while for him to reclaim his old form.

The Bengals, meanwhile, are coming off a phenomenal season where they came minutes away from winning the Super Bowl. However, their success was something of a fluke, as each of their playoff wins came by a single score. As discussed earlier, this sort of thing is not sustainable over a large sample. Additionally, the Bengals faced the weakest slate of opponents in the league last year by a comfortable margin. Now that they have to face stronger competition, it’s safe to assume some negative regression is coming their way.

None of this is to say that the Ravens are a lock to win the division – this should be a tight battle throughout the season. However, Bovada’s current odds do not accurately reflect Baltimore’s chances of winning the division, which means that there is money to be made by betting on the Baltimore Ravens to win the AFC North.

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