Can the Baltimore Ravens have a bounce-back season?
August 12, 2022
After an injury-riddled campaign, a perennial contender looks to get back into the mix
NFL Preview – Baltimore Ravens
By Steve Quinne
Win Total = 10.0
This has to be one of the most-enticing win totals on the board this season. Baltimore is a team to be very bullish on for this NFL season.
Make no mistake, the Ravens were the team most derailed by injuries last lesson, ending up with an astounding 25 players on IR at the end of the year. Between injuries to J.K. Dobbins and Gus Johnson early in the season, to losing Lamar Jackson for the last few games of the year, the Ravens season was completely thrown off by an abundance of injuries.
Baltimore lost its last six games to end the 2021 season, but five of those games were lost by a combined eight points. Despite everything, Baltimore managed to stick around in challenging games with a backup QB down the stretch.
Baltimore boosted its defense by adding Kyle Hamilton in the draft, along with signing Marcus Williams to fortify the secondary. Furthermore, this is the final season of Lamar Jackson’s rookie deal. Jackson is unique in that he doesn’t have an agent and is comfortable playing without any certainty about his future.
Baltimore is poised for a bounce-back season. They have a last-place schedule with games against the Giants and Jags and have a motivated/healthy Jackson to pair with one of the best coaches in the NFL in John Harbaugh.
The Ravens will win at least ten games, providing a push. But they’ll likely exceed that total and perhaps even win the AFC North.
Odds to Win the Super Bowl = +1600
At -180, there isn’t a ton of value in taking the Ravens to make the playoffs. After all, this is a team that failed to make the postseason a year ago. Plus, they’re playing in the same division as the defending AFC champs. So, this number, despite the fact that Baltimore has a very good chance of winning the AFC North, isn’t very appealing.
The price on the Ravens to win the Super Bowl, however, is another story. Obviously, this will be difficult for Baltimore to accomplish, but the Ravens are one of the best-coached teams with one of the more dynamic QBs in the league.
Jackson is only 25 and playing to maximize his value at the negotiating table. He will have his safety net in Mark Andrews, who is only 26, along with his running backs in Edwards and Dobbins, two pillars of Baltimore’s offense.
The Ravens will be able to stack up victories, as they have a last-place schedule and were considered by many experts to have one of the best drafts of any NFL team. Last year was a down year, and historically Harbaugh-led teams have bounced back in a big way.
Look at futures bets as investments. Baltimore is priced the same as San Francisco, who will have rookie Trey Lance under center. Does that seem right?
If Baltimore gets back to playing their brand of football, you’ll see their price drop fast. There’s absolutely value in Baltimore to win the SB at 16/1.
Lamar Jackson to Win MVP = 20/1
Much like the thought process with the Super Bowl bet, it’s all about value with these season-long futures bets. Jackson for MVP, and even Harbaugh for Coach of the Year, both have strong value at 20/1.
Jackson has already won the award once and has a nice storyline setup for this season, coming off an injury and playing without a guaranteed contract for next season. He’s a 5,000-yard threat by default between his passing/running ability, and he’s getting his comrades back in the backfield. Mark Andrews is young and strong and will be even more versatile on a healthy Ravens team.
Jackson threw for a career-high 13 interceptions last season and is just primed for a great season should he be healthy. There are ten names in front of Jackson for MVP, and that just doesn’t seem right. At 20/1, it’s an excellent price for a guy who has been there and done that, and is just 25 years old.