Baltimore Ravens Betting Odds Preview
Last season, the Baltimore Ravens got hot at the right time and made an incredible run through the postseason to claim the Super Bowl title. In order to become the first team to defend its Super Bowl title since the New England Patriots did it in 2005, the Ravens will have to overcome a slew of personnel changes on both sides of the ball.
The Baltimore Ravens entered the 2012 playoffs about as cold as could be, going just 1-4 SU and ATS over their last five games. But the return of Ray Lewis on defense seemed to give the team a spark, and it carried that spark to a win against Indianapolis and then upset wins over Denver, New England, and San Francisco to finish the postseason 4-0 SU and ATS and champions of the NFL.
Baltimore was just average on offense through the regular season, but we saw what the team could look like when it was clicking on all cylinders in the playoffs. The Ravens averaged 31 points per game over four postseason games, led by Joe Flacco’s sensational run of 11 touchdown passes with no interceptions. While Flacco and Ray Rice return to lead the offense in 2013, center Matt Birk (retired) and leading receiver Anquan Boldin (traded) do not.
For the first time in franchise history, Ray Lewis will not be patrolling the middle of the defense for the Baltimore Ravens. Unfortunately for Baltimore, Lewis is just one of many key pieces to the defense that isn’t returning, as Ed Reed, Bernard Pollard, Cary Williams, Dannell Ellerbe, and Paul Kruger have all departed as well.
With this much turnover on defense, especially in emotional and performance leaders Lewis and Reed, it is difficult to anticipate the Baltimore defense not taking a step back. Baltimore will have the target on its back every Sunday that comes with being the champion, and two tough division rivals to fend off for the AFC North title in the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals. Will the Ravens fold or excel under the pressure?
AFC North Odds at Bovada as of July 26
Baltimore Ravens +190
Pittsburgh Steelers +190
Cincinnati Bengals +200
Cleveland Browns +700