Ravens Underdog NFL Trends

John Harbaugh Is The Underdog King

Hungry dogs run faster — and there are no dogs hungrier than John Harbaugh's Baltimore Ravens.

The Ravens have quietly become the best underdog team in football over the last few seasons, covering the spread in 23 of their last 25 contests when they're not favored. Here's a breakdown of that NFL betting trend, why it's the case, and how you can capitalize the next time Baltimore isn't favored:

The Ravens' Results As Dogs

Baltimore Ravens Underdog Results (Last 25 Games)
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Harbaugh's boys have absolutely dominated the spread as underdogs in recent seasons. Last season, the Ravens were underdogs in six games (including playoffs). They went 4-1-1 ATS in those contests and even won two of those contests outright.

In those 25 games as underdogs, Baltimore's opponents were, on average, 4.4-point favorites. But, the Ravens scored 1.6 more points than their opponents in those games, on average.

This trend also leaks into the postseason, too, as Harbaugh has the third-most underdog outright wins in the playoffs in the Super Bowl era.

Why Are The Ravens Underdog Heroes?

The Ravens may be the best 'next man up' squad in the NFL. We see it in the team's preseason dominance, and we see it when major injuries hit the team, too. In the last year alone, the Ravens have lost Lamar Jackson, Marlon Humphrey, Ronnie Stanley, JK Dobbins to major injuries, and Harbaugh's squad has proven as good as any team in football at replacing starter production.

Since 2009, the Ravens have had the third most collective injuries (by man games lost) in the entire league. But still, in that time, they're 138-90 with just two losing seasons. So, while the books might dock the Ravens due to injuries, they may not be correct to do so.

Just look at 2023's Week 2 game against the Bengals. The Ravens were missing LT Stanley, CB Humphrey, RB Dobbins, and S Marcus Williams — five potential Pro Bowlers. They still beat the Bengals by three points.

Underdog Mentality

It also helps that the organization and players embrace the role. It's a chip-on-the-shoulder mentality that seems to have stuck with the Ravens organization through the eras of Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Joe Flacco, and now Jackson.

"I'd rather be the underdog because we always have something to prove," Jackson told the media before upsetting the Bengals in Week 2.

When Will Ravens Be Underdogs Next?

This is where I have to break the bad news. There's a chance the Ravens aren't underdogs again for a while. After beating the Bengals in Week 2, the schedule really softens for Baltimore:

  • Week 3 vs Colts (-7.5 pt favorites)
  • Week 4 @ Browns
  • Week 5 @ Steelers 
  • Week 6 vs Titans
  • Week 7 vs Lions
  • Week 8 @ Cardinals
  • Week 9 vs Seahawks 

There's a chance they're underdogs at Cleveland in Week 4 (though Nick Chubb's injury makes that less likely), and matchups against the Lions and Seahawks in a few weeks could go either way depending on injuries and performance.

I don't see a game in which the Ravens are guaranteed to be underdogs until a Week 16 matchup against the 49ers. But, if and when the Ravens are slated as dogs next, you know what to do.