Ravens Might Have Been Underestimated By 8.5 Season Win Total Odds

Nikki Adams

Saturday, July 23, 2016 2:46 PM UTC

Saturday, Jul. 23, 2016 2:46 PM UTC

Baltimore hang on an 8.5 season win total for 2016 across the boards. Will the Ravens crack this total? We sift through their schedule and serve up game-by-game NFL picks.

Baltimore Ravens 2015 Look Back 
Baltimore Ravens are keen to put 2015 behind them, but we’re going to briefly weigh in on it regardless in this space. Why bring up ancient history? For the purpose of a discerning game-by-game NFL betting preview it’s the responsible thing to do.

It was an awful year for Joe Flacco and Company that resulted in a forgettable 5-11 SU mark. Facing a tough AFC and NFC West on the schedule amongst others, arduous travel and tough road games all conspired against the Ravens right out of the gates. Then the injuries started to pile up and, well, it became Mission Impossible very quickly.

Thing is, few NFL bettors are holding 2015 against the Ravens. In fact, a repeat is not expected. The opposite, a complete and utter turnaround, recognising 2015 was just one of those anomalies when the stars simply don’t align. Just like the Panthers going from 7-9 SU in 2014 to 15-1 SU in 2015, it wouldn’t shock anybody if the Ravens flip the script too. Perhaps, not quite as flawlessly because the AFC North is a much tougher division than the NFC South is but a double-digit winning season is possible.

This isn’t to overlook the big threats in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, a duo that is sure to give the Ravens’ bid for the division title and in the league proper a run for its money. In fact, the AFC North stands up so in Division Betting markets with Bodog: Pittsburgh Steelers +130 to win the division, Cincinnati Bengals +175 to win the division and Baltimore Ravens +275 to win the division. (If we must mention it: Cleveland Browns are the quintessential long shot pick – a hallucinatory bet if ever there was to make one – at +2000 to win the division.)  

In 2014, the AFC North finished in that exact order with the Steelers winning the division behind an 11-5 SU record, Cincinnati finishing second with a 10-5-1 SU record and Baltimore third with a 10-6 SU record. Come playoffs, the Steelers and Bengals bowed out in their respective first playoff games while the Ravens went on to the divisional round game (l. to New England).

The Ravens strike an attractive pose on the NFL betting board because of their track record that includes going to the playoffs in six out of the last eight seasons, three AFC Championship appearances in that time and winning the Super Bowl in 2012. That pairing of Jim Harbaugh and Joe Flacco as such is considered one of the most successful partnerships between coach and quarterback in the league. Therein lies the appeal and why many NFL bettors are confident 2016 will be a big bounce back year.

Alas, that’s not entirely the case on the NFL odds board. Although bookies hang the Ravens on an 8.5 season win total, which puts them above the average mean, the OVER is priced at +120 NFL odds while the UNDER is priced at -150 NFL odds. That’s rather interesting, don’t you think?

So with that preamble done let’s turn our hand to the NFL schedule dealt and predict each and every game in order to serve up our choice NFL pick for the projected season win total.


Baltimore Ravens 2016 NFL schedule Game-by-Game Predictions At A Glance

Week 1 vs. Buffalo, Sunday, September 11
There are those that would talk up the Buffalo Bills after what was a respectable first season under Rex Ryan. Look, they did punch above their perceived weight class, no doubt about it. But, let’s see them do it again before we all go flocking to the sports betting exchange to buy what they are selling. It’s Rex Ryan, after all. So Tyrod Taylor was better than most had him to be but he wasn’t great either. One season means nothing in the NFL. The Ravens had a bad year. They’ll be eager to come out of the blocks and throw down the gauntlet.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 1-0


Week 2 vs. Cleveland (away) Sunday. September 18
The Cleveland Browns are being dubbed as one of the worst teams in the NFL going into 2016. Hardly surprising seeing as they’ve been exactly that over the last few years. Colour the world shocked if the Ravens don’t beat up on the Browns.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 2-0


Week 3 vs. Jacksonville (away), Sunday, September 25
The Jacksonville Jaguars are a team that could potentially surprise in 2016. Certainly, the talent they’ve acquired in the offseason is quite the star-studded cast and promising up-and-comers. On the defense they’ve splashed a lot of cash with the intention of making them tougher to beat – it was way too easy often to score against the Jaguars last season. How all this takes shape remains to be seen. The Ravens can’t take the win at Ever Bank for granted. In fact, this could be a bit of a stunner, if a close one.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 2-1


Week 4 vs. Oakland, Sunday, October 2
The Oakland Raiders are another side that many NFL experts and pundits are quietly enthusiastic about for the 2016 season. There’s a lot of talent on that team and they will be no pushovers. Ravens, however, should find a way to win at home. Home field advantage is big here.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 3-1


Week 5 vs. Washington, Sunday, October 9
The NFC East champions descend on the M&T Bank Stadium, but few are buying what the Redskins are selling. Most blithely dismiss their title credentials as one of those bizarre 2015 anomalies, an NFC East that was surprisingly subpar and saw the absence of Tony Romo for the duration. The Redskins could be in for a tough day in Baltimore. Jim Harbaugh and the Ravens simply have more talent and weapons and, arguably, the elite quarterback in Joe Flacco. Kirk Cousins isn’t going to like that!

NFL Picks: Win
Record 4-1                                                                   


Week 6 vs. NY Giants (away), Sunday, October 16
This has the potential of becoming a right shootout between two quarterbacks that can make big plays. If there were a balance that tips in favour of the Ravens, it’s their defense which should be even better this year. Still, they are on the road and Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. can put in a show for their adoring fans if they light up. It’s a tossup. So long as Eli has a good day, the Giants should win. Otherwise, the Ravens could win.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 4-2


Week 7 vs. NY Jets (away), Sunday, October 23
The Jets defense is no slouch. They could give Flacco a tough day in the office. Nevertheless, they have quarterback question marks – an ongoing contract stalemate with Ryan Fitzpatrick. It’s hard to tell what to expect at this point in time if the starting quarterback is an uncertainty. Scary thought: Geno Smith could potentially be the starting quarterback. Can’t bet on a team under such circumstances.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 5-2


Week 8 BYE


Week 9 vs. Pittsburgh, Sunday, November 6
It’s a good thing the Ravens have a bye right before their date with the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 9 NFL betting. After all, preseason betting markets have the Steelers favoured to win the AFC North. So a bye week is ideal to  prepare for the fancied Steelers. Then again, who knows where they will be by week 9 really. In any event, this is going to be the marquee matchup for the Ravens and, surprisingly, just the second AFC North clash of the season. (They play five of six down the stretch after the Bye, so winning at home is going to be paramount.) This is one of the most confounding rivalries that often yields unexpected results. Ravens should win at home, Steelers could win on the road. We’re going with the home win but feeling no joy.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 6-2


Week 10 vs. Cleveland, Thursday, November 10
Might as well just chalk this up as a win for the Ravens. Granted it’s a short week and a Thursday Night Football game. Just about everybody and their grandmother are predicting the Browns go 0-16 SU this season. Really, do we need to say more?

NFL Picks: Win
Record 7-2


Week 11 vs. Dallas (away), Sunday, November 20
A win or loss at the AT&T hinges on whether Tony Romo is healthy. Last year the Cowboys took a nosedive into the abyss following Romo’s injury, never to surface again after that. Short of a crystal ball, we can’t predict the line-up in Dallas (that goes for both teams really). If at full strength, this should be a great matchup. So long as Romo is fit, this is going to be a tough game for the Ravens to win on the road.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 7-3


Week 12 vs. Cincinnati, Sunday, November 27
Cincinnati Bengals swept the series with the Baltimore Ravens last season by winning 28-24 in Baltimore and then 24-16 in Cincy in week 17 NFL betting, though the latter of which featured backup Ryan Mallet. It might look as if the Bengals have the Ravens’ number but the Ravens aren’t going to go down easily and lose a third in a row to the Bengals. What’s more Jim Harbaugh will make sure of it. He must know this is a must-win game at home with a week 17 curtain closer in Cincinnati. Avoiding a repeat of 2015 when they became victims of the schedule is paramount and winning as many of their divisional contests down the stretch (five out of six played after week 8’s bye) could be the deciding factor in a postseason that has them sat on the couch watching the playoffs or actually in the mix.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 8-3.


Week 13 vs. Miami (away), Sunday, December 4
[Picture the team bus, Ravens jig jig jigging en route to the stadium to Will Smith, …Welcome to Miami, Buenvenidos a Miami….Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah….]  Just as the weather turns across the nation, a trip to Miami is on the cards for the Ravens. The temperature should be perfect at this time of the year in this welcoming city, so much so that it’ll feel as if they are on a nice holiday just ahead of the playoffs. What about the football? What about it? Against the Dolphins you mean? Gosh, every year they are talked up so much only for those who buy-in to the hype to end up looking quite silly. Look, the roster doesn’t look much better this year. Sure, they’ve added pieces..la la la…. Let’s see how they play out. For now, we’re giving that old chestnut – the Miami Dolphins hype – what it deserves, a good swerve.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 9-3


Week 14 vs. New England (away), Monday, December 12
This is one of the best cross-divisional AFC matchups in recent memory. Harbaugh loves rising to the occasion and pitting his wiles against Bill Belichick. (We’d wager the feeling is mutual, so much respect between these two sides is there.) Appropriately, it’s Monday Night Football. The Ravens will relish the underdog role. The Patriots have home advantage, where  it’s never a good idea to bet against them. It wouldn’t shock anybody if the Ravens did but, for now, the smart NFL pick is the hosts win.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 9-4


Week 15 vs. Philadelphia, Sunday, December 18
Yeah, the jury is out on Philadelphia Eagles. They’re not expected to be any good. Plus, the quarterback question mark is not encouraging. This should be a home win for the Ravens.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 10-4


Week 16 vs. Pittsburgh (away), Sunday, December 25
Heinz Field. Mike Tomlin vs. Jim Harbaugh. Ben Roethlisberger vs. Joe Flacco. LeVeon Bell, Antonio Brown vs. Ravens defense…..and so on… all on Christmas Day. Thanks, Santa! Could you ask for a better matchup to tune into on the festive Sunday this year? Hardly. The Ravens have won five at Heinz Field since 2010, which augurs well for a sixth win. Then again, if the Steelers really do live up to preseason expectations and Roethlisberger is up for the clash we do like the Steelers here.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 10-5


Week 17 vs Cincinnati (away), Sunday, January 1
If the AFC North is anywhere nearly as cramped as it was in 2014 when the top triplet all clinched playoff berths and tussled for the title, this could be the Flex game of the final week of the season. Bet the Ravens would like that. Knowing Primetime Dandy Andy can experience a wobble or two, it might play to their advantage to have this game scheduled as the primetime show stopper. Heck, they need all the luck they can get their hands on it seems at Paul Brown Stadium. The Ravens have had no joy there losing more often than they can remember. Then there is the fact that five of their last six week 17 clashes have featured a matchup in Cincy. The Bengals are no slouches but the Ravens can snap the negative trend.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 11-5


NFL Projected Season Win Totals 
For the purpose of this game-by-game rundown, we come to an 11-5 SU total for the Ravens through 17 weeks of what should be intensely gripping football in the AFC North. (Of course, this isn’t written in stone. Easily with a few tossups here and there noted above we see the Ravens going anywhere from a low of 9-7 to a high 12-4, really.) In other words, we are predicting a turnaround by the Ravens in 2016 as they firmly put the last year in the rearview mirror.

In the context of football betting where the projected season win totals are concerned, which is the subject NFL betting market that underlines this way too early prediction’s piece, after all, the implication is obvious, surely. We recommend a bet on the OVER 8.5 projected season win total, which can be found trading at bet365 at +120 NFL odds.


Free NFL Picks: Over 8.5 +120
Best Line Offered: at Bet365

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