The Baltimore Ravens were close to sending their AFC Championship game into overtime against the New England Patriots last season and who knows what might have happened in OT. Nevertheless, a short field goal miss ended their season.
The offseason has seen some players leave and other get another year older, Ray Lewis. This season the team might not make it as far as they have in years past.
In 2011, the Ravens started the season with 7/1 odds to take the AFC. They had a 10.5 OVER/UNDER on wins. Baltimore went on to have a 12-4 regular season and win the AFC North outright, the first time they had done that since 2006.
Their four regular season losses were to teams that did not even make the playoffs. Baltimore was 5-0 against teams that went to the playoffs, 8-0 playing at home and 6-0 against AFC North opponents.
Offensively the Ravens will need a better year from Joe Flacco. Ray Rice gave them 2,000 yards from scrimmage. The second time he has accomplished that already in his young career.
Last season they were only 15th in the league in total offense, but third in overall defense, second against the run. Teams in the NFL that outrushed their opponents ended up covering the spread in 69% of the games played. Baltimore however was only 8-7-1 ATS and a miserable 0-4 ATS as the favorite by over seven points. In their 16 regular season games, 10 paid out to the OVER and six paid out to the UNDER.
Gone are Ricky Williams, Jarret Johnson and Ben Grubbs. Terrell Suggs torn an Achilles and his status is still uncertain. Arriving new this season were Bobbie Williams from the Bengals and Courtney Upshaw was drafted from Alabama.
Right now the Ravens are a +125 to win their division, 7/1 to win the AFC title and have been given 16/1 odds on taking the Super Bowl. Most books take them to win 10 games as they have the league’s fourth toughest schedule according to records from last season.