For the Baltimore Ravens, the 2020 season demonstrated the highs and lows of developing into true title contenders. After leading the NFL in rushing for the second straight season, the Ravens fell in the divisional playoff round yet again. Lamar Jackson’s breathtaking running ability juxtaposed his struggles with consistently beating defenses through the air. So how will John Harbaugh and Co. adjust for next year? Here’s all the Baltimore buzz about the Ravens‘ odds, schedule, and additions for the upcoming 2021 season.
For their opener, Baltimore (-4.5) visits the Las Vegas Raiders. BetMGM one of the top legal sports betting apps has it a high-scoring affair with the O/U at 51.5, one of the higher numbers of the week. The Ravens are -110 if you’re betting the spread and -250 straight up. After losing defensive menaces Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue, the Ravens will need to manufacture pressure to speed up Raiders QB Derek Carr. Fortunately, for Baltimore, the Raiders ranked in the bottom 10 in rush defense and didn’t make any meaningful upgrades to stop teams from running roughshod all over them.
Thanks to Jackson, J.K Dobbins, and Gus Edwards, the Ravens remain a near shoo-in to take a third consecutive team rushing title. However, for the club to take the next step toward a Super Bowl, their passing attack must improve. To help address that hole, the Ravens used their first two draft picks on wide receivers, Rashod Bateman and Tylan Wallace. They also added Devin Duvernay, Mile Boykin, and Sammy Watkins in free agency.
Offensive coordinator Greg Roman spoke to the additions, “I don’t want to call it an embarrassment of riches, but when you talk about Hollywood and Devin and Miles, I really feel good about the guys we have. When you add talent like that, it’s really going to expand our profile quite a bit, actually. To play with the kind of balance that we really want to play with.
Divisional, Championship, And Super Bowl Odds
With the Pittsburgh Steelers likely taking a step back, the Ravens become the AFC North favorites at +115. Just behind them rank the new-look Cleveland Browns at +145, fresh off their first playoff win in nearly 20 years. These two heavy hitters will undoubtedly engage in some backyard brawls as both teams retained stellar defenses.
BetMGM also installed Baltimore third for AFC Championship odds (+750) just behind the Kansas City Chiefs (+250) and Buffalo Bills (+625). Roman anticipates some changes in order to topple the AFC apple cart, “When you really look at who we have to beat in the AFC these days, you’ve got to have talent everywhere. Schematically wise, we’re always going to change it a little bit. I’d probably say more so this year than we did last year.”
When it comes to Super Bowl odds, the Ravens (+1400) are still looking up at the golden boys. It’s difficult to blame Vegas for slotting Patrick Mahomes (+500) and Tom Brady (+650) and their respective squads as the favorites to return to the big dance.
Last year, the Ravens enjoyed one of the easier schedules in the NFL. In 2021, that’s about to flip. Based on team records from 2020, Baltimore will face the second hardest schedule of anyone in the league. Only their divisional rival, Steelers are slated to face tougher competition. Outside of their division, the boys from Monument City will have to go through the AFC West and the NFC North. Both of those divisions finished with above .500 for combined records. Perhaps the marquee game of the season comes early with the Kansas City Chiefs coming to town in week two.