Betting on the Ravens?
A little over a month ago, sports betting was legalized by the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. It is up to the states that wish to legalize it to do so. While eight states either have full on sports betting available, or have legalized it but are waiting for the green light to start accepting bets, Maryland is one of about 15 states that has starting writing legislation that sports bettors will hope passes though.
With any luck, it won’t take long for Marylander’s to be able to place bets at one of the states casino’s, or online legally with their Maryland address and U.S. bank accounts, rather than with a site based offshore somewhere.
In Nevada in 2017, $4.8 billion (with a “B”) was wagered on sports with $1.7B (35.4%) of it on football. Billions more was likely sent offshore by non-Nevada residents and those not visiting Las Vegas for a “conference” or a quiet, peaceful, bachelor party. It’s no surprise so many states want a piece of that action.
Now that we are heading in that direction as a state, I figure there is going to be a lot more interest in odds, spreads, prop bets, anything you can gamble on to garner more interest in games. What fantasy football did for the sport early in the 21st century, legalized sports betting could do again as NFL ratings are going in the tank. Well, in the tank by NFL standards. They are still the ratings kings, but not like they used to be.
So you want to bet with the Ravens? Here’s what is out there right now.
Discuss your thoughts on these topics on our message board.
Week 1. Ravens -4.5 vs. Buffalo.
That’s right. You can bet on week 1 right now. Why would you? Maybe you think that line changes in your favor as the season get closer. The Ravens are 7-3 in week 1 in John Harbaugh’s tenure. Buffalo may be starting rookie quarterback Josh Allen in his pro debut, or they’ll look to A.J. McCarron if Allen isn’t ready for the spotlight. If the Ravens are clicking on all cylinders come September and the Bills become decimated with training camp and preseason injuries, that line could move up to -7, -8 and having it at -4.5 is a steal. Flip the script the other way, Josh Allen looks like Aaron Rodgers, that line could come down to -1, or a pick em, and having them at -4.5 looks like you’ll need some magic to pull that one out.
Personally, I wouldn’t touch any Ravens game with a line over 3 or under -3. They play so many close games, so many games coming down to a late score, drop a game or two a year the paper says they shouldn’t lose at all, beating even the Browns by more than a field goal can be a tall task on any given day.
Over/Under Ravens wins: 8.5 (over +115, under -135)
Will they finish .500 or worse, or be a playoff contender? There are no easy games on the schedule. The afore mentioned Buffalo might be the easiest home game outside the division. Broncos had a down year but are tough, Saints, Raiders, Buccaneers could all be tough tests at home. Road games at Kansas City, at Atlanta, at Carolina, at Tennessee won’t be easy either. The money line favors the under. I think I would to. But if the Ravens have the luck they did last year, with so many opposing quarterbacks getting injured, they could win some games they otherwise might not.
The line on the AFC East teams is Steelers O/U 10.5 wins, Bengals 6.5, Browns 4.5. Elsewhere around the AFC, the 8.5 line is on par with the Raiders and Jaguars, a game behind the Texans and Chargers (9.5), and in addition the Steelers, two behind the Patriots (10.5). Looks like Vegas thinks the Ravens are 5th-7th best in the conference. Fringe playoff team. I think that’s right about were realists would put the Ravens too, considering they have missed the playoffs four of the last five years, but have for the most part, been in the hunt.
Winning the Super Bowl: Ravens, +4000
A cool $100 bet will profit you $4,000 if you bet on the Ravens to win Super Bowl LIII. It’s the same odds as, and this is true, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson winning the 2020 Presidential Election. Lavar Ball is +25000. Anyone wanna go halvesies?
The Ravens are actually 9th among AFC teams in odds to win the title. Vegas likes a Super Bowl LII repeat, with a different champion. Patriots +625, Eagles +800 top the board. If you want to turn $100 into $10,000, put it on the Bears, Bengals, Dolphins, or Jets. Surprisingly, not the Browns, at only +6600. Same odds as Maryland Football winning the Big Ten Conference Title this year.
The Ravens were at +1800 preseason odds when they went on to win it all in the 2012 season. +1600 in 2011 when they were an Evans and a Cundiff away from, in my opinion, definitely beating that bad Giants team that beat a bumbling Patriots team in the worst Super Bowl I’ve ever seen. +4000 seems like long odds. But you know who had longer odds? The 2001 Patriots at +6000, with Drew Bledsoe at the helm, who had to give way to some Tom Brady dude. Could you imagine if something awful happened to Joe Flacco, and Lamar Jackson becomes the next Tom Brady? Of if Lamar Jackson is the next Joe Flacco? Rookie Joe Flacco took a Ravens team with +8000 odds to the AFC title game and almost won it. Anything can happen. Probably worth a shot in the dark to put a flier on a Super Bowl champ with the long odds. Except the Browns. Don’t put your money on them.
Ravens are also +1800 to win the AFC, and +450 to win the AFC North.
Joe Flacco wins league MVP: +5000
Better odds that the Ravens win the Super Bowl than it is that Joe Flacco wins league MVP. He’s 24th in the odds among QBs, same odds as Blake Bortles and Patrick Mahomes. David Johnson, Todd Gurley, and Le’Veon Bell have better odds (+4000) as non-QBs, and it is rare a non-QB wins the award. Marshall Faulk, Shaun Alexander, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Adrian Peterson have done it since the year 2000. Basically, do you think Johnson, Gurley or Bell has a record setting season while none of the quarterbacks have a historic season of their own?
Where was I? Oh, yes. Flacco. League MVP. Um…no. He’s just not that kind of player and the Ravens just aren’t that kind of team.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Lamar Jackson, +2000
I would feel dirty making this bet. I wouldn’t want to bet money on Joe Flacco suffering serious injury, or playing so, so, so poorly that he finds the bench so early in the year and gives Jackson the chance.
Saquan Barkley is the favorite at +140 and that seems like a safe bet. He’ll get the touches right away in the Giants backfield. He’s a physical freak, and young running backs have found a lot of success in this league of late. Calvin Ridley, whom the Ravens passed over on draft day, is +1600. The highest of the rookie WRs.
Don’t want to wait until January or February to get paid off? July 4th is right around the corner. Over/Under on hot dogs Joey Chestnut consumes at the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is 68.5. He ate 72 last year, 70 in 2016, and 73 in a qualifier that year. He’s got 70 in the bag. Take the over 68.5 at -175.