Calling all bettors! Since winning Super Bowl 47, the Baltimore Ravens are 2-5 in the postseason and now face a critically important phase in their development in an increasingly competitive AFC North. How will free agency, the 2023 NFL Draft, and contract negotiations with Lamar Jackson impact their Super Bowl 58 hopes? The following betting odds are based on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl 58 Odds and Futures
Last February’s early odds for Super Bowl 57 offered clues on what sportsbooks were thinking and how that wove into the thinking of the broader betting market.
For example, the Kansas City Chiefs were the top favorite (+650 odds) of winning this year’s Super Bowl, while the Buffalo Bills were No. 2. Not too shabby as far as year-long predictions go.
But the Los Angeles Rams and Green Bay Packers were Nos. 3 and 4, respectively — though, in fairness, Davante Adams’ status in Green Bay remained unclear at that point. The Tennessee Titans (No. 9) and Denver Broncos (No. 10) clearly underwhelmed. The Philadelphia Eagles weren’t even in the top third.
What about Baltimore? They were tied with Cincinnati at No. 7 with +1600 odds. And after the dust settled on the ensuing offseason, an interesting thing happened: Baltimore dropped to No. 9 (+1880), while Cincy dropped to No. 11 (+2080). The Ravens were AFC North favorites to win the title, despite trading away No. 1 wideout Marquise Brown and dealing with major backfield health questions.
So how should bettors respond to Baltimore’s current seventh-ranked +2200 odds to win Super Bowl 58? Let’s briefly examine this past season.
Lamar Jackson and Other 2022 Season Takeaways
It’s been four years since the Ravens won a divisional title. With the Bengals now entrenched as “the team to beat” in the AFC North, and with Pittsburgh and Cleveland true wild cards — capable of 10-7 campaigns or better if things break right — Baltimore is one of the toughest teams to figure out. Last season reinforced why.
We’ll begin with the face of the team, Lamar Jackson. Amidst contract negotiations with no clearly predictable resolution, he is more important to this franchise than most players are to theirs. Obviously, that’s subjective. We could point to dozens of players who arguably are just as important, if not more so.
But as we’ve seen the past two seasons when Jackson’s gotten hurt, this offense suffers immensely when he’s not on the field. For example, in 11 full games in 2022 (he attempted only four passes in the 12th game before getting hurt), the Ravens averaged 25.0 points per contest. In their other six, they averaged half that (12.5).
Six of Jackson’s 11 opponents last season were eventual playoff teams. In the other games, Baltimore faced only one playoff team.
While Tyler Huntley has proven to be an above-average NFL backup QB, he doesn’t appear ready to lead this team on a deep playoff run. It’s Jackson or bust for now. But despite being one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the league, Jackson has missed nine of this franchise’s last 23 matchups. And if we include his two early exits due to season-ending injuries, he’s essentially missed 11 of the last 23 (48%).
Betting on the Ravens means betting on a fully healthy Jackson, which with each passing season, seems like a bigger stretch.
Elsewhere, 2022 marked a mammoth turnaround for a defense that surrendered the most passing yards and third-most passing TDs the year before while securing only 34 sacks. This most recent campaign saw major gains in these areas, while the unit gave up the third-fewest points per outing.
And that brings us to the franchise’s other major X factor heading into 2023: J.K. Dobbins. Now entering his fourth season, Dobbins might be a top-five NFL running back … seriously. And I’ll admit that I never thought he’d play as well as he did after returning from an ACL tear that ended his 2021 campaign before it even began.
Despite missing 13 months, returning, then undergoing another knee surgery that sidelined him six more weeks — and despite never being fully recovered from his torn ACL — Dobbins dominated down the stretch. He racked up 459 yards on 70 totes (an incredible 6.6 yards per carry) in his final five matchups.
Even more remarkably, he achieved this level of greatness despite defenses knowing he was the primary offensive weapon. Baltimore averaged only 142.6 passing yards in those games. With Jackson out, the offense became “Dobbins or bust.” And Dobbins frequently came out on top.
2023 Offseason Moves
At their best, a core of Jackson, Dobbins, Mark Andrews, and a returning Rashod Bateman — combined with a top-10 defense that might be top-five — could lift the Ravens into serious Super Bowl contention. The challenge is that these guys need to play some of their best football at the same time — and stay healthy. Jackson, Dobbins, Bateman, Gus Edwards … this is an injury-prone team, plain and simple.
Risk-averse bettors should steer clear of this boom/bust franchise. But aggressive bettors should lean in, especially if the Ravens lock in Jackson for the long term, and if they add a much-needed top-30 WR to a corps that desperately needs another field stretcher.
NFL Free Agency
In the coming weeks, we’ll update this section with breaking news on key Ravens arrivals and departures through free agency and trades, how it impacts their Super Bowl odds, and how it might inform our decision to bet on them to win it all.
In early May, we’ll update this section on key Ravens draft picks and UDFA signings, with an eye toward any instant-impact players who could help catapult them to “strong Super Bowl contender” status.
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