Baltimore Ravens 2014 NFL Betting Preview

 

The Ravens had an opportunity to reach the postseason with a week 17 win last season but couldn’t beat the Bengals in Cincinnati and finished the season 8-8. Baltimore was 7-8-1 against the spread including 5-3 at home. Despite being known as a defensive minded squad, the Ravens went under the total eight times, over on seven occasions, and pushed once. Baltimore put together a four game win streak late last season to get back in the playoff picture, but were dominated at home by the Patriots in week 16 and came up short against the Bengals on the final Sunday of the regular season.

The Ravens had an opportunity to reach the postseason with a week 17 win last season but couldn’t beat the Bengals in Cincinnati and finished the season 8-8. Baltimore was 7-8-1 against the spread including 5-3 at home. Despite being known as a defensive minded squad, the Ravens went under the total eight times, over on seven occasions, and pushed once. Baltimore put together a four game win streak late last season to get back in the playoff picture, but were dominated at home by the Patriots in week 16 and came up short against the Bengals on the final Sunday of the regular season.

At the end of the 2012 season the Ravens won the Super Bowl. Last year Baltimore faced the fifth most difficult schedule in the league. This season the Ravens play the easiest schedule of any team in the NFL that doesn’t play in the AFC South. Baltimore opens the campaign with three straight divisional games. They face the Bengals and Steelers the first two weeks of the season both at home. In week four they host Carolina making for three home tests over the opening quartet of games. Baltimore gets to play the cushy AFC South meaning battles with Jacksonville, Tennessee and Houston and the unpredictable NFC South. If the Ravens are in contention come December, Miami, Jacksonville, Houston and Cleveland are a relatively easy way to end the regular season.

Steve Smith was added from Carolina and can play the role for Joe Flacco that Anquan Boldin did two years ago. Last season the Ravens offensive line and running game struggled and now Ray Rice is suspended to begin the season. Michael Oher is gone and Baltimore needs Jeremy Zuttah and Kelechi Osemele to play well up front. Arthur Jones signed with the Colts and that means Brandon Williams will need to be an impact performer on the defensive line. Rookie CJ Mosley could make an impact at linebacker.

The Ravens are 50-1 to win the Super Bowl and 22-1 in the AFC. Baltimore has among the best and most consistent front offices in the league and tend to make under the radar moves that allow them to succeed. Last years roster was not good enough to compete for a title after a lot of their resources went to re-signing Flacco. If their running game (backs and line) improves this year it will make the entire offense a lot better.