Lamar Jackson is locked in. The superstar quarterback signed a long-term deal with the Baltimore Ravens and is ready to lead the team to the Super Bowl. The NFL odds now have the team at 20-1 to win it all. That’s not a bad investment if this team can maximize its potential.
Baltimore allowed 18.5 points per game in 2022, which is the third-fewest in the NFL. This team struggled to pass the ball but more than made up for it with a dominant run game. With better health and reinforcements added to the passing game, Baltimore should be much better.
Baltimore Ravens, Yay or Nay?
The Ravens are a fun team to watch and bet online. For one, Jackson remains one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks. Baltimore is 45-16 when he plays a full game and that is the record of a Super Bowl contender. It’s why the NFL lines will have Baltimore as a top 10 team to win it all.
On top of that, the Ravens added Odell Beckham Jr. and Zay Flowers as receivers and Melvin Gordon as a running back. Along with star tight end Mark Andrews and Edwards, the Ravens have given Jackson all the weapons he needs to deal serious damage to the rest of the NFL.
And on defense, the Ravens kept its core intact. Marlon Humphrey and Kyle Hamilton anchor the secondary while Roquan Smith will dominate up front.
Three Players to Watch
All eyes will be on Beckham as the team’s big name receiver. But the team still has Rashod Bateman. His 2022 season was cut short by an injury. The 23-year-old had chemistry with Jackson and was explosive in his five starts. He averaged 19 yards per receptions in 2022.
And we’ve mentioned Gus Edwards. But the running back has the potential to be a star as evidenced by his career average of 5.2 rushing yards per carry. With Baltimore’s run-heavy style, Edwards needs to stay healthy and return to his prolific ways so the team can improve on its 2,720 rushing yards.
On defense, Odafe Oweh will be an X-Factor for Baltimore. The edge rusher will need to bolster Baltimore’s mediocre pass rush. If the Ravens can improve on its 48 sacks (and 19.2% pressure rate), the Ravens will be an even more shrewd NFL pick this year.
Odafe Oweh isn’t lying, the Baltimore Ravens will have the best defense in football when all is said and done.
— Nic Mason (@British_Raven19) July 30, 2023
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Baltimore’s fate depends on two things: 1) the team’s ability to stay healthy; and 2) the division it plays in. Baltimore has failed to stay healthy for the last two seasons. Jackson missed both the final quarter of the last two regular seasons and 2022 playoffs. It was why the brass was hesitant giving him a long-term deal.
Next, the team plays in the AFC North. This has consistently been a brutal division to play in. The team shares the division with a Super Bowl contender in Cincinnati, an upper-echelon team in Cleveland, and a Steelers team that has never had a losing season in over 15 years.
As such, the Ravens could either win the division (+215) or still make the playoffs (-170) as a Wild Card team. But its grueling schedule and injury history can make it a laborious season to watch for both fans and bettors.
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