Baltimore Ravens Betting Preview: Jackson, Ravens Have High Floor, But Playoff Success Likely Elusive Again

By | August 31, 2021

Last season was a rollercoaster for the Baltimore Ravens, ending with an 11-5 regular-season record and a 17-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills in the divisional round. The Ravens have yet to make a big postseason breakthrough with Lamar Jackson but are once again one of the favorites in the AFC, along with the Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, and Cleveland Browns.

In 2020, the Ravens had the NFL’s top rushing offense and worst passing offense, a rare feat. With Jackson at QB, neither of those results is much of a surprise and they were certainly very dangerous at times. The defense finished second in the league in points allowed but 14th in sacks and 23rd in interceptions. There is definitely some room for improvement on both sides of the ball. If it happens, Jackson and the Ravens could still be standing in late January.

Baltimore Ravens 2021 Schedule and Futures Odds

To keep up with the Ravens’ results and updated futures odds throughout the 2021 NFL season, check out our dedicated Baltimore Ravens page.

Baltimore Ravens 2021 Futures Odds

  • Super Bowl LVI Odds: +12000
  • Odds to Win the AFC Championship: +6000
  • Odds to Win the AFC East: +1600
  • 2021 NFL Season Win Total: OVER 6 (-115), UNDER 6 (-105)
  • Odds to Make the NFL Playoffs: YES +490, NO -700

Baltimore Ravens futures odds are via FanDuel Sportsbook as of Tuesday, August 31, 2021.

Baltimore Ravens 2021 Schedule

Date, Matchup, Time, and TV Broadcast Information

Week 1

Monday, September 13, 2021: at Las Vegas Raiders, 8:15 pm ET, ESPN/ABC

Week 2

Sunday, September 19, 2021: vs Kansas City Chiefs, 8:20 pm ET, NBC

Week 3

Sunday, September 26, 2021: at Detroit Lions, 1:00 pm ET, CBS

Week 4

Sunday, October 3, 2021: at Denver Broncos, 4:25 pm ET, CBS

Week 5

Monday, October 11, 2021: vs Indianapolis Colts, 8:15 pm ET, ESPN

Week 6

Sunday, October 17, 2021: vs Los Angeles Chargers, 1:00 pm ET, CBS

Week 7

Sunday, October 24, 2021: vs Cincinnati Bengals, 1:00 pm ET, CBS

Week 8

BYE WEEK

Week 9

Sunday, November 7, 2021: vs Minnesota Vikings, 1:00 pm ET, FOX

Week 10

Thursday, November 11, 2021: at Miami Dolphins, 8:20 pm ET, FOX/NFL Network

Week 11

Sunday, November 21, 2021: at Chicago Bears, 1:00 pm ET, CBS

Week 12

Sunday, November 28, 2021: vs Cleveland Browns, 8:20 pm ET, NBC

Week 13

Sunday, December 5, 2021: at Pittsburgh Steelers, 4:25 pm ET, CBS

Week 14

Sunday, December 12, 2021: at Cleveland Browns, 1:00 pm ET, CBS

Week 15

Sunday, December 19, 2021: vs Green Bay Packers, 1:00 pm ET, FOX

Week 16

Sunday, December 26, 2021: at Cincinnati Bengals, 1:00 pm ET, CBS

Week 17

Sunday, January 2, 2022: vs Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 pm ET, FOX

Week 18

Sunday, January 9, 2022: vs Pittsburgh Steelers, 1:00 pm ET, CBS

Baltimore Ravens 2021 Season and Betting Preview

Key Additions and Subtractions

Additions

  • OT Alejandro Villanueva
  • WR Sammy Watkins
  • OG Kevin Zeitler
  • WR Rashod Bateman

The focus of the offseason was making things easier for Jackson. He is always going to be a threat to run, but it is also hard to tell him not to with the weapons he has had to throw to in the past. With the addition of Watkins and Bateman, he definitely has more to work with. The changes to the offensive line should have a net positive effect. They should continue to pile up the yards on the ground.

Subtractions

  • OT Orlando Brown Jr.
  • RB Mark Ingram
  • OLB Matt Judon
  • WR Willie Snead IV

Judon’s loss will be felt the most out of this group. He’s not an elite player, but he was very productive in his five seasons with the Ravens, registering 34.5 sacks and 235 total tackles.

2021 Season Preview

The Ravens have built their offense around the unique talents of their QB, so even though they have made moves to help him, it is hard to know just what those will really yield. They should once again have one of the best rushing attacks in the league, even after losing J.K. Dobbins for the season with a torn ACL. Gus Edwards has been productive in his career and could have a huge year as the lead running back. Baltimore has an offense that is hard to catch up against when they can play with the lead, but playing from behind can be a challenge. The aerial attack should improve, but will it be enough to drastically alter their fortunes? I’m not sold.

The Ravens have been salty on defense throughout the Harbaugh era and should continue to be. Linebacker Patrick Queen stepped in as a rookie and looked great, leading the team in tackles. But this group is light on edge rushers and difference makers at the back end. Corner Marcus Peters is a playmaker, but he does gamble too much sometimes. The Ravens were seventh in yards and second in points allowed a season ago. That will be tough to repeat when they must face several potent offenses this season.

The Ravens look about as good coming into this season as they did a year ago. They are hopeful that Jackson has improved, and if he has, this team could be great. I don’t feel comfortable betting on him to take that leap and lead them to the AFC title or Super Bowl though.

2021 Betting Preview

The Ravens are a quality team. Their ceiling is going to be determined by Jackson’s growth and big-game performance.

Baltimore is not getting much buzz coming into the season. Most think that in the AFC North Cleveland has the better roster and the only reason to like the Ravens more than the Browns is that they have done it before.

The Ravens could be dangerous in the playoffs but the same thing that makes them dangerous, Jackson, can also make them easy to beat. I am still not sold on his ability to beat a good team with his arm, and winning in the playoffs is about beating opponents the way you don’t want to. Or to be perfect in your execution. I don’t like them to be that either. I do give them the edge over the Browns in the AFC North, but there is not a ton of value there at that payoff.

Looking at the win total, two things stand out. The first is that the back half of their schedule is loaded with division games. At that point, Jackson could be banged up, and those guys are used to playing him. The other is that they could start 0-2. Those two things mean they have to do a lot of damage in the middle of the season.

When I project Baltimore’s record, I keep coming up with 12-5, which would get us the over. For that reason, there is value there if you choose to go that route. Since I am not bullish on the Ravens, my preference would be to go week to week.

Final Thought

The Ravens are definitely a good team and organization. There are no glaring weaknesses with this group, but I also don’t see them as being much better than they were a year ago. Jackson is the key to everything, as has been the case. The receivers the Ravens brought in could help, but I would have loved to see them get someone like Julio Jones, whose productivity wouldn’t depend on Jackson’s precision. Overall, I am optimistic about the Ravens for this season.

The post Baltimore Ravens Betting Preview: Jackson, Ravens Have High Floor, But Playoff Success Likely Elusive Again first appeared on Betting News.

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