On March 30, CBS Sports posted AFC North free agency grades and the Ravens got an F because they lost the likes of Calais Campbell and Chuck Clark, and their only major addition was mediocre wideout Nelson Agholor. Since then, the Ravens have signed Odell Beckham Jr., extended franchise quarterback Lamar Jackson and by most accounts had a productive draft. BetMGM opened Baltimore at over/under 8.5 wins for this season, but fairly recent heavy Over action has moved the number to 9.5.
The Ravens had one of the worst receiver corps in the league last year, but that room looks much better with Beckham and Zay Flowers, the No. 22 overall pick in the draft out of Boston College, in the fold. Flowers averaged 42.9 yards after the catch per game last season and is the home-run hitter – Flowers ran a 4.2 40 at the NFL Combine -- the team has lacked since it traded Marquise Brown to Arizona during the 2022 draft. The Ravens now have four first-round wide receivers in Flowers, Beckham Jr., Rashod Bateman and Agholor.
Baltimore wideouts combined for 248 receiving yards when lined up in the slot last season, the fewest in the NFL. Flowers caught catching 78 passes for 1,077 yards with 12 touchdowns in 2022 while at BC, with seven of those TDs coming when he was lined up in the slot. Flowers is +1800 to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
There are no totals for Flowers posted yet at the sportsbooks, but Beckham is set at over/under 575.5 receiving yards at DraftKings – the Under would qualify as a major disappointment considering he got $15 million for this season, worth up to $18 million, after missing all of last year recovering from a torn ACL.
The full NFL schedule was released last week and Baltimore opens Sept. 10 at home vs. Houston. The Ravens are the biggest Week 1 favorites at -9 in what likely will mark the NFL debut of Texans rookie quarterback and No. 2 overall pick CJ Stroud.
Baltimore plays four of its first six games away from M&T Bank Stadium, including three against divisional opponents: Week 2 at Cincinnati, Week 4 at Cleveland & Week 5 at Pittsburgh. The Ravens also face Tennessee in London in Week 6. It's the second international game in franchise history, following a 2017 contest in which Baltimore faced Jacksonville at Wembley Stadium.
Coach John Harbaugh's team plays seven games overall against teams that reached the postseason in 2022 (Bengals twice, Jaguars, Chargers, Dolphins, 49ers and Seahawks). Five of its final seven are again opponents that earned a 2022 postseason berth.
That includes a possible Super Bowl 58 preview at San Francisco on Christmas. Under Harbaugh, the Ravens are 35-17 in primetime games. Baltimore's Week 13 bye ties for the second-latest in franchise history, trailing only its Week 14 bye in 2000.
By opponents' 2022 winning percentage, the Ravens have the league's 21st-toughest schedule in 2023. Its foes were a combined 138-147-2 (.484) last year. Sharp Football Analysis rates strength of schedule by opponents' averaging betting win total for 2023. Baltimore has the 12th-toughest by that metric.
Since win totals have been posted, just one team is taking more Over action than Baltimore at the book: Rival Pittsburgh O/U 8.5 at -135, but that total hasn't changed. The only other team to see its win total increase by a full win is Atlanta, which moved from 7.5 to 8.5.
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