The Baltimore Ravens carry a franchise-record 12-game regular-season winning streak into Sunday's home matchup vs. Cleveland, with the Ravens as 7.5-point favorites on the NFL odds after opening as high as -9. The last team to beat the Ravens in the regular season? That would be the Browns in Week 4 last year, a 40-25 stunner at M&T Bank Stadium. Cleveland improved to 7-3 ATS in its past 10 trips to Charm City.
Arguably the marquee game of the 2020 regular season will be Chiefs-Ravens, with Baltimore hosting what many believe will be an AFC Championship Game preview on Monday night in Week 3. Each of the NFL's three TV partners, ESPN, CBS and NBC, were clamoring to show that game. According to NBC Sports' Peter King, the league gave it to ESPN basically as a thank you for all the network's offseason coverage. "Giving the best game of the year to ESPN was a back-pat from the league," King wrote.
The definition of a trap game would thus be Week 4 for Baltimore when it doesn't even have to leave the state of Maryland to face the Redskins at FedExField in Landover. The Ravens' toughest stretch appears to be starting Week 9 out of its bye at Indianapolis and running through a Week 14 visit to Cleveland -- the Browns handed the Ravens one of their two losses last year, although that was in Baltimore.
On the bright side, the Ravens' final three games look incredibly easy: vs. Jacksonville, NY Giants and at Cincinnati. That could set up Baltimore well to earn the AFC's top seed for the second year in a row -- remember, only the top seed in each conference now gets a first-round playoff bye.
Last year including playoffs, the Ravens were 10-7 ATS behind league MVP Lamar Jackson, with the spread set at seven points or more eight times. They covered once (and suffered their only two losses) in the first six games, crushing the Dolphins 59-10 in the opener as a seven-point favorite.
Baltimore was an underdog four times, winning three and losing 33-28 at Kansas City at +4.5. The Ravens were favored by 7.5 in the other loss, that 40-25 setback against Cleveland in Week 4. The Over-Under was a bit of a crap shoot, with the Ravens boasting both the top scoring offense (33.2 points per game) and scoring defense (17.6) in the NFL. The Ravens scored more than 40 points five times, hitting the Over in four, and allowed 17 points or fewer 11 times, including all eight games that went Under.
The Ravens should be perennial contenders as long as Jackson is in the mix, and the team got even better in the offseason in adding a stud pass rusher in Calais Campbell and rookies Patrick Queen at linebacker and J.K. Dobbins at running back
BALTIMORE RAVENS BETTING PROFILE
2019 record: 14-2 (first, AFC North)
2019 against the spread: 10-7 ATS
2019 ATS margin: +8.1
2019 Over-Under: 9-8 O-U
2020 strength of schedule: Easiest; Ravens opponents combined for a .438 winning percentage last year (112-144).
WILLIAM HILL 2020 BALTIMORE RAVENS FUTURES ODDS
Win total: 11.5 (Under -120)
To make playoffs: Yes -900, no +600
Division: -180 to win AFC North
Conference: +325 to win AFC
Super Bowl: +400 to win SB 55
MVP: QB Lamar Jackson +600 (second-favorite), Mark Ingram +20000
Defensive POY: DE Calais Campbell +4000, S Earl Thomas +10000, CB Marcus Peters +10000
Offensive ROY: RB J.K. Dobbins +2000
Defensive ROY: LB Patrick Queen +1400, LB Malik Harrison +5000, DE Justin Madubuike +6600
Coach of the Year: John Harbaugh +1800
SportsLine Model's projection: 11.7 wins (Lean to the Over)
Week 1 vs. Cleveland, 1 PM ET: Baltimore is 14-3 SU but just 8-9 ATS in the past 17 home meetings.
Week 2 at Houston, 4:25 PM ET: The Ravens are 9-2 SU but 6-5 ATS all-time, including a 20-13 victory as 7.5-point home favorite in the 2011 playoffs.
Week 3 vs. Kansas City, 8:15 PM ET (Monday): The Chiefs are 4-1 SU and ATS in the past five meetings, and the Over is 4-1 in five meetings in Baltimore since 1999.
Week 4 at Washington, 1 PM ET: The Under is 5-1 in the past six meetings dating to 1997, and each team is 3-3 SU and ATS.
Week 5 vs. Cincinnati, 1 PM ET: The Ravens are 7-3 SU but 3-6-1 ATS in the past 10 at home against the Bengals.
Week 6 at Philadelphia, 1 PM ET: The Ravens are 2-6 ATS (3-5 SU) over their past two runs through the NFC East (2012, 2016).
Week 7 vs. Pittsburgh, 1 PM ET: The Ravens have won five of the past seven (4-3 ATS), and the Under is 5-2.
Week 8 BYE: Coach John Harbaugh is 10-2 SU and 9-3 ATS after a bye since he took over the team in 2008.
Week 9 at Indianapolis, 1 PM ET: The Colts are 10-1 ATS (8-3 SU) in the past 11, including three playoff games. The Ravens have won three of the past four but are 1-3 ATS.
Week 10 at New England, 8:20 PM ET: The Pats have won eight of the past 10 (4-4-2 ATS) at home against Baltimore, including five postseason games.
Week 11 vs. Tennessee, 1 PM ET: The Under has hit in seven straight games, including the Titans' 28-12 upset in the playoffs last season.
Week 12 at Pittsburgh, 8:20 PM ET (Thanksgiving): Baltimore is 7-1 SU but just 3-4-1 ATS, covering in the past three, against the AFC North since Lamar Jackson became the starter in Week 11 of 2018.
Week 13 vs. Dallas, 8:20 PM ET (Thursday): The Cowboys (+7) won the most recent meeting 27-17 in 2016, after the Ravens had won five in a row (4-1 ATS).
Week 14 at Cleveland, 8:15 PM ET (Monday): The Ravens are 10-2 SU and ATS in the past 12 in Cleveland, and the Under is 7-4-1.
Week 15 vs. Jacksonville, 1 PM ET: The Jaguars are 6-1 ATS (4-3 SU) in the past seven overall, and the Under is 5-2.
Week 16 vs. NY Giants, 1 PM ET: The Ravens are 4-2 SU and ATS all-time, including Baltimore's 34-7 victory in Super Bowl XXXV.
Week 17 at Cincinnati, 1 PM ET: The Bengals are 6-2 SU and 5-3 ATS in the past eight at home against the Ravens.
EXPERT PICK FROM LEGENDARY ODDSMAKER KENNY WHITE: Under 11.5 wins (-115).
The Ravens have a seven-game run during the middle of the season vs. all-playoff teams. November by itself is challenging ... at Indy, at New England, host Tennessee, at Pittsburgh and then the first week of December host Dallas.
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