NFL Team That Goes Above and Beyond the Spread: Baltimore Ravens
- Everyone knows the Baltimore Ravens had a special season in 2019 and despite being just 10-7 against the spread, the Ravens averaged a league-high 8.1 points over the spread, which more than doubled all but three teams.
- Covering the spread became difficult for Baltimore after establishing a high-powered offense. But of their nine points by at least 10 points, eight came by at least 15 points and five came with a margin of at least 20 points.
- Baltimore’s defense deserves as much credit for the team’s blowout wins as the offense, holding 12 of 17 opponents to 20 points or less.
- Until NFL defenses figure out a way to consistently slow down Lamar Jackson, the Ravens will have the ability to blow out bad teams and win comfortably against quality opponents.
The Runaway Ravens
After scoring 59 points in Week 1 against the Dolphins (admittedly, a terrible team), the 2019 Ravens quickly got the reputation as a high-scoring team. This led to several double-digit spreads that Baltimore wasn’t always able to cover. However, the Ravens were able to consistently beat teams by double figures during the second half of the season. The Ravens didn’t take their foot off the gas in any game last season and didn’t have any issues even covering the 2nd half spread in a majority of their games. Of their nine wins that came by at least 10 points, Baltimore won eight games by at least 15 points and five by at least 20 points. In other words, when the Ravens covered, they usually covered by a lot, including 41-7 and 45-6 wins over the Texans and Rams, respectively.
Don’t Forget the Defense
Of course, while Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore offense was the catalyst, the Ravens were also one of the best defensive teams in the NFL last year. During the regular season, the Ravens conceded just 17.6 points per game with 12 of their opponents scoring 20 points or less. Combined with an offense that averaged over 33 points per game, Baltimore was able to beat teams and cover spreads thanks to a strong performance on both sides of the ball. This led to the Ravens being one of the favorite choices for the people who make NFL expert picks and blowout victories. That led to the Ravens averaging 8.1 points over the spread in 2019.
Prove Me Wrong
Heading into 2020, it’s up to NFL defenses to figure out how to slow down Jackson. Given the improvements he made last season and the help he has around him, that won’t be easy. The Baltimore defense isn’t likely to lose a step either. Don’t be surprised to see the Ravens orchestrate a few more blowouts in 2020,and continue to be the darling of the NFL public picks next season. Especially when the Ravens face off against the weaker teams on their schedule. Of course, the Ravens could end up facing a fair amount of double-digit spreads this year, which could create some tough calls for bettors.