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Baltimore Ravens 2023 Season Preview Analysis, Odds & Best Bet for Win Totals

Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens NFL quarterback
Isaiah Likely 80 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates his touchdown with teammate Lamar Jackson 8 during the third quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on October 27 2022 Mike EhrmannGetty ImagesAFP

NFL Pick: 2023 Baltimore Ravens Over 9.5 Wins (-175) at BetRivers


The Baltimore Ravens are looking for a complete season with its starters after blowing a December lead in the AFC North to Cincinnati in back-to-back years. In both instances, it was a season-ending injury to quarterback Lamar Jackson that began Baltimore’s downfall. 

But even last season without Jackson, the Ravens were closing in on a go-ahead touchdown against the Bengals in the wild-card round. A disastrous fumble for a touchdown ended that hope, but the Ravens enter 2023 in a fascinating position to stop the Bengals from becoming the first team to win the AFC North 3 years in a row. 

The top-rated online sportsbooks still have the Bengals favored in the AFC North division , but the Ravens are right behind them again. Is this finally going to be Jackson’s best season since he won MVP in 2019? 

We look at the issues in Baltimore last year, the exciting changes for this year’s offense, and the likelihood of Baltimore finishing with over 9.5 wins again. 


Significant Modifications

We know John Harbaugh’s Ravens are usually sound on defense and special teams with the best kicker of all time (Justin Tucker), but the offense is where the biggest and most exciting changes are coming this year. 

The Fall of Roman 

Repetition and practice make players really good at doing the things they have to do, and one could argue the Ravens simply do not throw the football enough to become a top-tier passing team.  

While offensive coordinator Greg Roman has done some great things for the talent he had since 2019 in Baltimore, it was time for a change. A hiring that could modernize the Ravens into the 21st century while still making use of Lamar Jackson’s unique abilities to move around. 

New offensive coordinator Todd Monken should be a great hire as he has a history of 5,000-yard passing offenses in Tampa Bay and winning back-to-back titles with Georgia in NCAA. He will make use of play-action passing, hard-nosed running synonymous with Baltimore’s past, and to get more out of these receivers, which have been upgraded to be the best group Jackson has played with in the NFL. 

The New Weapons 

The Ravens can bring a lot more to the table than a stable of interchangeable running backs and tight end Mark Andrews this year. For one, Rashod Bateman should be healthy to start the season after injuries limited him so much last year. Isaiah Likely is also no longer a rookie and could pair with Andrews to give the Ravens one of the best 2-tight end offenses in the league. 

But look at the new talent in Baltimore. Odell Beckham Jr. returns to his first action since tearing his ACL in Super Bowl 56 for the Rams. He is not going to be in his prime, but he can still help a team. He also does not have to be the No. 1 target as the Ravens have one of the best pass catchers at tight end in Andrews. 

The Ravens also drafted Zay Flowers in the 1st round, and he can become a high-volume, high-efficiency slot receiver for Jackson. The Ravens have a lot of confidence in him, but they will need to prove they are ready to spread the field more and throw with these new pieces in a new offensive system under Monken. 

Of course, it all hinges on Jackson staying upright through Week 18 and beyond.  

2023 Schedule Analysis

With Jackson finally getting his long-term deal with Baltimore, he should be more motivated than ever to prove his top-tier status at quarterback. But finishing the season healthy is clearly his top priority because not being there down the stretch for the most crucial games has cost his team the last 2 seasons. 

Perhaps with more passing expected this year, Jackson can face less contact and get rid of the ball faster and not have to run as often. Also, the Ravens could just use some injury luck after a brutal run of seasons on that front. 

Shift of Luck?

We also could see luck shifting the other way in the division with Joe Burrow suffering a training camp calf strain that will reportedly keep him out for several weeks. If the Ravens are going to jump over the Bengals to regain the AFC North title, Jackson outperforming Burrow is the easiest way for that to happen.  

Here are some notable schedule facts for the Ravens in 2023: 

  • The Ravens could possibly face 2 rookie quarterbacks at home in September with the Texans in Week 1 (C.J. Stroud) and Colts in Week 3 (Anthony Richardson). 
  • The Ravens will have all 3 road division games out of the way by Week 5, but the big one is in Week 2 in Cincinnati. Burrow’s calf may be fine by then, but what if his mobility is limited and he’s a sitting duck early in the season? This looks like an advantageous time for the Ravens to draw that road game. 
  • Baltimore gets the rematch with Cincinnati at home on a short week (Thursday night) in Week 11, but it will be the team’s 4th home game in a 5-week span. They then get 10 days to prepare for a night game against the Chargers (Week 12) on the road. 
  • A Week 13 bye is a solid late-season bye week to heal up after a long start to the year. 
  • Trips to Jacksonville (Week 15) and San Francisco (Week 16) could be tough in December, but the Ravens will finish at home with Miami (Week 17) and Pittsburgh (Week 18). Baltimore usually gets at least a split with the Steelers, and some revenge should be in mind after blowing that 21-point lead in the 4th quarter to Miami last year.  

The Pick

The Ravens already won 10 games last season despite not being able to score the last 6 weeks. The offense should be much better, Monken’s impact should be significant, and it is about time Jackson stays healthy and completes a season again. You should take the over 9.5 wins, and you may even want to take it to over 10.5 wins at sportsbooks offering alternate lines for your NFL best bets.  

NFL Pick: 2023 Baltimore Ravens Over 9.5 Wins (-175) at BetRivers


2022 Recap: Lamar Jackson Déjà vu    

It would not be an exaggeration to say the 2022 season was the most frustrating in Baltimore’s history. At one point, the Ravens were 9-4 despite blowing a multi-score lead to 4 playoff teams: Dolphins (21 points), Bills (17 points), Giants (10 points), and Jaguars (9 points).  

A lot of that was on the defense, but the offense also contributed with untimely turnovers, especially from Lamar Jackson. For 3.5 games, he looked like the leading MVP candidate, and playing as well as he ever has. But an awful finish in a loss to Buffalo and losing deep-threat receiver Rashod Bateman threw him off his game. 

While Jackson did not maintain his hot start, he was still sorely missed when he injured his leg in Week 13 against Denver. The Ravens never scored more than 17 points in their final 7 games after the Jackson injury, which was shrouded in mystery as to what it was and the severity.  

But for the 2nd year in a row, Jackson was injured in December and never played again. This time the Ravens still made the playoffs, but it was only as a wild card team that had to play in Cincinnati in the first round with Tyler Huntley at quarterback.  

The defense did well at limiting Joe Burrow and company, but Huntley fumbled on a quarterback sneak in the 4th quarter that was returned 98 yards for a game-deciding touchdown. The Ravens were eliminated early again. 

Things could be very different if Jackson could just avoid that big injury. 


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