The early betting odds are out for the 2013 NFL season, and the defending champion Baltimore Ravens failed to get much love from the books in Las Vegas.
Despite winning the Super Bowl and revamping their defense, the Ravens aren’t even projected to finish with the most wins in their division in 2013.
Two odds makers set the over/under for Ravens wins in 2013 to 9 and 8.5.
Now, that could be realistic, as while the Ravens appear to have a more talented roster than last year on paper, there’s still an unknown of whether or not the team will have the dreaded Super Bowl hangover. Pair that with every opposing team having an added motive to beat the reigning champions and the Ravens could struggle in 2013.
They did only win 10 games in the regular season in 2012, so maybe the odds makers aren’t so crazy after all.
However, the Pittsburgh Steelers are the current favorites in the division, with win totals set at 9.5 and 9, slightly above the Ravens. For a team that struggled last season, lost just as many talented players as the Ravens without replacing them like the Ravens did, and had a disconnect on the offensive end, isn’t it “odd” that they’re receiving the AFC North love?
It sure seems like it.
If the odds makers were going to pick a non-Ravens team to have the most wins, maybe the Cincinnati Bengals would be a better choice, but they have the exact same projections as the Ravens.
Of course, the Cleveland Browns have the worst wins projections in the division, with over/unders of 5.5 and 6, which might actually be too low for an underrated Browns team.
Three teams that the Ravens beat in the playoffs last season all have considerably better projections. The Denver Broncos have projected win totals of 11 and 11.5 and the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers stand at 11.5 and 11.5, tied for the best projected win totals.
It’s not that the projections for the Ravens are necessarily too low, it’s just that they’re pretty far off from teams that they are perfectly capable of beating and possibility finishing with a better record than.
Maybe the Ravens regress in 2013, but it’s highly likely that the Ravens will finish with more than 10 wins, with 12 being the best-case scenario.
While all of this is just predictions in May, it’s just further proof that the Ravens simply can’t please anyone in the public eye. Winning a Super Bowl just hasn’t carried as much weight for the Ravens as it has for previous champions.