Lack of Motivation Could Send Ravens Home for Playoffs

78544761

The Ravens head to Cincinnati this weekend with a playoff berth still possible with a win (or even with a loss).

There isn’t a question about the Ravens’ desire to win this game and extend their season. It is, unfortunately, a question of motivation of the other teams the Ravens need to win.

There are 4 key games:

Bal @ Cin: Based on 5 international books that are posting now, the Ravens have almost exactly a 30% chance to win. That is a number that divides up the chance to win between odds offered on both teams and eliminates any of the books’ vig. The Ravens are facing a team with everything to play for in terms of seeding. The Bengals could possibly earn a bye or at least hold the 3 seed with a win. The games they care about (Buf @ NE, Jax @ Ind) are both concurrent, so it’s unlikely anything happening in those games will have a strategic impact on the Bengals.

NYJ @ Mia: The Ravens best chance to get the remaining Wild Card is to beat the Bengals while Miami loses. Unfortunately, Miami is at home against the hapless Jets. The Jets are playing for a .500 season and what will likely be Rex Ryan’s last game as head coach. That’s actually as much motivation as you can typically hope for in a week-17 game, but using the same source, the implied win probability for the Jets is only 28%.

KC @ SD: Locked-in playoff teams are the worst source of potential help in week 17. KC travels to SD with literally nothing to play for except a healthy team for the wild card game. The Ravens were in a similar spot as AFC North champs last season. Their week-17 inactive list was: Tandon Doss, Bernard Pollard, Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Marshal Yanda, Anquan Boldin, Haloti Ngata. Joe Flacco was replaced early by Tyrod Taylor. I would expect a similar list from the Chiefs with every star with a minor injury taking the day off. There is a mitigating factor, although it isn’t much. The Chargers play at 4 PM and barring losses from both the Ravens and Dolphins, they will be eliminated by game time. Sadly, they will not absolutely know their fate for sure by the time they must turn in their list of inactives at 2:55 EST. In any case, the Chargers will be playing for a winning season and should be a prohibitive favorite. The early line isn’t offered by as many books, but shows the Chiefs with a 17% implied chance to win.

Cle @ Pit: This is a game of truly minimal concern to the Ravens as we’ll see in a moment. I am mildly concerned about the motivation of the Browns’ management, since they are currently in a logjam for the 3rd overall draft selection. That pick, perhaps coupled with another, could be exactly what the franchise needs to secure their quarterback. Then again, the hate for the Steelers is so strong in their fan base, I don’t believe that’s what they’d even want. The international books are giving the Browns a 25% chance in this one.

So those 4 games will determine the Ravens’ Wild Card fate. By now, you know the 3 combinations which get the Ravens in (see below). Assuming independence of the results, I’ll do the simple (and depressing) math:

  • Bal W, Mia L: 8.4%
  • Bal W, Mia W, SD L: 3.7%
  • Bal L, Mia L, SD L, Pit L: 0.8%

Total probability the Ravens get the last Wild Card spot: 12.9%.

Don’t blame me. That’s the betting public putting their money where their mouth is.

This entry was posted in Blog View, Featured, Filmstudy by Ken McKusick. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ken McKusick

Ken McKusick
Ken comes to us via area message boards where he has consistently posted some of the most insightful and memorable posts that you'll find anywhere.  Known as "Filmstudy", Ken is a lifelong Baltimorean and rabid fan of Baltimore sports who grew up about 1 mile from Memorial Stadium.  He attended...more

3 Raves on “Lack of Motivation Could Send Ravens Home for Playoffs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

 

Hot off the street

THURSDAY INJURY REPORT: Ravens @ Steelers

Ravens DID NOT PARTICIPATE: WR Michael Campanaro (thigh); TE Owen Daniels (knee); CB Jimmy Smith (foot); LB Terrell Suggs (neck) LIMITED PARTICIPATION: RB Justin Forsett (ankle); G Marshal Yanda...read more

TALE OF THE TAPE: An Extra Dose of “Zo”

After a 2013 season in which the Baltimore Ravens rush attack averaged a historically poor 3.1 yards per attempt, the run game in the Charm City has been nothing but positive. Ranking fifth in the ...read more

FANTASY LINKS: Starts and Sits Week 9

Fantasy Football Start or Sit: Week 9 With teams like the Packers, Bears, and Packers on a bye this week, decisions to start and sit players become even more difficult. The guys over at numberFire ...read more

FILMSTUDY: Defensive Highs And Lows in Cincinnati

Defensive Notes vs. Bengals 10/26/14 Matt Elam’s problems mushroomed Sunday with 5 missed tackles versus the Bengals. How much did that cost the Ravens? Let’s take a look: • (Q1, 13:27): ...read more

The Nickel Package: Week 9 at Pittsburgh

Here are five things to keep an eye on this Sunday night when the Ravens face the Steelers for the 41st time in franchise history. Antonio Brown vs. Baltimore's depleted secondary It's no secret...read more

View More