The NFL’s best regular-season team a year ago with a 14-2 record, the Baltimore Ravens are listed with odds of -340 just to make the NFL playoff this season. (Photo by Nicole Fridling/Icon Sportswire)
- The Baltimore Ravens are given odds of -340 to make the 2020 NFL playoffs
- The Ravens have lost two in a row and three of their last four games
- Read below for an analysis of the Ravens’ odds to make the playoffs along with our prediction
Based on the pattern of the 2018 and 2019 NFL seasons, making the playoffs was never going to be a question posed regarding the Baltimore Ravens. The question put forth was would any team be able to stop Baltimore this season?
In 2018, the Kansas City Chiefs were the NFL’s best regular-season team. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was the NFL MVP. Last season, the Chiefs won the Super Bowl.
In 2019, the Ravens were an NFL-leading 14-2. Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson won the NFL MVP.
The stage was set, it appeared. Would any team be able to get in Baltimore’s way?
Instead, it’s the Ravens who can’t seem to get out of their own way. Facing the 10-0 Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday, 6-4 Baltimore trails Pittsburgh by four games in the AFC North.
The odds of the Ravens making the playoffs has lengthened to -340 in the NFL playoff odds.
Baltimore Ravens 2020 NFL Playoff Odds
|Prop||Yes Odds||No Odds|
|Baltimore Ravens to Make NFL Playoffs||-340||+260|
Odds taken Nov. 24 at FanDuel
Baltimore was listed at average odds of -1272 to be postseason participants a week ago.
Ravens Offense Sputters
Baltimore currently sits 24th in the NFL in total offense (323.9 yards per game). The Ravens are 31st in passing offense (131.4 ypg) and 12th in scoring offense (26.8 points per game).
A year ago, they were first in scoring offense (33.2 ppg) and total offense (407.6 ypg). So, where has it all gone wrong?
Lamar Jackson first 23 starts:
Lamar Jackson last 11 starts:
*includes postseason pic.twitter.com/N7uiQz8j8T
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) November 22, 2020
For starters, two key starters are gone from the offensive line. With All-Pro guard Marshal Yanda retiring and All-Pro tackle Ronnie Stanley (ankle) out for the season, that’s left gaping holes in Baltimore’s blocking schemes.
Clearly, Jackson’s second full season as an NFL starting QB is proving to be a significant dropoff from his MVP campaign of 2019. He’s gone over 200 yards passing in just four games. Jackson did that nine times in 2019. The QB has already equaled last season’s output with six interceptions.
“They will not win Super Bowls with this offense.”@SteveYoungQB wants to see Lamar Jackson and the Ravens shake things up. pic.twitter.com/xOIxBEzcVc
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) November 17, 2020
Jackson isn’t the only young Ravens skill-position player whose game has stagnated. Sophomore receiver Marquise Brown has caught just five balls over the past three games. He’s scored two TDs after accounting for seven a year ago.
The Ravens have also gone from #4 to #22 in the NFL in red-zone TD efficiency. They’ve become too predictable in their offensive play calling and opposing defenses look to have a better read on what Baltimore is going to do when the team comes to the line of scrimmage.
2021 AFC and NFC Championship Odds Tracker
As if the Ravens weren’t dealing with enough issues, an outbreak of COVID-19 has hit the team as they prep for Thursday’s game against the Steelers. Running backs Mark Ingram and JK Dobbins have both contracted the virus and are out.
#Ravens RBs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins have tested positive for COVID-19 and will be placed on the reserve list later today, according to sources. All aboard the Gus Bus for Thursday vs. the #Steelers.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) November 23, 2020
They’ve accounted for 62% of Baltimore’s running back production on the ground. Gus Edwards (376 yards) will get the bulk of the RB carries.
Baltimore leads the NFL in rushing yardage (160.5 ypg). Jackson (575 yards) is the Ravens’ leading ground gainer.
Schedule Favors Baltimore
In the hunt for one of the AFC’s three Wildcard spots among the seven playoff positions, the Ravens are currently on the outside looking in. They are the #8 seed.
The 7-3 Tennessee Titans and Cleveland Browns are both a game ahead of the Ravens. Baltimore lost last week to Tennessee so, the Titans would win a tiebreaker. The Ravens are 1-0 against the Browns with a second meeting slated for Dec. 14 in Cleveland.
Lamar Jackson addresses the critics: “I feel like people want us to lose.”
— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) November 22, 2020
Baltimore is among three AFC teams currently at 6-4. The Las Vegas Raiders are ahead in the tiebreaker, with the Dolphins trailing.
The schedule-maker gives the Ravens a huge leg up in this race, however. Baltimore’s remaining six games include dates with the Dallas Cowboys (3-7), Jacksonville Jaguars (1-9), New York Giants (3-7), and a Cincinnati Bengals (2-7-1) team that will be minus rookie QB Joe Burrow.
There’s a pretty strong chance that next Sunday evening we’re talking about the 8-3 Cleveland Browns having a two-game lead for a playoff spot over the 6-5 Baltimore Ravens.
— Danny Cunningham (@RealDCunningham) November 23, 2020
The Ravens are 4-1 against teams with losing records this season. Baltimore should make hay in these four games. Even if the Ravens were to lose to both Pittsburgh and Cleveland, they’d still be 10-6.
That should be worthy of a playoff spot.
Pick: Yes (-340)
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.