NFL betting handicappers see the Ravens as a complete team that has an elite defense with just enough offense to make them a legitimate NFL gambling power.
Under third year coach John Harbaugh the Ravens have made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons and have their most talented team ever since arriving in 1996.
Quarterback Joe Flacco had a sensational rookie season in 2008 but took a mild step back last year. While Flacco did not embarrass himself he was not as productive in 2009 although some of that can be attributed to injuries with his supporting cast, which was not all that highly rated to begin with.
But entering 2010 the offense is improved as Flacco has two full years under his belt as quarterback and has a Pro Bowl running back in Ray Rice along with a newly acquired top receiver in Anquan Boldin.
With the best receiving corps at his disposal since becoming quarterback and a strong offensive line and the ability to balance out the attack with Rice and his passing game Flacco is expected to have his best year ever and step into All Pro status.
One of the key challenges for Baltimore will be to survive the AFC North Division which has emerged as one of the best in pro football as the defending champion Cincinnati Bengals and 2008 Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers will be consistent favorites with the NFL betting odds.
Baltimore has struggled in the division as they were swept last year by the Bengals are just 3-8 against Cincinnati quarterback Carson Palmer. Pittsburgh has defeated Baltimore in 4 out of their last 5 matchups with the NFL betting lines.
The Ravens have gotten off to a great start in preseason as they won and covered their first two games. The opened with a 17-12 home win over the Carolina Panthers and then beat the Redskins at Washington 23-3. Baltimore will host the New York Giants on Saturday night.
The first team defense had an impressive performance at Washington and cornerback Fabian Washington looks fully healed from a torn ligament suffered last season. Flacco came up aces in the NFL betting win as he was 9-16 for 72 yards.
“We’re pleased with where we’re at, but we’ve got a long way to go,” said Harbaugh.