With the Baltimore Ravens posting a 13-4 regular season record and locking up the No.1 seed in the AFC for the playoffs, fans of the team are deservedly excited so far with how head coach John Harbaugh’s team has performed. And Ravens backers in Maryland sports betting also should be ecstatic with how Baltimore has acquitted itself as a wagering proposition.
BetMaryland.com – your source for Maryland sports betting promos - took stock of the Ravens’ season through the lens of wagering, and the results are glowing.
Here is a look at the teams that most overachieved and underachieved in relation to their preseason over-under wins totals.
Best Performance vs. Preseason Win Totals
Information is key to sports wagering. Here are some numbers you likely won’t find on any of the fine Maryland betting apps.
Worst Performance vs. Preseason Win Totals
Topping Lofty Preseason Total
The Ravens were given a win total mark of 10.5 wins by oddsmakers at BetMGM Maryland. Well, the Ravens sped past that mile marker on Dec. 17 when they recorded win No. 11 against Jacksonville, 23-7.
In addition, the Ravens’ Super Bowl odds have soared as they have been consistent winners on a game-to-game basis for their wagering backers. In the regular season, Baltimore was 11-6 against the point spread. Looking ahead to Saturday’s Divisional Round game against Houston, the Ravens are 9.5-point home favorites at BetMGM.
Apart from the Ravens, BetMaryland.com looked at which NFL teams over-performed relative to their preseason predictions win totals and, conversely, what teams under-performed.
Without much argument, the top over-achievers were the Ravens’ next opponent, the Houston Texans. In the preseason, oddsmakers put Houston on a win total of just 6.5. The odds of winning the Super Bowl were an astronomical +20000. But the Texans - with a rookie head coach (DeMeco Ryans) and a rookie quarterback (C.J. Stroud) - defied the oddsmaker by going 10-7 and winning the AFC South.
Other teams who out-performed their preseason predictions were the Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs scrapped their way to a 9-8 record, good enough to win the weak NFC South, and play Sunday at Detroit in the Divisional Round. ESPN Bet Maryland makes the Bucs a 6.5-point and +250 moneyline underdog against the Lions.
The Rams were pegged at a win total of 6.5 but surprised with a 10-7 season and a playoffs berth, but they were ousted from the postseason by the Lions in hard-fought Wild Card game.
Teams That Didn’t Meet Expectations
On the other side of preseason expectations and odds are the Carolina Panthers, the L.A. Chargers, the Washington Commanders and the New England Patriots. Not so coincidentally, all four disappointing teams were or are in the market for new head coaches.
The biggest flop was Carolina, which who had a preseason win prediction of 7.5 wins but finished a dismal 2-15. New England’s preseason forecast was a modest 7.5 wins but the Pats’ even more modest 4-13 record led to the end of the Bill Belichick-era in New England. The Chargers had high expectations with a preseason win total of 9.5 wins but fell far short at 5-12 and head coach Brandon Staley suffered an in-season firing. And the Commanders were given a preseason prediction of 6.5 wins, but their 4-13 campaign led to the firing of head coach Ron Rivera.
Not to be lost in the examination of preseason win totals is that even teams that met those predictions still can have results that turn one way or the other. For instance, the Philadelphia Eagles’ preseason win total was 11.5 and the Birds not only just missed getting over the win total, but their disgusted fans would certainly insist that the team failed to meet anyone’s expectations after being embarrassed by Tampa Bay in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.