The Baltimore Ravens should be celebrating the details of the just-released full NFL schedule.
While much about a team’s schedule is known shortly after the previous season ends - mostly the “who,” there is still scheduling business that is left to determined – the full details were officially released last night by the NFL.
BetMaryland.com – your source for sports betting in Maryland - created a point system to determine the toughest three-game stretch of the Ravens’ 2023-24 schedule. We awarded 1 to 4 points for each grouping of 8 teams in final standings from 2022-23 season (Chiefs = 4 pts, Bears = 1 pt), 2 points for an away game, 2 points for a short week (going into TNF game or coming off MNF), 1 point for divisional opponent and 1 point for primetime game.
Toughest Stretches of Ravens Schedule
Favorable Schedule Toughest Near End
The Ravens have reasons to be pleased with the schedule. Folks armed with betting apps in Maryland might point to one three-game period as the toughest, and our points system agrees.
Weeks 15 and 16 feature two non-division games road games against 2022 playoff teams in Jacksonville and San Francisco.
Then, in Week 17, the Ravens finish at home against the Miami Dolphins, although that game could have playoff implications.
Good Points to Schedule
Overall, though, a quirk in the scheduling of their AFC North matchups should be an advantage for the Ravens.
In their first five games of the 2023 season, the Ravens play divisional opponents three times, and all three games are on the road, at Cincinnati (Sept. 17), at Cleveland (Oct. 1) and at Pittsburgh (Oct. 8).
Divisional games are immensely important in qualifying for the playoffs and the advantage to having those games at that time of year gives the Ravens time to make up ground against those same teams later in the season in the event the Ravens lose the divisional games placed at the beginning of the schedule. At the same time, if the Ravens win any or all of those early-season AFC North games, they’re in the driver’s seat for the rest of the long season.
BetMGM Sportsbook Maryland currently has the Ravens (+250) to win the AFC North. That is behind the Bengals (+115) but ahead of the Browns (+350) and Steelers (+650).
Better yet, the two games interspersed among the division games early in the schedule are both contests that should be one-foot putts - against the Houston Texans (3-13-1 last season) in the opener at home on Sept. 10 and against the Indianapolis Colts (4-12-1 last season), also at home on Sept. 24.
The fact that the Ravens play the Bengals, who figure to be their toughest divisional rival, Browns and Steelers early obviously means that Baltimore gets the second-half of its division schedule at M&T Bank Stadium later.
The Ravens play Cleveland at home Nov. 12 and then, on a quick turnaround, get the Bengals on a Thursday night, Nov. 16, at home. But again, at least those are back-to-back home games.
As the NFL schedule-makers are wont to do, they held the Steelers-Ravens showdown for the last weekend of the season, currently scheduled for Jan. 7 at a time yet to be determined.
That comes on the heels of the aforementioned toughest stretch.
Even the Ravens’ bye week feels like it comes at a most advantageous time. The Ravens’ bye comes in Week 13 at a point in the season when there will certainly be players on the mend and when the roster, in general, needs a break. The pause comes just in time for a five-game push to the finish line of the regular season. And that tough three weeks at the end.
Interesting notes about the schedule:
- The Ravens draw an international game at London’s Tottenham Spurs Stadium against Tennessee on Week 6.
- A Christmas Day game in San Francisco against the 49ers in prime time.
- Besides the Cincinnati Thursday home game and Christmas night against the 49ers, other Ravens’ prime time games are Week 12 on the road against the L.A. Chargers and Week 15 at Jacksonville.
Still, Baltimore has nine of 17 games as bona fide home games at M&T Bank Stadium and the sequence of their division games can give them a huge psychological advantage if they can win, say, two of three AFC North games in the early part of the campaign. And even if they stumble early, the Ravens can legitimately calculate that they can make up ground later.
Just watch out for that Week 15 thru Week 17 stretch.
BetMaryland.com will keep you up to date on the Ravens and other in-state teams, as well as provide Maryland sportsbook promo codes.