Baltimore Ravens

By on NFL Teams

baltimore-ravens2015 Season Summary

The Baltimore Ravens were coming off back-to-back winning seasons as they entered 2015 but they had also failed to make the playoffs in two of their previous three seasons. Baltimore slipped to 9-7 straight up in 2014, fading down the stretch with a mark of 2-4 straight up and 1-5 against the spread to blow the playoffs. The memories of the 2000 Super Bowl campaign were quickly beginning to fade, as the Ravens were unable to field an adequate offense to compliment their defense, which was one of the best in football.

Straight up

6-10 3rd AFC North

Against the spread

7-9 (5-3 home, 2-6 away, 7-8 grass)

Over/Under

5-9-2 (2-6 home, 3-3-2 away, 4-9-2 grass)

Offensive Rank
24th
Defensive Rank

5th

Turnover Margin -10

Boller’s play at quarterback was considered the key

Head coach Brian Billick had installed former Giants headman Jim Fassel as offensive coordinator in the hopes of simplifying things for second year quarterback Kyle Boller, who was coming off a tough rookie campaign. Disgraced former college coach Rick Neuheisel was brought in as quarterbacks coach as well.

Baltimore was touted as an AFC North contender due to the overall weakness of the division, with only Cincinnati considered a legitimate rival contender. It was believed that if Boller could simply raise his play to the level of Baltimore ‘s Super Bowl quarterback Trent Dilfer, (which was to not make mistakes and stay out of the way), that the Ravens would be back in the playoffs.

Under Billick the Ravens were a strong 67% play against the spread in preseason road games and began the 2015 exhibition season at Atlanta as 3-point pups against an Atlanta team that was a solid 60% play against the spread the previous five seasons as a preseason host. Atlanta got the cash 16-3. The Ravens dropped their second straight exhibition the following week as 3-point home chalks against Philadelphia in a 14-20 loss.

The second half of the preseason went much better, however. At New Orleans as 2.5-point dogs the Ravens went back to form in a 21-6 win and cover. That was followed by a 26-20 win and cover as 4.5-home chalks in the exhibition finale against Washington .

The Ravens stumbled out of the gate.

Baltimore was to kickoff the regular season at home against Baltimore in a matchup of mirror opposites from the previous season. Baltimore had, arguably, the game’s best quarterback in Peyton Manning to lead a high octane offense that was often let down by a leaky defense. This would prove to be an interesting clash of styles between the teams as the Colts were installed as 3-point road chalks. The punch-less Ravens were clearly outclassed in a 7-24 loss.

Next was a trip to rebuilding Tennessee . Baltimore was the 3.5-road chalk and was embarrassed in a 10-25 loss for their second straight under. The Ravens stumbled out of the gate 0-2 and entered an early bye week with the hopes of working out the kinks on offense.

The schedule maker was kind to the Ravens as the injury riddled New York Jets visited with an inexperienced third string quarterback thrust into the pits against the tough Baltimore defense. The Ravens were 7-point chalks and got the cash in a 13-3 win, posting their third straight under.
Baltimore next traveled to Detroit for a matchup against the struggling Lions, who were coming off a controversial loss at Tampa Bay in which the replay officials botched a call that disallowed a game winning touchdown pass. Detroit was a small 1.5-point chalk and received favorable treatment from the NFL refs, who received a lot of help from the undisciplined Ravens. Detroit won going away 35-17 as the game easily cleared the small 33-point total posted on the boards.

False hope followed by a stalled offense

The struggling Ravens returned home to face Cleveland and were installed as rather high 6-point chalks against the hard fighting Browns, getting the cash in a 16-3 win. The victory proved to be a false hope followed by a stalled offense that would kill off the Ravens’ season.

Baltimore took off for Chicago to face the resurgent Bears and their strong defense. Chicago was a 2-point chalk with a total set at a miniscule 30.5 as the oddsmakers BEGGED gamblers to take the unwanted over. In a game reminiscent of the Stone Age Chicago prevailed 10-6 as the Ravens went under for the fifth time in six games while standing at 2-4 both straight up and against the spread.

Surprise cover

It is interesting to note how pro football teams often rise from the ashes as soon as the betting public turns on them. Baltimore was written off as hopeless for their Monday Night game at Pittsburgh , where the Steelers were installed as 13-point chalks. The line ignored that the Ravens were still playing good defense and the points proved to be a big bargain as Pittsburgh barely escaped with a 20-19 win that went over the total of 35.5.

Another poor stretch

Baltimore came home feeling somewhat better about itself despite the loss as they played well at Pittsburgh . The Ravens were 3-point home dogs against division leading Cincinnati in a classic trap game, which the Bengals easily took 21-9 for yet another under.

Baltimore was next blown out at Jacksonville 3-30 as 6.5-point dogs, which basically was the final nail in their coffin for the season and caused nearly unanimous desertion from the general gambling public.

Now written off for dead the Ravens hosted Pittsburgh as 3.5-point dogs and blindsided many gamblers with a stunning 16-13 win and cover that went under the total of 33. The Ravens had posted just two overs in their first ten games.

Next came back-to-back pointspread failures. Baltimore was blown out 29-42 as 9.5-point dogs at Cincinnati and barely beat woeful Houston 16-15 as 7.5-point home chalks to close out another poor stretch of 1-4 against the spread.

A bargain value

As is so often the case, teams that fall out of contention and the minds of the general public become a bargain value for savvy gamblers down the stretch. Baltimore covered three of their final four games with just one of those games going over the total as the oddsmakers stayed ahead of the public.

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