Should Ravens Be Favorites In Super Bowl Odds After Win Vs. 49ers?

Written By Evan Scrimshaw | Last Updated
ravens super bowl odds

After the Baltimore Ravens shell-shocked the San Francisco 49ers on Christmas night, there’s been a lot of talk about whether the Ravens are now Super Bowl favorites, despite sportsbook odds boards still having the Niners at the top. The 49ers losing and still being favorites may seem counterintuitive to novice bettors. We also have the NFC and AFC odds to compare the Super Bowl odds. Is there value in the Ravens’ Super Bowl odds still as the second choice, or have the markets correctly kept the Niners as the favorites?

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Super Bowl Odds

Analyzing Super Bowl Odds

This late in the season, analyzing Super Bowl odds moves from being a vague exercise in relative team quality to a more specific assessment. Super Bowl odds are almost like betting on politics. There are two very distinct questions you have to assess when determining the fair odds of a team winning.

When betting Super Bowl odds, you have to be cognizant of two things. First is your ability to win your conference, and second is how you match up against plausible opponents. Much like betting on a U.S. Presidential election, it doesn’t matter if you’d win a general election if you can’t win the primary. To back any team in a Super Bowl odds market, you have to be confident they can win their conference and then assess their prospects in the big game itself.

In this case, it’s unsurprising to see Baltimore being discussed as the best team. Most power rankings have them as the best AFC team. They have the best record in football, and they just beat the consensus previous best team handily. But that doesn’t mean they’re the rightful Super Bowl favorites.

AFC Championship Odds

Baltimore’s chances at the No. 1 seed and the all-important bye week are good but not amazing. They have to play Miami next week, who still controls its destiny for the 1-seed. If Baltimore falls to the 2-seed, they’ll have to play an extra game they don’t want to play and potentially go on the road to the top seed in the AFC Championship Game. Even if you think Baltimore is favored to beat Miami in Week 17, the risks are apparent.

The next problem for the Ravens is the paucity of easy outs in the AFC playoff picture:

  • One of Buffalo or Miami will likely be a wild card team this year.
  • Cleveland has the best defense in the league by EPA.
  • The Chiefs are top 10 in EPA on both offense and defense, and Patrick Mahomes still plays for Kansas City.
  • Jacksonville nearly tied the Ravens in yards per play two weeks ago (5.7 vs. 5.5) with an injured Trevor Lawrence, promising if the Jags get healthy.

Yes, the Ravens are probably favored in every AFC individual matchup, but not like the 49ers will be in the NFC. There’s no easy game.

NFC Championship Odds

There are, at best, four contenders in the NFC. The Niners are the cream of the crop. They’ve easily beaten both the Cowboys and Eagles already this season. While the Lions’ first division championship since 1993 is exciting, being 21st in Defensive EPA is not likely good enough to credibly contend. Philadelphia is even worse right now, sitting 30th.

Dallas is the most robust challenger – top four in both offensive and defensive EPA – but even then, San Francisco won their regular season matchup by 32 points. The Niners are worthy favorites to win the NFC, mostly because the other options are just a mess.

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Super Bowl LVIII Odds

Yes, many might pick the Ravens Super Bowl odds if a neutral-site rematch vs. the 49ers happens after watching Baltimore beat them in the Bay Area. That is true, and if that’s how you want to define “Super Bowl favorites,” as some in the media have already, that’s your prerogative.

But that’s like saying Nikki Haley is the favorite to win the 2024 election because she’d destroy Joe Biden head-to-head. It’s true but misses an incredibly salient detail: she won’t get the chance.

The Niners have the clearest road to get to the Super Bowl of any team. The NFC has failed to reach San Francisco’s level. Baltimore, on the other hand, has to run a gauntlet starting this week. Their best-case scenario still likely sees them playing two of Patrick Mahomes, Tua Tagovailoa, Josh Allen, and Trevor Lawrence just to get to the Super Bowl.

It’s also worth mentioning that even if we concede the Ravens would be less of an underdog in a rematch, the win vs. the 49ers was not exactly predictive. Brock Purdy throwing four interceptions, three of which were tipped balls, is not likely to happen again. Two years ago, albeit at the college level, Georgia lost by 17 to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. They won the National Championship rematch a month later by 15. These things happen.

Ravens Upcoming Schedule

No season schedule data available.

Super Bowl Odds Outlook

The Niners are still the team likeliest to win the Super Bowl. They’re maybe not the complete juggernaut we thought before, but that’s not what matters when dealing with Super Bowl odds. The Ravens might be in better shape if they make the Super Bowl, but their road ahead is much harder.

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