Vegas downgrades Ravens after free-agent defections
Baltimore's odds of repeating as Super Bowl champs shot from 18-to-1 to 25-to-1 after the team lost several key players this week. Vegas sportsbooks are raising the odds in hopes of attracting some bets on the Ravens.
Super Bowl odds are based on public perception. In the public’s view, the Baltimore Ravens have little chance to repeat.
Free agency, combined with the salary cap, are depleting Baltimore’s roster. The Ravens traded wideout Anquan Boldin after he wouldn’t take a pay cut, lost linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Paul Kruger to Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns respectively, and released safety Bernard Pollard for cap reasons.
Free-agent safety Ed Reed is expected to leave too, on top of Ray Lewis ’ retirement.
Experts like CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco believe general manager Ozzie Newsome can replace all those pieces. And it should be noted the Ravens signed defensive end Chris Canty .
After they beat San Francisco in Super Bowl XLVII, the Ravens opened at 14-to-1 at the SuperBook . The book drew little action on them, so it raised the Ravens to 16-to-1, then 18-to-1 coming into this week.
The New England Patriots are the 5-to-1 favorite, followed by the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos at 7-to-1, and the Seattle Seahawks at 8-to-1.
At MGM Resorts International, which runs 12 books in Nevada, the 49ers and Seahawks are 5-to-1 co-favorites.
“Those two big moves a couple days ago ( Percy Harvin to Seattle, Boldin to San Fran) didn’t really generate anything because we were already pretty short on them,” vice president Jay Rood said.
Rood has the Ravens at 15-to-1 but expects to raise them soon.
“We already knew their roster was going to change quit a bit, so they were seventh on our list of favorites," he said. "But if they continue to lose players and not pick anyone up, that number is going to drift. They’re largely being ignored by the betting public at this point."
Rood opened the Ravens at 10-to-1 following the Super Bowl and immediately bumped them to 15-to-1 because they attracted no bets.
“Once we moved to 15, we started to get a little traction,” he said. “Last year they were 20-to-1 most of the year and that’s where they’ll be again this year.”
The Kansas City Chiefs moved in the other direction, going from 150-to-1 to 35-to-1.
“We brought them down to 75-to-1 based on [new coach Andy Reid], and they’ve been steadily dropping since then,” Rood said. “The Alex Smith move took them from 40-to-1 to 35-to-1.”
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Other candidates include Jameis Winston, Blake Bortles and, of course, the Patriots