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Ravens players are playing the disrespect card with Baltimore being the underdog

Let’s talk about why Baltimore isn’t expected to win

Baltimore Ravens v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images

Whenever you hear pundits talk about the two conferences in the NFL, the AFC always comes out ahead of the NFC. I’m in the opinion that there aren’t any “great” teams who are consistent outside of the two playing on Monday night.

The Baltimore Ravens have three losses by a combined 12 points. Half of their wins are by at least double-digits. They will be one of the greatest challenges to date for the San Francisco 49ers.

Oddsmakers have installed the Ravens as 5.5-point underdogs, which is by far the biggest point spread against the Ravens this year. Two of Baltimore’s best players, Lamar Jackson and Kyle Hamilton, leaned into Baltimore not being picked to win.

Here’s Lamar to reporters on Wednesday:

“I’m cool. I don’t want them to pick us. I like being the underdog. I believe we play better when we’re doubted and people not choosing us to win the game, I feel like we play better all the time. Just do it all the way to February. That’s all I ask.”

Obviously, players aren’t going to take it well that they’re not the “favorite” to win. It gives the Ravens the cliché bulletin board material.

But the spread on the game is less about the Ravens and more about how they’ve played in recent weeks and how that’ll translate to this week’s opponent.

Off a bye week at home against the Los Angeles Rams two weeks ago, Baltimore was in a battle with the Rams. They needed overtime and a non-call on a punt return to escape victorious.

The scoreboard will tell you that Jacksonville struggled to move the ball, as they finished with seven points last week on Sunday Night football. Trevor Lawrence led six drives inside of Baltimore’s 40-yard line.

If the 49ers have six opportunities to score, they’re coming away with more than a touchdown. Hot take, I know.

Safety Kyle Hamilton told the media that the Ravens feel disrespected:

“I think yes and no,“I think internally we don’t feel that way. Externally, I don’t know what it is, whether it’s the lack of primetime games we’ve got or whatever, I think the 11-3 (teams) are not created equal right now in terms of the 49ers versus us. We feel a little disrespected by that. I feel like we are the best team in the league. We’ve got an opportunity in front of the country to show it.”

If the Ravens fly across country, where it’ll be their third game in 15 days, and beat the 49ers — a team widely regarded as the best in the NFL — there won’t be any doubting for the remainder of the season.