Are the Ravens underrated?

Defending Super Bowl champions receiving little respect this offseason

Originally Published: June 11, 2013
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider

Joe FlaccoAl Bello/Getty ImagesThe Ravens are counting on Joe Flacco, who got a six-year, $120.6 million contract this offseason.

For the Baltimore Ravens and their fans, this should be a time to bask in the glory of a world championship while admiring the stunning architecture of a Super Bowl ring fashioned in white and yellow gold with 243 round-cut diamonds.

As much satisfaction as those accoutrements can provide, it is impossible to ignore the fact that the defending Super Bowl champions are not getting anywhere near the respect level their title says they should be receiving.

According to the online sportsbook Bovada, the Ravens are currently listed as having 30-1 odds to win the Super Bowl this year. That ranks them tied with the New York Giants for ninth place in that category, but what is even more disrespectful is three of the teams Baltimore defeated during its postseason championship run (San Francisco, Denver and New England) are listed as having better odds. What's worse, even the New Orleans Saints, a team that finished 7-9 last year and missed the postseason, are currently listed as having better Super Bowl odds than Baltimore.

While the Ravens may not be the next dynasty, it is an egregious error to say that this club's chances of garnering a second consecutive Vince Lombardi Trophy are this poor.