Christmas Night will provide us with one of the most anticipated matchups of the NFL season when the 11-3 Baltimore Ravens visit the 11-3 San Francisco 49ers.
Both teams are leading their conference and considering how wide-open the AFC is this year, this may be a Super Bowl preview.
As far as the spread is concerned, it’s not too surprising that the Niners are currently a 5.5-point favorite … Besides being the home team, San Francisco has proven to be the best team in the league and the clear-cut Super Bowl favorites.
However, we all know there are very few things in sports and life than being the underdog … And it’s a role the Ravens are embracing with open arms.
“I like being the underdog. I believe we play better when we’re doubted,” quarterback Lamar Jackson said.
"I like being the underdog. I believe we play better when we're doubted."
Lamar Jackson on the Ravens being a 5-point dog against the 49ers this week 👀pic.twitter.com/Cs1TN7ySRT
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) December 20, 2023
Baltimore safety Kyle Hamilton echoed the same statement but added that the team feels disrespected by the spread.
“We feel a little disrespected by that. I feel like we are the best team in the league, and we have an opportunity in front of the country to show it,” he said.
Kyle Hamilton on the #Ravens being seen as the underdogs entering Christmas night at San Francisco:
"The 11-3s are not created equal right now, in terms of the 49ers vs. us and we feel a little disrespected by that. I feel like we are the best team in the league and we've got… pic.twitter.com/xxsauQOgXF
— Bobby Trosset (@bobbybaltimoree) December 20, 2023
This marks only the second time this season that the Ravens have been cast in the underdog role, with the first instance occurring in Week 2 against the Cincinnati Bengals, where Baltimore emerged victorious with a 27-24 upset.
“I don’t want them to pick us,” Jackson said. “I like being the underdog. I believe we play better when we’re doubted and [when] people aren’t choosing us to win the game. I feel like we play better all the time, so just do it all the way to February. That’s all I ask.”
Lamar Jackson on people saying Monday night's Ravens-49ers game is a Super Bowl preview:
“The Super Bowl is in February. We’re in December right now.”
Lamar is so locked in…pic.twitter.com/wYsz7fx1sE
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) December 20, 2023
Cornerback Marlon Humphrey said he took the spread personal and hopes to prove the doubters wrong.
“It hurt my feelings a little bit. But I definitely want to make that incorrect for sure. And hopefully, some people lose some money betting with them and make some money better with us,” he said.
“I don’t respect ‘em. I don’t respect a single person on their football team.”
Looks like we are going to be in for a Christmas Classic 🍿🍿🍿 pic.twitter.com/EP2DaKyP7D
— Randy Gregory Fan Club (@GregoryFan5) December 21, 2023
“I’m betting on us 10 out of 10 times. I don’t really care too much about others’ opinions,” Ravens middle linebacker Roquan Smith confidently said.
Roquan Smith on the Ravens being an underdog to the 49ers:
“I’m betting on us 10 times out of 10 — 11 if you want to add one.” pic.twitter.com/jYgRK2KrLH
— Ryan Mink (@ryanmink) December 20, 2023
Needless to say, I think I speak for us all when I say I can’t wait for Christmas Night.
Should the Ravens feel as disrespected as they do to be 5.5-point underdogs?
Of course, as a competitor you’re always going to play up that “us against the world” angle … Whatever Baltimore feels they need to do to give themselves an edge, all the power to them.
Regardless, who do you think is going to win – Baltimore or San Francisco?
Is this a Super Bowl preview???