BALTIMORE - NOVEMBER 20: Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs from pressure during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on November 20, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Bengals 31-24. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
It all comes down to this. If the Bengals win in Week 17 against the Baltimore Ravens, they lock a spot in the playoffs as a wildcard team. If they lose, they're more than likely out. The Ravens already have a locked spot in the playoffs but they still have something to play for too. They can win the AFC North with a win and get a first-round bye with the No. 2 seed in the conference.
The Ravens have gone 5-0 in the AFC North so far this season and the only thing standing in their way from going undefeated in the division is the Bengals. This is by far the most important game of the season (I know we've said that a lot) and it's one of the biggest games in the last decade for the Bengals.
According to VegasInsider.com, the Ravens have opened as three-point favorites over the Bengals in Week 17. This really comes as no surprise considering that the Ravens are an 11-4 team coming into the game having won five of their last six games and the Bengals are 9-6 and have won three of their last five. Most would consider the Ravens the better team, but you have to factor in which team has the most to lose as well. If the Ravens lose, they'll likely go from being a division winner to a wild card team but if the Bengals lose, they're season is over. We've all seen what teams can do when their backs are against the wall and hopefully that's what we see on Sunday.
If you were going to bet on the game, who would you put your money on?