However, the Ravens were arguably the most impressive of any NFL team in the first week of action. They absolutely demolished the Bills en route to a 47-3 win, which frankly was one of the biggest beatdowns the NFL has seen in recent memory.
This isn’t Alabama vs. the little sisters of the poor. The league is created in a way that promotes parity and competitive games when even the best teams face the worst teams.
So when an NFL team beats another by 44 points, oddsmakers take notice, and they currently have Baltimore as a 1.5-point favorite over Cincinnati in Week 2.
Complete Week 2 NFL (via @DaveMasonBOL )— Todd Fuhrman (@ToddFuhrman) September 9, 2018
BAL -1.5 @ CIN
WAS -4.5 vs IND
ATL -5 vs CAR
GB -2.5 vs MIN
LAC -7.5 @ BUF
TEN (NL) vs HOU
PIT -4.5 vs KC
NYJ PK vs MIA
PHI -3 @ TB
NO -7 vs CLE
LAR -10.5 vs AZ
SF -4 vs DET
NE -1 @ JAX
DEN -4.5 vs OAK
DAL -3 vs NYG
CHI -2.5 vs SEA
Now, it has to be pointed out that the Bengals have won seven of the last nine meetings, and one of those losses was with A.J. Green out of the lineup. The other was with Ken Zampese still calling the offense, which is arguably worse than not having Green.
The Bengals also went into Baltimore and knocked the Ravens out of the playoffs last season. On one hand, that gives you more confidence the Bengals can take care of business at home. On the other hand, the revenge factor is very real, and the Ravens will be hell-bent on getting theirs on Thursday Night Football.
Then again, you could argue the Bengals want some measure of revenge themselves for the 20-0 home embarrassment they suffered to Baltimore in Week 1 last season. The Bengals take pride in defending their home turf, and they’ll be ready to ensure a repeat of 2017 doesn’t happen in 2018.
All told, I would give the Bengals an edge, but I’d only favor them by 1-1.5 points. Don’t be surprised if the line moves a point or two by Thursday to make this a pick ‘em.
But if history has told us anything, don’t pick Baltimore against a healthy Green and a competent offensive coordinator.