This week is not the week to expect the oddsmakers and experts to look kindly on the Bengals. They are going up against the Ravens, who have looked like one of the best teams in the league, and the only team to look competitive against them was the Chiefs. These teams are really just in different tiers as far as national perspective. Could Joe Burrow at least keep this game closer than expected?
The Bengals are currently 13-point underdogs to the Ravens, according to Bovada. This is a fairly significant line considering all of the Bengals’ games this season have been decided by one score or less. However, it is understandable that this happens when a team like Cincinnati plays a team like Baltimore on the road. The last time these teams met the Ravens won 49-13. This still feels like a very different team with Joe Burrow at the helm, though.
- Cincinnati is 4-0-1 against the spread in their last five games.
- The total has gone over in six of Cincinnati’s last eight games.
- Cincinnati is 3-16-1 straight up in their last 20 games.
- Cincinnati is 4-1 against the spread in their last five games against Baltimore.
- Cincinnati is 2-4 straight up in their last six games against Baltimore.
- Cincinnati is 0-13-1 straight up in their last 14 games on the road.
- Cincinnati is 5-1 against the spread in their last six games when playing on the road against Baltimore.
- The total has gone over in six of Cincinnati’s last seven games against an opponent in the AFC.
- Cincinnati is 1-11 straight up in their last 12 games against an opponent in the AFC North.
- Cincinnati is 2-6 against the spread in their last eight games played in October.
- Baltimore is 11-3-1 against the spread in their last 15 games.
- The total has gone under in four of Baltimore’s last five games.
- Baltimore is 15-2 straight up in their last 17 games.
- The total has gone over in four of Baltimore’s last five games against Cincinnati.
- Baltimore is 7-2 straight up in their last nine games at home.
- Baltimore is 1-5 against the spread in their last six games when playing at home against Cincinnati.
- Baltimore is 11-2 straight up in their last 13 games against an opponent in the AFC.
- Baltimore is 4-1 against the spread in their last five games against an opponent in the AFC North.
- The total has gone under in six of Baltimore’s last eight games played on a Sunday.
- The total has gone under in five of Baltimore’s last six games when playing as the favorite.
- None of ESPN’s experts took a chance on the Bengals
- SB Nation had one expert go out on the limb for Cincinnati
- All of CBS Sport’s experts took the Ravens
- NFL Pick Watch, which takes into account picks made across the web, has one percent of the picks going in favor of the Bengals.
Even after getting their first win, it was going to be too much to expect the national media to go against the Ravens at home. The Bengals have become pretty good at keeping games close under Zac Taylor, but the Ravens have actually been winning games over that span.
This game will be closer than many expect. This isn’t the same defense that doesn’t even have the tools to keep up with Jackson as a defense. It is a matter of if those tools have had enough time to get on the same page there.
Burrow has also showed he is almost able to will the team into staying in games. He has had 300 passing yards the past three games, and if Baltimore thinks blitzing is going to be the way to stop the rookie they may be in for a rude awakening. They will absolutely get sacks, but Burrow has shown a veteran level understanding of where to go with the ball in just about every situation, and he shouldn’t be treated as a typical rookie.
Even with all of that, I still think the oddsmakers nailed the line here. It may come down to whether the Bengals have time for an end of the game backdoor cover or not. Cincinnati’s struggles in the redzone are bound to show back up, and that just won’t get it done against this high powered of an offense.
Score: Ravens 33, Bengals 26