The Bengals have really surprised the odds makers and experts these past two weeks. They were huge underdogs both weeks, and no one was picking Cincinnati against the Steelers or Texans. Can they keep that momentum going against a Ravens team that will also be a huge favorite?
The Bengals are currently 13-point underdogs at home for their home finale to the Ravens, according to Bovada. There isn’t too much surprise here. The Ravens are coming in flying high off a four-game winning streak where their offense has looked like one of the best in the league. Not to mention their defense just dismantled the Giants via a huge amount of pressure on the quarterback, which is what led to Cincinnati only being able to score three points against Baltimore in Week 5.
- The total has gone under in four of Cincinnati’s last six games.
- Cincinnati is 3-8 straight up in their last 11 games.
- The total has gone over in four of Cincinnati’s last six games against Baltimore.
- Cincinnati is 5-1 against the spread in their last six games at home.
- Cincinnati is 6-2 straight up in their last eight games when playing at home against Baltimore.
- Cincinnati is 2-5 straight up in their last seven games this season.
- The total has gone over in six of Cincinnati’s last seven games against an opponent in the AFC.
- The total has gone over in six of Cincinnati’s last seven games against an opponent in the AFC North.
- Cincinnati is 2-10-1 against the spread in their last 13 games played in January.
- Baltimore are 5-0 against the spread in their last five games.
- The total has gone over in four of Baltimore’s last six games.
- Baltimore is 4-1 straight up in their last five games.
- Baltimore is 11-2 straight up in their last 13 games on the road.
- Baltimore is 5-1 against the spread in their last six games this season.
- Baltimore is 14-5 against the spread in their last 19 games against an opponent in the AFC.
- The total has gone over in four of Baltimore’s last five games when playing as the favorite.
- All nine of ESPN’s went with the Ravens
- SB Nation has all of their experts taking Baltimore as well this week
- None of CBS Sports’ experts are taking a chance on the Bengals
- NFL Pick Watch, which takes into account picks made from across the web, has the Bengals receiving zero percent of the picks
Last week, it was surprising how unanimous it seemed the Experts were in picking the Texans over the Bengals. That isn’t the case this week. If Cincinnati were to upset Baltimore, it would probably be a more impressive win than their win against the Steelers on Monday Night Football. This Ravens team is playing their best football of the season and are in a win-and-in situation for the playoffs. This isn’t a team that has been struggling the past few weeks or an unmotivated team sleepwalking through the end of the season. Baltimore will want this win more than the Bengals.
The last two weeks have been really fun, and fans should hold onto that. This game has all the makings of bringing this team right back down to earth.
The biggest hurdle Cincinnati will face is Baltimore’s pass rush. It was already a huge issue when Joe Burrow was back there in Week 5, and maybe a veteran like Brandon Allen can get the line into better positions. However, at some point it comes down to they just have better guys at rushing the passer than we have blocking. It was nice seeing Allen able to hit so many deep throws last week, but he may not be able to sit there for over 2.5 seconds to let that play develop vs. Baltimore. This will certainly be a huge test for Zac Taylor calling plays.
One underrated aspect of the Week 5 meeting was how well the Bengals’ defense contained the Ravens offense. They obviously didn’t shut it down, but this is usually the kind of offense that would post over 40 points on us. This defense has to create some turnovers if this team has any chance, and I know that I sound like a broken record, but getting any stop against this offense will be a huge task. Getting a turnover also helps the Bengals end up with more opportunities with the ball, and they will need as many chances to get a points on the board as possible.
It just doesn’t seem like this is a game Cincinnati has a realistic hope of winning. I think they will shock people with the final score that either covers or gets close to covering, but this is just too tall of an order with the state of this team.
Ravens 33, Bengals 17