AFC North rivals will battle it out Sunday afternoon as the Baltimore Ravens (10-6) take on the Cincinnati Bengals (11-4). The Bengals will host this one at Paycor Stadium, with kickoff scheduled for 1:00 pm ET.
The AFC North is a little bit messy right now. The Bengals sit in first place in the division; however, with their game last week against the Bills being postponed, they have played one less game to date than the Ravens.
With a win Sunday, Baltimore would tie the Bengals in the win column and would hold a tiebreaker, given they won the first matchup between these two as well. Still, unless the league figures out a way to make up the Bills and Bengals game, Cincinnati would still sit with one less loss than Baltimore.
Regardless, both teams will be looking for the win Sunday afternoon as they look to solidify their playoff seeding.
The Bengals are the heavy favorites playing at home. They are -320 to win, while the Ravens’ moneyline sits at +260. The spread sees the Ravens as 7-point underdogs (-106), and the over/under for total points is 40.5 (-110).
Ravens Look To Get Offense Rolling
Ever since Tyler Huntley took over for the injured Lamar Jackson, the Ravens’ offense has been anemic. In their last five games, they are averaging just 11.8 points per game. If Lamar Jackson is unable to go Sunday (he is currently questionable with his knee injury), the defense will have to carry the burden.
Speaking of the defense, they currently rank third in the NFL, allowing opponents an average of 18 points per game. They are led by Patrick Queen (112 tackles), Justin Houston (nine sacks), and Marcus Williams (four interceptions).
Back to the offense, tight end Mark Andrews has been the only consistent receiver on the team this year. As the only player with over 500 yards receiving on the team, he currently sits at 847 yards and five touchdowns on 73 receptions.
Cincinnati Trying To Overcome Emotions Of Last Week
In the absolutely tragic incident that saw the Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin taken by ambulance off the field after suffering a cardiac arrest, the Cincinnati Bengals seemed just as shaken by the incident as Buffalo.
Trying to return back to normalcy, Cincinnati must prepare to take on their division rival Sunday in a pivotal matchup. It seems unclear as to whether the league will make up the game, but the Bengals can control their own destiny in the division if they can pick up the win over Baltimore.
Cincinnati has been on a roll lately, having won 11 of their last 13 matchups. In that span, they also have gone 12-1 against the spread.
The team currently has the sixth-best scoring offense in the league, averaging 26.1 points per game (29 at home). This is in large part thanks to quarterback Joe Burrow, who has thrown for 4,260 yards, 34 touchdowns, and just 12 interceptions.
Burrow’s favorite targets include Tee Higgins (1,022 yards, seven touchdowns), Ja’Marr Chase (960 yards, eight touchdowns), and Tyler Boyd (711 yards, five touchdowns).
Take Cincinnati To Win And Cover
Looking at the trends, Baltimore is just 2-5 against the spread in their last seven games, and they are 3-7 against the spread in their last 10 against the Bengals. In their last 17 games on the road, they are just 5-12 when playing at Paycor Stadium.
As for the Bengals, they are 7-0 both straight up and against the spread in their last seven games. Furthermore, they are 5-0 against the spread in their last five games at home.
This will obviously be an emotional game for the Bengals, who are still trying to overcome the events of last week. Still, especially if Lamar Jackson is unable to play, Cincinnati will have the clear advantage.
While the Ravens were able to win their first matchup in large part due to their defense, don’t expect them to be able to hold up as much with little support from the offense.
Take Cincinnati to both win and to cover the 7-point spread (-114).