2023 NFL Week 2 Betting Preview: Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals Ja'Marr Chase Tyler Boyd Tee Higgins

Ravens (0-0) at Bengals (0-0)

Spread: Bengals -3

Total: 46.5

Weather: No current concerns

The Line Report

The spread for this contest opened at Cincinnati Bengals -3.5. It widely adjusted to Bengals -3 before moving back up to its current mark of Bengals -3.5

The total of this contest opened at 47 points before moving all the way down to 44.5 points. It then came all the way back up to 46.5.

Bengals Offense vs. Ravens Defense

Cincinnati only scored three points in Cleveland on opening day. The Cleveland Browns’ pass rush had a major impact, while their secondary forced tight windows all afternoon. The Baltimore Ravens do not have a top-10 pass rush like Cleveland. 

The Ravens’ secondary will be without safety Marcus Williams and star CB Marlon Humphrey is on the injury report. This is a different environment for the Bengals offense.

Joe Burrow was held well below 300 yards passing in all three of his meetings with the Ravens last season. However, back in 2021, he lit up Baltimore for 416 and then 525 passing yards with seven total touchdowns. Needless to say, the range of outcomes for Burrow in this matchup is enormous.

Despite the Bengals’ Week 1 struggles, there weren’t any target distribution surprises. Ja’Marr Chase led the team in targets with nine, Tee Higgins had eight and Tyler Boyd had three. Irv Smith Jr. finished with five targets in his Bengals debut. All of Cincinnati’s pass catchers struggled in Cleveland, but Higgins didn’t catch a pass despite his eight targets.

Joe Mixon had 13 carries while Chris Evans and Trayveon Williams had two. Mixon added five targets and Evans had one. 

Ravens Offense vs. Bengals Defense

Lamar Jackson didn’t have a great game in Baltimore’s new offense last weekend. He had 169 passing yards while throwing a bad interception and taking four sacks. TE Mark Andrews missed last week’s contest with an injury. 

In his absence, rookie WR Zay Flowers led the team in targets (10), receptions (nine) and receiving yards (78). Odell Beckham Jr. and Rashod Bateman had three targets each.

RB J.K. Dobbins is out for the season. His primary replacements, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill have different skill sets. We expect Baltimore to deploy more of a committee in Dobbin’s absence, with Edwards taking on a run-centric role while Hill sees more action in the passing game. Veteran Melvin Gordon could also factor into the Ravens’ running back mix.

This Is What You’re Betting On in Ravens at Bengals

The Bengals won two of their three games against the Ravens last season. Both of Cincinnati’s wins came while Jackson was sidelined. The total points scored in each of those contests was 43 or less. It’s worth noting both teams’ offensive lines are well-equipped to mitigate the other’s pass rush.

If you’re betting on the Bengals, you are betting on Burrow’s offense in a correction spot. The Ravens have given Burrow more trouble than most defenses

However, as we saw in 2021, the Bengals’ offense still has a massive ceiling against Baltimore. Bengals’ defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo has gotten the most out of Cincinnati’s defense. But ultimately, if you’re betting on the Bengals, you build that bet around Burrow’s offense.

The Ravens’ defense played three strong games against Cincinnati’s high-powered offense last season. If you’re betting on Baltimore, you’re expecting the Ravens’ defense to once again limit Burrow. 

Tyler Huntley was the Ravens’ quarterback during their two losses to Cincinnati last season. Now you get Jackson, which means a Ravens’ bet isn’t dead if Burrow’s offense bounces back in a big way.

Score Prediction: Bengals 27, Ravens 24

Ryan’s Recent Betting Record

ATS 2021: 49-31

ATS 2022: 48-32

ATS 2023: 2-3

Props 2022: 60-40

Props 2023: 2-1

Ryan is the associate director of fantasy and betting at The 33rd Team. He has been covering NFL betting markets for five years. Follow Ryan @RyanReynoldsNFL on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook

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