Matchups Week 5: Bengals at Ravens

Tyler Boyd Tony Jefferson jump ball

Sunday Night Football: Cincinnati Bengals (2-2) at Baltimore Ravens (2-2)

Opening Spread: Ravens -3

Opening Game Total: 48

Opening Team Totals: Ravens (25.5), Bengals (22.5)

Weather: Outdoors, no current concerns

The Line Report

  •         This line opened as Ravens -3.
  •         This line has moved to Ravens -3.5 as of Saturday afternoon.
  •         DraftKings Pick’Em has the Ravens -3.5.
  •         Circa Sports Millions Pro Football Contest has the Ravens -3.5.
  •         This total opened at 48 points.
  •         This total has moved to 48.5 points as of Saturday afternoon.

Notable Injuries

Ravens: IR: NT Michael Pierce; Out: RB Justice Hill, WR Rashod Bateman, Edge Justin Houston; Questionable: LT Ronnie Stanley, CB Marcus Peters

Bengals: Questionable: WR Tee Higgins, TE Hayden Hurst

The Ravens Offense vs. Bengals Defense

With LT Ronnie Staley, the Ravens have a fringe top-ten offensive line. Cincinnati’s front is very good in the run game, but they are a below-average pass rush outside of edge Trey Hendrickson. When you factor in Lamar Jackson’s historic evasion abilities, Baltimore is in a strong position in pass protection. While the Bengals are currently fourth-best in rushing yards allowed, Lamar Jackson’s rushing attack is a unique one.

Betting Notes

  • The Ravens are 3-1 against the spread this season.
  • The Ravens are 2-2 on overs this season.

Ravens Offense

  • Baltimore is scoring 29.8 points per game, good for third in the league.
  • The Ravens have the 23rd-most yards passing per game and the eighth-most yards rushing.
  • Per the Edge, Lamar Jackson is ninth in the league in yards rushing with 316.
  • After being eased in during his return to action in Week 3, J.K. Dobbins saw 13 carries and four targets against Buffalo last week. Dobbins had a touchdown on the ground and another in the air against the Bills.
  • With Rashod Bateman out, the Ravens’ wide receiver group is thin. Target shares for the only other Ravens wide receivers to see 100 snaps are Devin Duvernay (11.5%) and Demarcus Robinson (8.8%).
  • Per TruMedia, tight end Mark Andrews is sixth in the league in target share (31.9%), eighth in air yards share (39.4%), 16th in receptions (24), and 24th in yards receiving (260). Andrews has played 50 snaps as an in-line tight end, 42 on the perimeter, and 107 in the slot.

Bengals Defense

  • Cincinnati has allowed 17.5 points per game, good for eighth in the league.
  • Per The Edge, the Bengals have allowed the fifth-fewest yards rushing and the 15th-most yards receiving to running backs this season.
  • Cincinnati has given up the 17th-most yards receiving on the 14th-most receptions to wide receivers this year.
  • The Bengals have given up the ninth-most PPR points to slot receivers this year.
  • The Bengals have allowed the ninth-most yards receiving on the 14th-most receptions to tight ends this season.
  • Cincinnati has allowed the tenth-most PPR points to in-line tight ends this year. 

The Bengals Offense vs. Ravens Defense

Cincinnati’s revamped offensive line has struggled to this point in the season. They’ll face a solid, but middle-of-the-pack Ravens’ front. With edge Justin Houston out, Baltimore’s defensive front has a mild trench advantage against the Bengals.

Betting Notes

  • The Bengals are 2-2 against the spread this season.
  • The Bengals are 0-4 on overs this season.

Bengals Offense

  • Cincinnati is scoring 22.8 points per game, which is 13th in the league.
  • The Bengals have the sixth-most yards passing per game and the 27th-most yards rushing.
  • Per TruMedia, Joe Mixon is second among running backs in snaps (218), carries (82), he’s first in red zone carries (16), and he’s fourth at the position in target share (15.5%). Mixon is 20th at the position in yards rushing (224), he’s seventh in yards receiving (116), and he only has one total touchdown.
  • Ja’Marr Chase is 15th in the league in target share (26.5%) and 17th in air yards share (34.5%). Chase is tied for fourth in the league with six end zone targets. Chase has seen 217 snaps on the perimeter and 52 in the slot.
  • Tee Higgins is 51st in the league with an 18.1% target share and he’s 40th in air yards share (26.7%). Higgins has seen 139 snaps on the perimeter and 35 in the slot.
  • Despite the usage gap, Higgins has 315 yards receiving to Chase’s 293.
  • Joe Mixon is tenth in the league in yards after the catch (142), Chase is 29th (114), and Higgins is 32nd (112).
  • Tyler Boyd is third in the league in snaps from the slot with 179. Boyd has.just 39 snaps on the perimeter. Boyd has a 12.3% target share and a 19% air yards share.
  • Hayden Hurst has a 13.5% target share. Hurst has played 117 snaps as an in-line tight end, 25 on the perimeter, and 39 in the slot.

Ravens Defense

  • Baltimore has allowed 25 points per game, which is 23rd in the league.
  • Per The Edge, the Ravens have allowed the 23rd-most yards rushing and the fourth-most receiving to running backs.
  • Baltimore has allowed the most yards receiving on the second-most receptions to wide receivers this year.
  • The Ravens have given up the third-most PPR points to perimeter receivers and the most to slot receivers.
  • Baltimore has allowed the seventh-fewest yards receiving on the 19th-most receptions to tight ends this year.
  • The Ravens have given up the sixth-most PPR points to tight ends lined up in the slot.

This is What You’re Betting On in Ravens vs. Bengals

A bet on the Ravens is a bet on Lamar Jackson carrying Baltimore’s offense. Tight end Mark Andrews is the only difference-making pass-catcher for the Ravens this week. J.K. Dobbins will be playing his third game of the season on Sunday night, which is a big upgrade at running back for Baltimore. But ultimately, this is a below-average offense without Lamar Jackson. Baltimore has given up the third-most net passing yards in the league through the first four weeks. If you’re betting on the Ravens, you are doing so with the expectation that their pass defense takes a step forward against the stacked Bengals.

A bet on the Bengals is a bet on Joe Burrow and Cincinnati’s collection of high-end skill position players. They’ll be facing a Ravens’ pass defense that has been destroyed through the air this season. The Bengals beat the Ravens 41-17 and then 41-21 last season. The Bengals will be well rested coming off a long week, since they last played on Thursday Night Football against the Dolphins. You have two major concerns with a Bengals bet. The first one is obvious: You’re facing Lamar Jackson on the road. Lamar is one of the handful of quarterbacks in the league that could make any roster in the sport dangerous. Your second-biggest concern is the Bengals’ offensive line, which has really struggled so far this season.

Awards Market Ramifications: Lamar Jackson is an MVP contender.

Winner/Confidence Pool: I see this game as a coin flip, so I’ll have some exposure to both of these teams in winner pools. In confidence pools I will have whoever I end up taking here ranked towards the bottom in that format.

Spread Pool: I might take Cincinnati in an ATS tournament entry since they are getting the +3.5 hook.

Survivor: This game should be avoided in survivor pools.

WATCH MORE: The Ravens’ DBs vs. the Bengals’ WRs is a Matchup to Watch in Week 5

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