Opening Spread: Bengals -6.5
Opening Game Total: 43.5
Opening Team Totals: Bengals (25) Ravens (18.5)
Weather: Outdoors, no current concerns
The Line Report
- This line opened as Bengals -6.5
- This line has moved to Bengals -8.5
- This total opened at 43.5-points
- This total has moved to 42.5-points
Bengals: Out: RG Alex Cappa, RT La’el Collins. Questionable: WR Tee Higgins, CB Cam Taylor-Britt
Ravens: Questionable: QB Lamar Jackson, QB Tyler Huntley, RB Gus Edwards, CB Marcus Peters, CB Marlon Humphrey.
Bengals Offense vs. Ravens Defense
The Bengals’ offensive line was a below-average unit early in the year that gradually turned into a rock-solid, league-average unit. However, injuries at right guard and right tackle have pushed this group back into below-average territory. I have the Ravens’ defensive front tiered toward the back end of league average. From a macro sense, the Ravens’ defensive front has a mild advantage in the trenches, but the Bengals’ injury-reduced offensive line will be put to the test when the Ravens bring pressure.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Bengals are 12-4 against the spread this season
- Cincinnati is 6-9-1 on overs this season
- Joe Burrow is 27-15 against the spread in his career
- Burrow is 20-20-2 on overs in his career
- Zac Taylor is 38-27 against the spread in his NFL head coaching career
- Taylor is 29-34-2 on overs in his NFL head coaching career
- Cincinnati scores 26.1 points per game, good for seventh in the league
- The Bengals are third in the league in yards passing per game and 29th in yards rushing
- Cincinnati passes on 66% of plays and runs on 34% of plays, per Sports Info Solutions
- Per the Edge, Joe Mixon finished the season 27th in yards rushing with 814, and he’s sixth among running backs in yards receiving with 441
- Samaje Perine is 21st among running backs in yards receiving
- In 12 games, Ja’Marr Chase finished with 87 receptions for 1,046 yards receiving and nine touchdowns with a 29.3% target share and a 39.1% air yards share
- Tee Higgins finished with 74 receptions for 1,029 yards receiving and seven touchdowns with an 18.4% target share and a 28.5% air yards share
- Tyler Boyd finished with 58 receptions for 762 yards receiving and five touchdowns with a 13.7% target share and a 17.8% air yards share
- In 13 games, Hayden Hurst finished with 52 receptions for 414 yards receiving and two touchdowns with a 14.2% target share and a 9.7% air yards share
- Per TruMedia, Chase has played 585 snaps on the perimeter and 154 in the slot
- Higgins has played 585 snaps on the perimeter and 132 in the slot
- Boyd has played 123 snaps on the perimeter and 633 in the slot
- Baltimore has allowed 18.5 points per game, which is third in the league
- The Ravens are fifth in the league in sacks, tied for 10th in forced fumbles and 12th in interceptions
- Per The Edge, the Ravens allowed the fourth-fewest yards rushing per game and the sixth-most yards receiving per game to running backs this season
- Baltimore gave up the fifth-most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year
- The Ravens allowed the ninth-most PPR points per game to perimeter receivers
- Baltimore gave up the 26th-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season
Ravens Offense vs. Bengals Defense
I have the Ravens tiered as a top-10 offensive line. The Bengals have a below-average pass rush, but their defensive front is a top-10 unit against the run. The Ravens’ offensive line has a significant advantage in pass protection, but this trench matchup is more of a draw in the run game.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Ravens are 8-9 against the spread this season
- Baltimore is 5-12 on overs this season
- Anthony Brown is 0-1 against the spread in his career
- Brown is 1-0 on overs in his career
- John Harbaugh is 121-112-9 against the spread in his NFL head coaching career
- Harbaugh is 115-126-1 on overs in his NFL head coaching career
- Baltimore scores 20.6 points per game, which is 19th in the league
- The Ravens are 30th in the league in yards passing per game and second in yards rushing
- Baltimore passes on 54% of plays and runs on 46% of their plays, per Sports Info Solutions
- Lamar Jackson, reportedly, has an uphill battle to play while Tyler Huntley had a limited practice on Wednesday
- If Jackson and Huntley both miss this contest, Brown will likely start his second consecutive game against the Bengals
- Per the Edge, J.K. Dobbins has at least 12 carries in each of his last four games while breaching 90 yards rushing in three of those contests
- Gus Edwards has double-digit carries in two of those four games
- Demarcus Robinson has six or more targets in six of his last 10 games while breaching 50 yards receiving three times during that span
- Mark Andrews is third among tight ends in receptions (73), third in yards receiving (847), seventh in receiving touchdowns (5), the leader in target share (28.1%) and second in air yards share (33.8%)
- Per TruMedia, Robinson has played 572 snaps on the perimeter and 34 in the slot
- Andrews has played 179 snaps as an inline tight end, 157 on the perimeter and 402 in the slot
- Cincinnati has 20.1 points per game, which is sixth in the league
- The Bengals are 29th in the league in sacks, tied for 10th in forced fumbles and 18th in interceptions
- Per The Edge, Cincinnati has allowed the 26th-most yards rushing per game and the 23rd-most yards receiving per game to running backs this season
- The Bengals have given up the 19th-most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year
- Cincinnati has allowed the ninth-most PPR points per game to slot receivers
- The Bengals have allowed the seventh-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season
- Cincinnati has allowed the eighth-most PPR points per game to tight ends lined up in the slot
This Is What You’re Betting On
In Week 5, the Ravens beat the Bengals 19-17 on Sunday night in Baltimore. The Bengals beat the Ravens’ reserve offense, but Baltimore’s defensive starters, 27-16 in the regular season finale last week. The Bengals finished the season with eight straight wins. The injury-reduced Ravens limped into the playoffs, going 4-4 since their Week 10 bye.
Baltimore slipped by Carolina, Denver, Pittsburgh and Atlanta for those four wins in low-scoring, highly competitive games. Jackson hasn’t played since Dec. 4 against the Broncos. Jackson only threw four passes against the Broncos, which means Baltimore went 3-3 without Jackson to close the season.
If You’re Betting on the Bengals
Any bet on the Bengals is built around Burrow and his dynamic skill group. If you just glance at the box score of last week’s game, you’d think Cincinnati hung 27 points on the Ravens’ starting defense. That wasn’t the case. The Bengals forced four turnovers and scored a defensive touchdown last week. If you’re betting on the Bengals, you are betting on their offense to have a better performance this week than last week.
The great mystery of this game is the Ravens could conceivably start one of three quarterbacks. All signs are pointing toward Jackson missing being out. Will it be Huntley or Brown this week? If Cincinnati gets Brown again, the Bengals’ defense could enjoy another multi-turnover day. If Huntley gets the start, the Ravens’ offense is a more stable unit. My primary concern as a Bengals bettor is Cincinnati’s offense comes in just under their 25-point team total, while Huntley’s Ravens keep the game relatively competitive.
If You’re Betting on the Ravens
We should expect Jackson to miss this contest given the reports and line movement related to this game. Assuming Jackson remains sidelined, this game is primarily on the Ravens’ defense. Baltimore played their defensive starters last week, and they played well despite Baltimore’s offense turning the ball over four times. Baltimore held the Bengals to 17 points earlier in the year as well. The Ravens’ defense’s best path to exceeding expectations is their secondary holding up when they blitz the right side of the Bengals’ injury-ravaged offensive line. If Baltimore can consistently pressure Burrow, they can keep this game close.
While the requirement of limiting Burrow’s offense is a concern, your biggest worry as a Ravens’ bettor is related to their offense. The Ravens haven’t breached 20 points since Week 12, which is the last full game Jackson played. A spike game out of Huntley’s offense isn’t entirely off the table, but that is an outlier outcome we shouldn’t count on. What you can build a Ravens bet around is a strong defensive effort while Huntley’s offense plays a turnover-free game that keeps a cover within striking distance. The worst-case scenario for Baltimore is Burrow’s offense comes out hot and whoever starts at quarterback for the Ravens simply can’t keep up.
Score Prediction: Bengals 24 Ravens 16
Ryan’s Recent Betting Record:
ATS 2021: 49-31
ATS 2022: 48-32
Props 2022: 57-40
WATCH: Betting the NFL Playoff Edition
Brock Purdy began the season as the San Francisco 49ers’ third-string quarterback, as did Anthony Brown in Baltimore. The duo both helped their teams win in Week 14, and are latest examples of why head coaches need to get all of their quarterbacks meaningful reps in practice, not just the starter and backup.