In the opening game for Week 2 of the NFL, the Baltimore Ravens will get a chance at revenge as they play the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday Night Football. It was the Bengals who prevented the Ravens from making the playoffs last year by upsetting them in the final game of the regular season. These divisional rivals will look to remain undefeated and get an early leg up in the AFC North. Kickoff inside Paul Brown Stadium is at 8:20 PM ET.
|Betting Data History||Baltimore Ravens||Cincinnati Bengals|
|2018 ATS Home||1-0||0-0|
|2018 ATS Away||0-0||1-0|
|2018 O/U Home||1-0||0-0|
|2018 O/U Away||0-0||1-0|
Since the Ravens have come into the league, these two teams have faced each other 44 times. Currently, the series is tied at 22 games apiece. However, the Bengals have gone 7-3 in the last 10 head-to-head meetings. Additionally, the Bengals are 7-3 against the Ravens in their last 10 home games.
Baltimore (1-0) is not only seeking revenge against the Bengals, but they also seek to remain undefeated and to keep that defense perched atop the NFL rankings. Last weekend, the Ravens thoroughly dominated the Bills in all 3 phases of the game. Baltimore was also able to rest starters late in the game in order to prepare for this short week.
The Bengals (1-0) went into Indianapolis and pulled off a solid road win in the I-74 rivalry. It was a hard fought win that the Bengals were able to solidify with a defensive TD on the last drive of the game as the Colts were trying to come back and score the winning TD. However, the Bengals will have to play more consistent for 4 quarters if they want to beat the Ravens this week.
The spread opened with the Bengals at +3, but it has moved significantly and now the spread is Even. The Over/Under opened at 43 points and it has gone up slightly to 44 total points.
This game will be a real test as to whether or not the Ravens are as good as their Week 1 win says they are. Baltimore looked like the best team in the NFL after they destroyed the Bills. However, it’s hard to tell if they’re really that good, if the Bills are really that bad, or a combination of both.
Defensively, Baltimore held Buffalo to 181 total yards, 3 points, 10 first downs and forced 2 turnovers. Anything that the Baltimore defense wanted to do, they did. However, that was against a ragged Bills offense with a terrible o-line. The Bengals’ offensive line is much better, additionally they have a veteran QB in Andy Dalton.
Last weekend, Dalton went 21of 28 for 243 yards and 2 TDs. He did throw a pick very early in the game against the Colts before settling down and playing solid football. The Bengals were able to surpass the 100 yard mark on the ground as Mixon finished with 95 yards and 1 TD on 17 carries. The Ravens defense will have to contend with a more potent offense that can move the ball through the air and on the ground.
The Bengals defense gave up over 300 yards in the air to Andrew Luck last weekend. Somehow, I don’t see Joe Flacco being able to duplicate those numbers. Cincy was able to force 2 turnovers, get 2 sacks and score a defensive TD. The Colts also ran 27 more plays on offense than the Bengals.
The Ravens offense had 369 total yards, scored 47 points, had 26 first downs, and were balanced all game long despite having a big lead and playing in the rain. However, for the Ravens to be successful, they will need establish the run in order to use their effective play action passing. Flacco had gaudy numbers last weekend against the Bills, but a great deal of that was due to the play-action passing.
If there’s one team who has had the Ravens’ number it’s the Bengals. As mentioned, they’ve won 7 of the last 10 overall meetings and have outscored Baltimore 22.5 ppg to 19.3 ppg. The Bengals are also 6-4 ATS the spread during that span. In the last 10 games at Cincinnati, the Bengals have posted a 7-3 record and have gone 9-4 ATS in their last 13 home games against the Ravens.
The Bengals are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games and 4-2 ATS in their last 6 home games. The Ravens are 1-6 ATS and 1-6 SU in their last 7 games on turf, 4-6 ATS on Thursdays, 3-9 SU as an underdog, and 6-9 SU in their last 15 road games.
This game could really go either way, but I like the grit and determination that the Bengals showed on the road at Indy. I also feel that the Ravens might come in overinflated due to their destruction of the Bills. They weren’t really tested in any way, which means they could still have some underlying problems that the Bengals will expose.
With Cincy’s recent success against Baltimore, I really like their chances at home on a short week. This should be a hard fought game, and I’m picking Cincy to win 23 to 20.
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