The Baltimore Ravens (4-5) host the struggling Cincinnati Bengals (5-4) on Sunday afternoon in an AFC North battle. Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM EST on November 18th at M&T Bank Stadium and the game will be broadcast on CBS.
Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Ravens listed as 4-point home favorites. That line hasn’t moved at all after early betting, as Baltimore is currently available at -4. The total for this matchup is 43.5 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 11 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
Ravens vs Bengals Vegas Odds & Game Preview
Cincinnati dropped back to 5-4 on the season overall last weekend after getting crushed 51-14 at home by the visiting New Orleans Saints. Nothing went right for the Bengals, as they allowed New Orleans to rack up a 500+ total yards on the afternoon. It was the third straight game that the Cincinnati defense gave up over 500 total yards, which is a new NFL record. QB Andy Dalton hasn’t been consistent enough this year, throwing for 2,255 yards and 18 touchdowns but also getting picked off ten times in just nine games. He will likely be without the services of A.J. Green again this weekend, as the start wideout was forced to miss Week 10 due to a toe injury. WR Tyler Boyd has played quite well in his absence, racking up 52 receptions for 685 yards and 5 touchdowns. RB Joe Mixon leads the way on the ground, rushing for 570 yards and four touchdowns. As a whole, the offense is currently averaging 26.1 points per game (11th overall) on 337.6 yards of offense.
Things have been absolutely brutal on the other side of the ball, as the Bengals are currently giving up an average of 32.0 points per game (31st overall). Things have been so bad over the last several weeks that Teryl Austin ended up losing his job, as Marvin Lewis announced Austin was being let go and that he will take over the play-calling duties on defense.
Baltimore has now lost three out of their last four games to fall back below .500 on the season. The Ravens couldn’t find a way to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers for a second time this season last weekend, falling 23-16 to drop to 4-5 overall. QB Joe Flacco was also injured in the loss, as he appeared to re-aggravate a hip injury. Flacco was unable to practice all week and has already been ruled out of action here in Week 11. It appears as if rookie Lamar Jackson will get the start on Sunday, the first of his NFL career. He will likely lean pretty heavily on RB Alex Collins, who has rushed for 393 yards and six touchdowns this season. Overall, Baltimore is currently averaging 23.7 points per game (17th overall) on 366.6 yards of total offense.
The Ravens have looked pretty solid on the other side of the ball, allowing opponents to score an average of just 17.8 points per game (2nd overall). They have really done a nice job of shutting down opponents through the air, giving up only 205.2 passing yards per game (3rd overall).
Free NFL Betting Prediction: Cincinnati +4
As much as I hate taking Cincinnati on the road in this particular spot, I really don’t think there is a better choice. The Ravens have also been struggling as of late and now are being forced to start an unproven rookie who has yet to play a down in the NFL. Even if the Bengals can’t find a way to stop their losing skid this weekend, they should be able to stay within a field goal by the end of the game. Alex Collins has hardly been explosive on the ground and Lamar Jackson will need time to develop chemistry with his receivers. Dalton has really been bad as of late, but he still has found some nice chemistry with Tyler Boyd this year – in other words, Cincinnati should be able to move the ball on Sunday afternoon, while I have my doubts about the Baltimore offense in spite of the good matchup.
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Cincinnati is a very solid 4-1 ATS over their last five divisional games. Even more importantly, they are 7-3 ATS in the last ten meetings with the Ravens. Baltimore is just 1-4 ATS over their last five games overall and 1-4 ATS in their last five games against AFC North opponents.
The Bengals do have four losses, but each one has come against a team with a winning record – Kansas City, Carolina, Pittsburgh, and New Orleans. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they find a way to win this game outright, so taking the free points in this spot seems like a no-brainer. There is no way the Ravens have the edge at quarterback in this one, no matter how terrible Dalton has looked at times. Cincinnati has struggled defensively against good times, but has played well against mediocre to poor offenses. It’s also important that they beat this same Ravens time WITH Joe Flacco by double-digits at the start of the year. I’ll take my chances with the Bengals in this spot.