Week 2 of the NFL regular-season will get underway with the Cincinnati Bengals (1-0) hosting the Baltimore Ravens (1-0) on Thursday Night Football. Kickoff between these two AFC North rivals is set for 8:20 EST at Paul Brown Stadium and will be televised on the NFL Network.
Taking a look at the Week 2 NFL odds, oddsmakers opened this game as a pick’em but the line has since shifted in favor of the Ravens. Baltimore is either at -1 or -1.5 depending on where you shop. The total opened at 43.5 and has move up slightly to 44.
Bengals vs Ravens Vegas Game Odds & Betting Preview
Baltimore got the 2018 season started off in impressive fashion, as the Ravens completely dominated the Bills 47-3 at home in Week 1. Baltimore easily covered as a mere 7.5-point favorite and the game flew over the posted total of 38.5. The Ravens were up 40-0 before the Bills scored their only points on a field goal late in the 3rd quarter. The defense limited Buffalo to just 153 total yards and 10 first downs for the game.
Cincinnati scored 24 unanswered after trailing 23-10 early midway thru the 3rd quarter for a 34-23 road win over the Colts, spoiling the return of Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck. The Bengals covered the number, as the game went off as a pick’em and the two teams combined for 57 points to easily eclipse the total of 47.5. The final score was a bit misleading, as Cincinnati returned a fumble 83 yards in the final seconds for a touchdown.
These two teams split their two meetings last year. The Ravens won 20-0 at Cincinnati in Week 1, but the Bengals got the last laugh with a 31-27 win at Baltimore in Week 17. A loss that ended up costing the Ravens a spot in the playoffs. It’s interesting to note that the home team had won 8 of the previous 10 meetings before the road team won both times in 2017.
Free NFL Betting Predictions & ATS Pick: Bengals +1.5
Even though both of these teams are coming off wins in Week 1, I fully expect the public to be all over the Ravens in this one. Baltimore is a team I think a lot of people are willing to get behind, while the Bengals are a team I think a lot of people have given up on. As good as the Ravens looked against the Bills, my early lean here would be to take the division home dog and back the Bengals to win at home.
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As good as Baltimore looked against the Bills, a lot of that had to do with just how bad Buffalo is, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Nathan Peterman is not an NFL quarterback and it’s crazy the Bills went into a season with him as their starter. He was 5 of 18 for 24 yards and threw two interceptions before getting pulled in favor of rookie Josh Allen.
I look for the Ravens defense to have a much tougher time against Andy Dalton and the Bengals. Dalton was sharp against the Colts, completing 21 of 28 for 243 yards and we got a taste of just how dynamic running back Joe Mixon could be this year. Mixon had 95 rushing yards on just 17 attempts and caught 5 passes for 54 yards. Cincinnati also had to be happy with the pay of tight end Tyler Effect, who had 3 catches for 44 yards. It’s not just all about stopping A.J. Green.
The offensive numbers for Baltimore were solid, but a lot of that had to do with the Bills’ offense not being able to sustain a drive. Buffalo didn’t get a first down until the 3rd quarter. While Joe Flacco threw for 236 yards and 3 scores, the Ravens running game struggled to get going. Baltimore had just 117 yards on 34 attempts for just 3.4 yards/carry and that was with Lamar Jackson accounting for 39 yards on 7 attempts (5.9 yards/carry).
Cincinnati’s defense struggled to contain Luck on the road, but I think that will be the case for most defenses when they travel to Indy. They were much better against the run, allowing just 75 yards no 22 attempts. I think if they can slow down Baltimore’s ground game, they can get after Flacco and make things difficult on the Ravens offense.
Say what you want about Dalton, but he’s 24-13 ATS as a starter at home, including an impressive 7-1 ATS mark when his team is listed as a home dog. As for Flacco, he’s just 5-7 ATS as a road favorite and 3-6 ATS in 9 meetings against the Bengals with Marvin Lewis as the head coach.