This Sunday the Baltimore Ravens (9-6) will host the Cincinnati Bengals (6-9) in a AFC North clash with some playoff implications. Kickoff is set for 4:25 EST at M&T Bank Stadium and will be televised locally on CBS.
Oddsmakers currently have the Ravens listed as a 10-point home favorite with the total set at 40.5 points. Click here for a full Week 17 betting schedule and for more links to our individual game previews.
Bengals vs Ravens Vegas Game Odds & Betting Preview
Cincinnati comes in off an impressive 26-17 win at home over the Lions as a 3-point underdog. The win came after the Bengals had laid eggs the previous two weeks in losses to the Bears (7-33) and Vikings (7-34).
Baltimore prevailed 23-16 at home over the Colts in Week 16, but it was far from the dominating performance most expected. The Ravens were massive 13.5-point favorites and never led in the game by more than 10-points. As unimpressive as it might have been, it was a big step in the right direction for Baltimore getting into the playoffs as a Wild Card. They can clinch a postseason spot with a win or a loss by either the Bills or Titans.
These two teams will have started and ended the year against one another, as they played at Cincinnati way back in Week 1. Baltimore won that contest 20-0, thanks in large part to their defense, which forced 5 Bengals turnovers and limited Cincinnati to just 221 total yards.
Free NFL Betting Predictions & ATS Pick: Bengals +10
I would have to lean towards taking the points here with Cincinnati. While Baltimore is the only team with something to play for, I think they are way overvalued in this spot because of it. The Bengals showed they still have some fight left in them with last week’s win over Detroit, who at the time was playing for their playoff lives.
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I would expect Cincinnati to bring that same fight to the Ravens, especially given how much this game means to Baltimore. The Ravens didn’t exactly look great in a must-win spot last week against the Colts at home and not only do they have to win here, but they have to do by double-digits. I just think that’s asking a lot for a team that is pretty limited offensively.
Keep in mind the Bengals defense was outstanding last week against a pretty decent Lions offense. Cincinnati held Detroit to just 276 yards and 15 first downs. While the Bengals are 31st against the run, the Ravens aren’t a great running team. If they can just be decent against the run here, they should be able to make life miserable for Flacco. Don’t forget that while Baltimore won convincingly in the first meeting, the offense only had 268 yards and just 3 more first downs than the Bengals.
I’m simply not convinced the Ravens are as good as people think. Not a single one of their 9 wins this season has come against a team that even has a shot at making the playoffs going into Week 17. The defense has carried them this far, but it’s had some lapses here the last few weeks after lowing star corner Jimmy Smith. I just don’t think this is a team that should be laying double-digits against anybody right now and they proved that last week in their game against the Colts.
It’s also worth noting that the Bengals are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games against a team with a winning home record, while the Ravens are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 home games vs a team with a losing road record. Give me Cincinnati +10!