Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals Betting Preview
Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
When: Sunday, January 1, 2017, 1:00 PM ET
Line: Baltimore Ravens (+2.5) at Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5); total: 41.0 – view all NFL lines
TV Broadcast: CBS
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Betting on the Baltimore Ravens (+2.5)
As with most of the recent AFC North clashes, Sunday’s showdown between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers did not disappoint. Unfortunately for the Ravens, they were on the losing end of a 31-27 decision that day to officially rule them out of the playoffs for the third time in four seasons.
Quarterback Joe Flacco had another subpar day throwing the ball, as he finished with 262 yards, one touchdown and one interception on 30-of-44 passing. It was a good thing that Baltimore’s running game showed up on Christmas (122 rushing yards as a team), or else the Steelers may have blown them out early on in the contest.
The Ravens’ usually dependable defense, meanwhile, could not contain another prolific offense as Pittsburgh racked up 406 yards on Sunday. But even after that fact, short-handed Cincinnati on Week 17 should pose as a weaker offensive threat that the D can very well contain. Do note that six of Baltimore’s seven losses this season were at the hands of top-10 offenses (Dallas, Washington, New England, Oakland, Pittsburgh New York Giants), and the Bengals ranked as a mere middle-of-the-pack offensive team heading into Sunday.
However, a win won’t come easy in Cincy for the Ravens at that, as they’ve lost five-consecutive road games (1-4 ATS) as we speak. With nothing left worth fighting for in the season finale, don’t count on the Ravens to exceed expectations again as they virtually did in Week 16 against the Steelers.
Betting on the Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5)
The Cincinnati Bengals’ season just went from disappointing to downright dreadful with the brutal 12-10 loss to the Houston Texans on Christmas Eve. That’s their fifth loss in seven games, with all defeats each by just five points or less.
With injured playmakers A.J. Green, Giovani Bernard and Tyler Eifert (Saturday’s late-scratch with a back injury) on offense, quarterback Andy Dalton was actually fortunate to end up with 268 passing yards against the Texans. He completed just 28 of his 41 passes with just one touchdown along with an interception.
Having no running game on Saturday certainly hurt the Bengals too, as they mustered up just 50 rushing yards on 19 carries. And while the defense held Houston to just 250 offensive yards, all it really had to do was shut down the Texans’ unproven backup QB in Tom Savage.
All things considered, it appears as if Cincinnati is just phoning the rest of their season in given that they were eliminated from postseason contention a couple of weeks back. Then again, Cincy has also won six of its last seven home games against Baltimore (5-2 ATS).
That being said, the Bengals have as good a shot at prevailing with a win as the Ravens this week, especially considering that both teams are just playing for pride within their own division.
The Bengals (-2.5) escape with a 24-20 win to prevent the Ravens from finishing their campaign with a winning record.
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