Baltimore battles Cincinnati in a game with big AFC North implications. Baltimore has been on a roll while Cincinnati hasn’t won a game since their bye week. The last time that these two teams played, Cincinnati won 23 to 16. Which team will come out on top in the rematch?
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals
When: 1:00 pm ET, Oct. 26
Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
Betting Odds: Cincinnati -1
Ravens at Bengals Online Football Odds Analysis
Baltimore is 5 and 2 and looking like a team that could very well challenge some of the top squads in the AFC Playoffs. Perhaps, Baltimore’s best game wasn’t a victory at all but a 13 to 20 loss to the Indianapolis Colts as a 2.5 point dog. What’s important to note about that game is that the Ravens held the Colts, the top scoring team in the nation at 31 per matchup, to only 20 points.
That defense might find the going much easier against a Cincinnati team whose offense really hasn’t been as effective as it was when the season started. A.J. Green, the Bengals’ top wide receiver, has been hurt. Green is questionable again to suit up this Sunday, meaning that somehow, someway, Cincinnati will have to put points on the board without their best offensive player.
It hasn’t been easy. Since the bye, the Bengals have been outscored 107 to 54 in three games. Cincy also hasn’t won a contest, dropping a game 17 to 43 to New England and 0 to 27 to Indianapolis in two bookend contests. In between the two losses, the Bengals ended up in a tie with Carolina, 37 to 37. The once feared Cincinnati defense has fallen apart. It’s allowing 416.7 yards per game, ranking it thirty-first in the NFL in the yards allowed category.
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) October 23, 2014
Baltimore has the weapons on offense to seriously hurt the Bengals’ D. Torrey Smith and Steve Smith are both having terrific seasons catching footballs from QB Joe Flacco. Torrey Smith only has 18 catches on the season, but 4 of those went for touchdowns. Steve Smith has 38 catches on the season for 640 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Ravens are also rushing for 131.4 yards per game.
Defensively, Baltimore has been fantastic this season. The Ravens are ranked sixteenth in yards allowed per game at 345.9 and seventh in rushing yards allowed per game at 87.4. Opponents only score 14.9 points per matchup against Baltimore. That ranks the Ravens first in the points allowed per game category.
Cincinnati is a tough team to cover the spread against at home. The Bengals are 13 and 3 ATS in their last 9 home games. They are 5 and 0 against the spread in their last 5 games at home versus a team with a winning road record.
The Ravens are 1-3-1 against the spread in their last 5 games versus an AFC North opponent, but they are also 7 and 3 ATS in their last 10 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) October 22, 2014
This contest comes down to the Bengals’ offense versus the Ravens’ defense. Baltimore will score in this game. Will Cincinnati be able to keep up? The Bengals’ running game has been dreadful and should continue to be against Cincy’s stout rush defense. Dalton can’t do it alone. Unless A.J. Green plays, the Bengals won’t have a shot in this matchup.
Even if Green does play, he may not be all that effective and Baltimore is the better team. They should cover the spread against the Bengals.
Pick: Baltimore Ravens +1