Ravens-Bengals Preview: Ravens' Defense to Keep it Close
We’re looking ahead to the Sunday Night Football matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens. This spread is quickly approaching double-digits as it appears Lamar Jackson’s previously anticipated return might not come to fruition.
Nevertheless, there is reason to believe this contest will be closer than expected. These two AFC North foes split their games this season, with Baltimore’s defense having caused trouble for Joe Burrow in each matchup.
Lamar Jackson’s availability headlines this game, and it isn’t looking promising. He was held out of practice Wednesday and Thursday, so it seems like Tyler Huntley will get the start under center for the Ravens Sunday night with everything on the line.
Huntley’s been rehabbing an injury of his own as he couldn’t go in Week 18, but coach John Harbaugh has spoken positively of his progress, so we’re expecting him to be out there.
On Cincinnati’s side, Tee Higgins returned to practice Thursday after being held out on Wednesday, so we’ll look for him to be prepared for Sunday after the previous scare.
Their offensive line has taken another hit after La’el Collins’s season-ending injury three weeks ago, as guard Alex Cappa has been ruled out for Sunday. That leaves Burrow’s right side vulnerable against a team that’s tied for the fifth-most sacks.
Ravens @ Bengals Game Odds on FanDuel
Spread: Ravens +9.5 (-104) | Bengals -9.5 (-118)
Moneyline: Ravens (+380) | Bengals (-500)
Total: Over 40.5 (-110) | Under 40.5 (-110)
Having faith in the Ravens looks past their quarterback situation to their defense. All-Pro linebacker Roquan Smith was awarded a $100 million extension, and since his arrival midseason, the defense has allowed just 14.7 points per game.
Baltimore limited Burrow to 216 yards and a touchdown pass per game. With their ability to make Burrow uncomfortable, we’re buying the Ravens plus 9.5 points. They have the rushing attack to slow the game down, play complementary football and keep it close.
Ravens @ Bengals Prop Picks on FanDuel
Ja’Marr Chase OVER 6.5 Receptions (+102)
Joe Mixon OVER 23.5 Receiving Yards (-114)
JK Dobbins ATDS (+220) | OVER Rushing Yards
Since returning from injury five weeks ago, Ja’Marr Chase has gone over 6.5 receptions in each game and has averaged 12 targets per game during the stretch. He’s combined for 15 receptions over two games against Baltimore this season, so we’ll bite on the plus odds for Chase to go OVER.
Baltimore has the third-best defense against the run, so the Bengals will get Joe Mixon involved more through the air instead of forcing it on the ground. He’s gone over 23.5 yards in three straight weeks on 20 targets. There should be enough volume for Mixon to reach 24 yards.
Over Tyler Huntley’s last four games as a starter, Baltimore’s RB1 has eclipsed 90 yards in each game. With Huntley a weak passer, the Ravens need to establish the ground game and control the time of possession. Look for JK Dobbins to be fed a ton of touches as he comes in well-rested.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.