NFL Odds Preview: Cincinnati Bengals +13 at Baltimore Ravens

Friday, 09 October 2020 13:29 EST

    When: Sunday, 1 PM ET
    Where: M&T Bank Stadium
    TV: CBS
    Radio: Siriusxm.com/nfl
    Stream Option: TV
    Opening NFL Lines: Cincinnati Ravens +13 at Baltimore Ravens (over/under 51)

Last season
Baltimore had the best record in the NFL in 2019 and Cincinnati the worst, so no surprise that the Ravens swept the season series. The game in Baltimore was close, though, a 23-17 final. Lamar Jackson threw for 236 yards and rushed 19 times for 152 yards and a score. The Ravens had 269 yards and two scores on the ground. Andy Dalton was the Cincinnati QB then and wasn’t good. Cincinnati also rushed for just 33 yards.

The Ravens lead the all-time series with Cincinnati, 25-23. Baltimore has won five of the past eight meetings (including three straight). Under Coach John Harbaugh, the Ravens are 12-12 vs. the Bengals. Since 2010, 14 of the teams’ 19 meetings have been one-score decisions, by eight or fewer points.

Why Bet on Cincinnati? | 2020 NFL Expert Analysis
Heisman winner Joe Burrow comes off his first NFL victory last week, 33-25 over Jacksonville. Burrow completed 25-of-36 passes for 300 yards with a touchdown and an interception – Burrow became the first rookie QB to ever throw for 300 yards in three straight games. His touchdown was a checkdown to Joe Mixon, who scored all three of the Bengals’ TDs. Through four games, Burrow is on pace for 4,484 yards with a 24:8 TD/INT ratio.

Burrow and the Bengals’ offense stole the show against Jacksonville by posting 500 yards of offense, including 205 on the ground and 300 through the air. It was just the fourth time in team history, and the first since the 1988 season, that the Bengals recorded at least 200 rushing yards and 300 passing yards in a game. However, the Bengals need to care for the franchise guy much better, given Burrow has been sacked 15 times. Only the Texans’ Deshaun Watson has been dropped more after four games (16).

Mixon became the first Bengal since Giovani Bernard in 2013 to score both a rushing and receiving TD in the same game. He also posted a season-high 181 yards from scrimmage against the Jaguars, including 151 on the ground and 30 through the air.

This will be Burrow’s first-ever start against fellow Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson, last year’s NFL MVP.

It will mark the fifth instance in NFL history in which the reigning league MVP and the most recent No. 1 overall pick meet as starting quarterbacks. The reigning MVP has won three of the previous four meetings.​

Why Bet on Baltimore? | 2020 NFL Expert Analysis
The Ravens had little trouble winning 31-17 at Washington last week. Lamar Jackson completed 14-of-21 passes for 193 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception, adding seven rushes for 53 yards and a touchdown. His day was highlighted by a career-long 50-yard rushing score. Jackson, with the Ravens up big, watched the final few drives from the bench.

Both of Jackson’s TD passes last week were to tight end Mark Andrews. Dating to the start of last season, he has an NFL-best 14 receiving TDs. He has tallied 4 this season, tying (four players) for the NFL’s second most, entering Week 5.

Jackson was held out of practice Wednesday and Thursday this week with a knee injury, only the third and fourth missed practices of his NFL career, but he will play. The team is simply being cautious. As noted above, Jackson and Burrow were both Class of 2015 recruits but not considered sure-fire stars. Burrow barely cracked the ESPN 300 ranking that year at No. 298 and Jackson didn’t make it at all.

Even though Jackson has been in the league for three years, he’s about a month younger than Burrow. The two have never met personally, much less in a game. Jackson is 3-0 vs. Cincinnati. In those games, these games, Jackson is 49-of-69 passing (71.0%) for 609 yards, 3 TDs and 1 INT (106.5 rating). He has also rushed for 336 yards and 2 TDs.

Since Jackson became Baltimore’s starter on 11/18/18 vs. Cincinnati, the Ravens have rushed for at least 200 yards in 15 games. This output triples the NFL’s next best figure. Two of Baltimore’s 200-yard games have come vs. the Bengals.

For the eighth time (2009-12, 2014, 2016 & 2018) in head coach John Harbaugh’s 13 seasons, the Ravens are off to a 3-1 start. Baltimore is 26-11 vs. the AFC North under Harbaugh.
Game Trends

    Underdogs are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games.
    Cincinnati is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games.
    The over is 4-1 in the last 5 games.
    The road team is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games.
    Cincinnati is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games in Baltimore.

Expert Prediction
Baltimore Ravens 33, Cincinnati Bengals 23.