Thursday Night Football Predictions: Cincinnati Bengals vs Baltimore Ravens
Finally, we get a must-see matchup on Thursday Night Football this week when the Cincinnati Bengals fly up to Baltimore to play the division-rival Ravens.
Last week, we had the Bears and the Panthers, which was atrocious. That game is thankfully behind us, though. And looking ahead to the second half of the NFL regular season, we have premier matchups almost every week.
It appears that both the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals were looking ahead to this game, because they will both be coming off of a loss going into this Week 11 AFC North showdown.
The Ravens remain in first place in the division with a record of 7-3, and somehow, the Bengals are in last place at 5-4. That does appear to be the best division in football. However, what separates Cincy from the rest of them?
Their defense is porous. It has pores. That’s what that means, right? Like the Pittsburgh Steelers, but not to that extent, the Bengals’ D is better on the field than on paper. How much better can you be, though?
They rank 30th in yards per pass allowed and 31st in yards per rush allowed. Joe Burrow had a slow start to the year, being hampered by his bad ankle, but good luck winning in the playoffs with a defense ranked at the bottom of the league.
The Baltimore Ravens D, conversely, ranks #1 overall in yards per play allowed.
Baltimore is the betting favorite this week, as you might imagine, playing at home, but the betting line isn't too crazy.
Doc’s Sports offers NFL expert picks for every game on our NFL predictions page.
Bengals vs Ravens Betting Odds
You wanted that line to be the Baltimore Ravens (-2.5). It was, but only for about 2.5 seconds. The Ravens are the better team, and home-field advantage usually means about 3 points. So, a play on them there was a no-brainer.
We obviously want to be on the right side of the key number of 3. I don't like the (-3.5), but it has already gone up to 4 in some sportsbooks. I wouldn't be surprised to see it up at 4.5 or 5 by kickoff.
This is where you want to be if you don’t like being on the ugly end of 3 points. If you like the Bengals, though, definitely take the points.
Over 46: -110
Under 46: -110
Primetime unders have been hitting at a 75% clip so far this season. However, it looks like NFL offenses might finally be gaining some traction.
We expected low scores for maybe the first month but not for 10 weeks. The Ravens and Browns put up 64 on Sunday, though. That is why you bet against the narrative to get value.
The narrative on Thursday night is that these two offenses will sputter with a final score of about 23-20.
Bengals vs Ravens Betting Analysis
These teams played each other in Week 2, with the Ravens winning 27-24 in Cincinnati. Baltimore established the run (178 yards), and thus, Lamar Jackson had a very efficient game.
A friend told me to throw the Bengals into my teaser for this past Sunday. I don't have faith in them stopping the run, though. So, I left them off. They gave up 188 on the ground to the Texans.
You're putting yourself in a position to lose. The defense can't stop the run, and the offense can't run. Joe Burrow should seriously win the MVP, even if his team misses the playoffs. He is doing the most with the least amount of help.
The Bengals rank dead last in the NFL, not only in rushing yards but also in rushing attempts. They are 5-4 and don't have the excuse that they were trailing a lot in games.
The play calling is screwy, and Burrow has no help. Put that dude on ANY team in the NFL, minus maybe the Chiefs, and watch their odds of winning the Super Bowl get better.
Bengals vs Ravens Betting Prediction
They ran the ball for 66 yards against Baltimore this year and put up another 66 against the Texans on Sunday. I had higher hopes for the Bengals this year, but you need to be able to run and stop the run to be elite in the NFL.
The Bengals can do neither.
Pick: Ravens (-3.5)
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