Point spread: Baltimore -7
The Cincinnati Bengals square-off against the Baltimore Ravens this Sunday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium in a crucial AFC North showdown with both teams currently trailing the Steelers in the division. The kick-off for this tilt is slated for 1 p.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast nationally on CBS.
Cincinnati may have lost the battle, but it remains very much in the war after losing to Pittsburgh 24-17 last Sunday as a 3.5-point home underdog. The loss dropped it to 6-3 straight-up (7-2 against the spread) and a half game in back of the 7-3 Steelers in the division. The total went ‘over’ the 40.5-point line and has now gone ‘over’ in seven of its nine games this year.
The Bengals continue to be one of the most surprising teams this season behind rookie quarterback Andy Dalton, but the real secret to their success has been a defense that is ranked fifth in the NFL in points allowed; giving-up an average of just 18.2 a game.
Just when you think it is Baltimore’s turn to take control of the AFC, it has a bad habit of playing bad in games it is supposed to win. Last Sunday the Ravens were embarrassed by Seattle 22-17 as seven-point road favorites. They are now tied with Cincinnati at 6-3 SU and are 5-4 ATS. The total has gone ‘over’ in seven of their nine games this season.
Baltimore’s offense is ranked ninth in scoring with an average of 25 points a game, but its success is also tied into a defense that is still one of the best in the NFL across the board by ranking in the top 10 in just about every major category.
The Bengals are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games as underdogs and 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games overall. The total has gone ‘over’ in four of their last five games on the road.
The Ravens are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games as a favorite of 3.5 points or more. The total has gone ‘over’ in their last six games following a SU loss.
Head-to-head in this series, Cincinnati is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings and 5-2 ATS in their last seven trips to Baltimore. The total has stayed ‘under’ in the last four meetings. Stick with Baltimore to buck these trends with a convincing win that covers the seven points.
The Free NFL Pick: Baltimore 24 Cincinnati 14
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