Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals Free Pick - Betting Odds - ATS Prediction
Baltimore finished 8-8 in 2016 and missed the playoffs for the third time in the past 4 years. Cincinnati ended the year with a 6-9-1 record and missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2010 season.
The Ravens are hoping QB Joe Flacco will be ready for this game as he has dealt with a back issue all during training camp. Never the most mobile of QBs, Flacco will be hard-pressed to buy time with his legs to throw the deep balls he is so famous for. The o-line has had to make several adjustments as injuries have depleted this unit as well as several other position groups. The Bengals have accomplished pass rushers in DT Geno Atkins and DE Carlos Dunlap and I expect them to make plays in the backfield or cause enough havoc so that their teammates can take advantage of opportunities. WR Jeremy Maclin is the new No.1 receiver but has zero game action with Flacco. WR Mike Wallace still possesses deep speed but he was handled by this defense last year (7-90 in 2 games). Baltimore averaged a mere 91.4 ypg on the ground last season and not much has changed with their personnel. RB Kenneth Dixon is on IR for the year and FA RB Danny Woodhead is also dealing with injuries. That leaves the uninspiring RB Terrance West to keep the defense honest and I don’t think the Ravens’ run game will be a factor this week.
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Cincinnati hopes good health will see their offense return to previous heights as both WR A.J. Green and TE Tyler Eifert are good to go this week. Rookie WR John Ross is the ultimate burner but his limited route tree means he’ll see limited action. There are 3 capable running backs at the Bengals’ disposal and look for rookie RB Joe Mixon to get the call with his bruising running style against one of the better run defenses in the league. QB Andy Dalton will be playing behind a reshuffled o-line minus 3 of last year’s starters. I believe this unit is the key to the team’s fortunes in 2017 and while they will have trouble consistently creating running lanes this week, I believe their pass blocking will hold up. Baltimore tallied only 31 sacks in 2016 and no one on the current roster had more than 4, save for OLB Terrell Suggs (8). Dalton is capable of nickel and diming the offense down the field and Green is usually very good in this matchup (5-straight games with a TD, 130+ receiving yards in 3 of the 5).
Public Money Consensus
In this week 1 matchup between Baltimore and Cincinnati have the public leaning strongly to the Bengals minus the 3 points with over over 64%. The over/under bettors are thinking this game will definitively stay under the posted total line of 42.5 with 63% on board.
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals Week 1 NFL Prediction
The Ravens have lost 9 players to retirement or season-ending injuries since June 1st and most of those players were starters. The Bengals have issues with their o-line and a few suspensions on defense but I think the key to this game is the Cincinnati’s defense ability to contain what appears to be a very weak offense at the start of the season. Dalton will get hit but he’ll also make enough plays to get the Bengals into scoring position. Cincinnati is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 matchups with Baltimore and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 as the host.
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