Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens Preview and Pick

NFL Football Betting Preview
Cincinnati Bengals (3-1) at Baltimore Ravens (3-1)
Sunday October 11th, 1:00PM Eastern betting line – Baltimore -8 ½, 42 O/U

The Baltimore Ravens jumped out to an impressive start but fell short last week to New England to prove they were among the best teams in the AFC. However, the close defeat proves that the Ravens are going to be a force this year and possibly an AFC Contender. The Ravens now have to turn their focus back to the AFC North where they will host a Cincinnati team that is starting to surprise a few people. The Bengals are 3-1 on the season including wins over Green Bay and Pittsburgh. The Bengals lone defeat this season was from the hands of an unbeaten Broncos team. Due to the surprising start, Cincinnati will get the chance to take control of the AFC North if they can take down the Ravens as both teams are tied for first in the division at 3-1.

Who would have thought after 5 weeks of the season that Cincinnati could be leading in the AFC North? The answer to that is likely nobody. However, the Bengals have been rather impressive despite putting up any daunting numbers. In every Cincinnati game this season the outcome has been decided by one score. The Bengals just seem to have things falling their way and are coming off a tough overtime win over Cleveland last week 23-20. The Bengals defense has kept offenses at bay this season holding opponents to just 19 points per game. The defense has also kept plenty of pressure on quarterbacks racking up 12 sacks thus far this season. The defense will need to get some pressure on Ravens QB Joe Flacco this Saturday in help slow down their emerging passing game.

On the offensive side of the ball, QB Carson Palmer owns one of the lowest ratings in the NFL at 75.2 due to the 5 picks thrown this season. Running back Cedric Benson has contributed the most offensive production tied for 4th in rushing yards at 367 on the season. Benson has been the most consistent chain mover on offense due to Palmers slow start. However, Palmer has had his bright moments hooking up with Chad Ochocinco on a couple of scores this season. Ochocinco caught two big touchdowns to help the Bengals get off to a strong early start last week against the Browns. Ochocinco will likely have to make some more plays this weekend and help post some additional touchdowns to keep pace with a Ravens offense that is starting to blossom.

Baltimore continues to show their faith for quarterback Joe Flacco. Flacco has attempted the 3rd most passes in the NFL this season. This is coming from a team that kept the ball on the ground about 70% of the time just a season ago. However, Flacco has not disappointed racking up 1,103 yards and a NFL 3rd best 8 touchdowns on the season. Flacco attempted a career high 47 passing attempts in last week’s loss to the Patriots as the Ravens offense had to play from behind after trailing 17-7 at the half. However, the offense rallied back making it a close game before the final whistle sounded.

WR Derrick had another solid performance. After putting up 118 yards against Cleveland, Mason caught 7 more passes for 88 yards and a score. Mason appears to be returning to a dangerous threat for the Ravens as he was a season ago. The offense on the other hand remains a solid rushing team averaging 145 yards per game. Ray Rice and Willis McGahee have shared carries while being equally effective. McGahee has posted 5 scores on the season while Rice leads the team with 295 yards. If the running backs keep the chains moving it will help the Ravens control the game considering how strong the Baltimore defense is continuing to play.

Pick – Both offenses find ways to score and the over 42 looks like a solid option

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