Ravens vs. Bengals Total Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, Cincinnati is favored at home in this game, as the Bengals are getting odds of -3 points against the Ravens. The over/under total for the contest is listed at 42.5 points. The road team has won the last three meetings in this series and they have hit the under in their last three meetings as well. Sunday’s game takes place from Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio and will air live on CBS.
The Ravens are always known for being a physical football team and this season shouldn’t be much different. Baltimore is coming off an 8-8 record in 2016 in which it misses the playoffs but still was one of the better defensive teams in the league and went 9-7 with the under. The Ravens gave up just 20 points per game, but the offense produced just 21.4 points per game. Joe Flacco has been battling a back injury in the offseason, but is expected to play on Sunday. He threw for 4,317 yards and 20 touchdowns last season to go with 15 interceptions. The team added Jeremy Maclin in the offseason in hopes to have another weapon in the pass game, but the run game needs to establish a steady source. Terrence West was the leading rusher in 2016, but Danny Woodhead joins the group after missing most of last year with an injury. He presents a pass-catching option out of the backfield.
The Cincinnati Bengals had a disappointing 2016 season that saw them go 6-9-1 overall with a 10-6 mark with the under. Like the Ravens, the Bengals were sound on defense, allowing only 19.6 points per game, but the offense put up just 20.3 per contest. Injuries played a role in the offensive struggles as A.J. Green missed six games while Tyler Eifert missed eight games. That didn’t help Andy Dalton, who threw just 18 touchdowns passes in 2016. Sunday, the unit appears healthy and they add Joe Mixon in the backfield. The rookie will compete with Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard for carries, but gives the Bengals another play-making option. On defense, Cincinnati will be without Vontaze Burfict, who is dealing with a three-game suspension for egregious hit. Adam Jones is also suspended for this game due to a violation of the NFL’s conduct policy.
The total isn’t terribly high for this game, but I still see it being another defensive struggle between these two. They have hit the under in their last three meetings for a reason. Both pride themselves on being tough and nasty on the front lines. Baltimore doesn’t have a lot of chemistry with Flacco not being healthy in the preseason. While Cincinnati has a strong offensive unit for a change, the Bengals still are likely to struggle against this Baltimore defense. The Bengals are 20-8 with the under in their last 28 division games and the Ravens are 13-6 with the under in their last 19 openers. Stick with the trends.
NFL WEEK 1 PREDICTION: RAVENS/BENGALS UNDER 42.5