Bengals at Ravens Pick
It’ll be an AFC North showdown at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday when the Baltimore Ravens host the Cincinnati Bengals at 1:00PM ET.
The Bengals failed to cover the spread as a 6.5-point favorite over the Browns in Week 4, but improved to 3-1 on the season thanks to Shayne Graham’s 31-yard field goal.
Baltimore suffered its first loss of the season in a 27-21 defeat at the hands of the Patriots in Week 4. Joe Flacco threw for 264 yards on 27-of-47 passing with two touchdown passes, but the Ravens failed to cover as 2-point road underdogs.
Oddsmakers from online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com have made the Ravens 8.5-point favorites over the Bengals in Week 5. The over/under total for this game has been set at 42.
This is going to be a great test for the Bengals to see where they’re at. Are they legitimate playoff contenders or are they pretenders earlier in the season? A win on the road against a Ravens team coming off a loss would be a telltale sign that Cincinnati is for real.
But can the Bengals slow down Flacco and the Ravens’ potent offensive attack? Baltimore’s receivers struggled last week to hang onto balls inside the red zone, but the Ravens offense still moved the ball at will against the Patriots.
That said, the Bengals have an underrated defense and a solid group of corners. If they can slow down Ray Rice and Baltimore’s ground game, Cincinnati is going to set itself up with a chance to win in the fourth quarter.
While we don’t think the Bengals will come up with a huge road win this weekend, we do believe Carson Palmer will give them a shot to keep things close. Divisional games usually go down to the wire and the Bengals are playing too well right now not to at least stay within a touchdown.
We like Cincy to cover in a low-scoring affair.
Our NFL Week 5 Free Pick for this matchup is: CINCINNATI BENGALS +8.5 and UNDER 42.
413 Cincinnati Bengals +8.5 Over 42
414 Baltimore Ravens –8.5 Under 42
Cincinnati is 4-14 ATS in its last 18 games when playing on the road against Baltimore
Cincinnati is 4-14 SU in its last 18 games when playing on the road against Baltimore
Baltimore is 7-2 ATS in its last 9 games
Baltimore is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games
Andre Smith, T, Out Week 5 (foot)
Cedric Benson, RB, Missed Thursday Practice (hip)
Rashad Jeanty, LB, Missed Thursday Practice (finger)
Kyries Hebert, S, Limited Thursday Practice (hip)
Tank Johnson, DT, Limited Thursday Practice (foot)
Rey Maualuga, LB, Limited Thursday Practice (knee)
Chinedum Ndukwe, S, Limited Thursday Practice (hamstring)
Domata Peko, DT, Limited Thursday Practice (chest)
David Jones, CB, Full Thursday Practice (foot)
Roy Williams, S, Full Thursday Practice (forearm)
Samari Rolle, CB, P-U-P List
Jared Gaither, T, Missed Thursday Practice (neck)
Demetrius Williams, WR, Missed Thursday Practice (illness)
Chris Carr, CB, Limited Thursday Practice (groin)
Jarret Johnson, LB, Limited Thursday Practice (shoulder)
Derrick Mason, WR, Limited Thursday Practice (neck)
Tavares Gooden, LB, Full Thursday Practice (shoulder)
Haloti Ngata, DT, Full Thursday Practice (back)
Ed Reed, S, Full Thursday Practice (knee)
Posted: 10/11/09 8:30AM ET