Baltimore Ravens (5-2 SU, 4-2-1 ATS) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (3-2-1 SU, 3-3 ATS)
NFL Week 8
Date and Time: Sunday, October 26th, 1:00pm EST
Where: Paul Brown Stadium - Cincinnati, Ohio
by Bob, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: BAL +1/CIN -1
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This Sunday we have a great AFC battle when the Baltimore Ravens take on the Cincinnati Bengals. Both of these teams believe they are contenders to make it to the Super Bowl, but winning these division games are the foundation to get to the championship level. The Ravens come in at 5-2 overall, while the Bengals sit at 3-2-1. This is a big game for the division and a win or loss by either team could come back to help or haunt them in the later weeks.
Although the Ravens have the better record, the Bengals are favored by one point in this game. Cincy plays well in Paul Brown Stadium and like I’ve said many times before, home field in the NFL is huge. The total points in this game is set at 46. It appears Vegas is looking for a 24-21 type game…or so it seems that way.
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The Bengals came into this season as one of many experts favorites to win the NFC North and make a push for the AFC title. After a 3-0 start, things looked great for Cincy, but since week three, the wheels have sorta come off. AJ Green has been out with a toe injury, and the Bengals have lost two of their last three, and also drew a tie with the Carolina Panthers. This is a huge game against the Ravens…a loss here would put them behind the 8 ball, not only for the division crown, but for making the post season in general. The Bengals are currently ranked 16th in the NFL in both passing and rushing yards. The defense came into this season considered one of the AFC’s best, but through seven weeks, they are not looking good. Ranked just 27th against the pass and 30th against the run, the Bengals need to improve that defense, and fast! The key to this game is simple…. D UP. Joe Flacco and the Ravens have been on a tear, and if Cincy cannot stop them, they will drop yet another game.
The Baltimore Ravens missed the playoffs last season, after winning the Super Bowl the year prior. Well, the Ravens are back and are looking again like they are a true contender in the AFC. Baltimore has won two straight and now find themselves at 5-2 and in sole possession of the AFC North division lead. Baltimore is not used to being an offensive juggernaut, but this season so far, they are looking very impressive. They are ranked 9th in the NFL in passing yards, and 7th in rushing. Joe Flacco has already thrown for 1,854 and 14 touchdowns. The running game, many thought would suffer after Ray Rice was suspended. Well, they are even better this year with Justin Forsett leading the way. He has already amassed over 500 yards and three TDs on the ground. If Baltimore wants to win this road game, they are going to have to do just what they have been doing… play good football. Baltimore has excelled on both offense and defense so far, and if they can force Dalton and the Bengals to make some mistakes, I see them getting this win, and pulling even farther away in the AFC North race.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Like I said, this line is currently at a one point spread, with the Bengals favored at home. I have seen an Even pick’em in some books, but I really do not think that is going to matter. I love picking the home team in these games, but there is a little voice in my head telling me not to in this case. I have a strong feeling that Baltimore stays hot, comes into Paul Brown Stadium, and gets the road win. I like the Ravens to come away with a 27-17 win over the Bengals. PICK THE BALTIMORE RAVES +1