Cincinnati Bengals (6-9 SU, 8-7 ATS) vs. Baltimore Ravens (9-6 SU, 8-6-1 ATS)
NFL Week 17
Date/Time: Sunday, December 31st, 2017 4:25 PM EST
Where: M&T Bank Stadium Baltimore, MD
by Keith, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: CIN +10 / BAL -10 (EVENS)
Rivalry games curate the unexpected, especially when it comes to a feud with the confines of the AFC North. The AFC North is known as one of the most brutal and rugged divisions in the league and the Bengals and Ravens acrimony for one another typifies this. Playoff implications are on the line for the Ravens here as they will host the season finale between the two teams on New Years Eve at 4:25 PM ET. The contest will be broadcasted live on CBS from M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. The two teams met earlier this season to kick off their respective campaigns and it would be all Baltimore as they shut out Cincinnati in their own stadium 20-0 on September 10th. Rivalry-wise, this series has been well balanced as each team has won two of the previous four collisions. Typically, home field has significance as the home team was 4-1 SU in the last five meetings previous to Baltimore upsetting the apple cart in September with their dominant performance in Cincinnati.
Out of the gate we have seen the public gravitate toward the Bengals, likely as a reaction to what Cincinnati pulled off last week at home against another playoff-vying team, the Detroit Lions. Despite Cincinnati having their own woes, they upset the team from MoTown at home and smashed their playoff dreams whilst doing so. The final in the contest was 26-17 with Cincinnati closing as a 3.5-point dog. The outcome in itself is bound to cultivate an enormous overreaction for Cincys follow-up. So far, it seems the prospect of this narrative unfolding is quite feasible.
The analytics reveal that 56% of the cash is on the Bengals whilst 75% of the tickets are with the Ravens. We have seen the line trend upward by a half of a point in favor of the Ravens but the discussion in the forums is the amount of points the Bengals have been given. The offering has been called very enticing. It is also worth noting that the Ravens are currently offered at evens with the allotment they are spotting. In Over/Under markets, we have seen the number fall by half of a point to reflect action on the Under. Nevertheless, 70% of the cash is on the Under whilst 62% of the tickets are on the Over.
The Ravens come in off their fifth victory in six games and once again the defense was a chief contributor to success. However, it was the offense that was implemented to seal the victory. Baltimore had to work for their most recent win at home against the lowly Indianapolis Colts. Despite closing as a 13.5-point choice at home, Baltimore won by just a touchdown in a 23-16 final. However, Indianapolis played with Baltimore every step of the way and was by no means an easy out. The Colts even managed to lead at one point in the game before Baltimore would do what it needed to do to get to the front. Then Baltimore would use the clock to seal the win as they held football for 11:36 more than their counterparts.
The playoff clinching scenario for Baltimore is very straight forward in this one. Win and they are in, as the fifth seed. If Baltimore loses their fate rests out of their hands. The Ravens can still get in the backdoor as a sixth seed but they can also be eliminated outright. Here are the details of that scenario, if Baltimore were to lose. If Buffalo and Tennessee win, Baltimore is out. If Buffalo or Tennessee lose, the loss is irrelevant Baltimore remains a sixth seed. However, it wont come down to that because Baltimore will have down their homework before hand to make sure they win this game convincingly. Whilst Cincinnati is certainly looking to play spoiler yet again this week, the Ravens will get all over them early and cause Marvin Lewis to pull the starters and throw up the white flag. Given the fact we can grab the Ravens minus the vig in this spot currently, we will go ahead and swallow the points.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: BALTIMORE -10 (EVENS) - Not all sportsbooks are created equal! Many are fly by night, poorly run and your loot is actually at risk. End that problem today by signing up at one of the web’s oldest and most trusted sportsbooks! Online for over 15 years, your credit card will work and you’ll also receive a 50% bonus up to $250 FREE at Bovada Sportsbook!