Cincy finds things rougher without key receivers.
The Baltimore Ravens might be able to count themselves lucky to come out of last week’s visit to Pittsburgh with a victory, as they scored a 26-23 overtime triumph. Meanwhile, the Cincinnati Bengals had a chance, it seemed, to grab a win against Arizona, but find themselves still looking to put one in the positive column for first-year coach Zac Taylor.
These teams meet at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore in a Sunday game beginning at 1 PM ET.
Ravens vs Bengal NFL Week 6 Wetting Odds from BetAnySports.eu
|Bengals||+10½ (-105)||48 (-113)||+400|
|Ravens||-10½ (-115)||48 (-108)||-525|
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Can Lamar Jackson do some business?
The Ravens looked positively awesome in their opener against the Miami Dolphins. But then, other teams have looked awesome against Miami as well. What we have seen is a defense that is nit as good as it originally looked, and a quarterback who is still learning.
Lamar Jackson has been pretty productive (65.5%, 11 TD’s, 7.8 yards per attempt). But there has been some inconsistency as well. He tossed three INT’s last week, as Baltimore could not put the hammer down on a Pittsburgh team that was ultimately down to its third quarterback.
He’s not necessarily a smooth NFL passer yet, though he will cause headaches for offenses with his legs. Indeed, he is on pace for close to 1000 yards on the ground.
It’s not so much that his receivers are banged up a little (even though they are). It’s that once you get past rookie wide receiver Marquise Brown and second-year tight end Mark Andrews, there’s a little less of a threat.
Where does Cincinnati get its offense from?
There are still some offensive issues with the Bengals, however. AJ Green has not been cleared to play yet. And John Ross, who had been forced out of the lineup with a shoulder injury, had been coming into his own (20.5 yards per catch!). So that naturally takes something away from what Cincy can do, and tight end Tyler Eifert hasn’t even cracked 100 total yards yet.
It could be that Cincinnati is left with trying to lead with the ground attack. We know that Joe Mixon is capable, and that the offensive line was supposed to have been vastly improved. But the Bengals are getting beaten by opposition defensive fronts, averaging just 3.3 yards per rush as a team.
In fact, this looks like a mismatch up front, as Cincy gives up five yards a carry while Baltimore tallies a robust 5.3. Of course, the sledding is more difficult when the Ravens have faced stiffer stop units, but there’s really no indication that the Bengals have anything in that neighborhood. In fact, they’ve been decidedly poor when it comes to tackling. And they haven’t done the job when it comes to dealing with setbacks coming out of the backfield to catch the ball. Maybe it’s fortunate for them that the Ravens haven’t done a heck of a lot of that.
Are these points worth taking?
Listen – we’re not going to make believe that the Bengals are some sleeping giant who are just waiting for the right time and opportunity to pounce. But the fact of the matter is that the Ravens have been overvalued by the oddsmaker, and they’ve turned the ball over six times in the last two games. Their weaknesses in the secondary were exposed by both Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges of Pittsburgh last week.
Another thing worth pointing out is that while Baltimore has had a better team than Cincinnati in recent years, the Bengals with Andy Dalton at quarterback have beaten the Ravens in eight of the last ten meetings, and John Harbaugh’s crew has NOT been a profitable venture at M&T Bank Stadium, as they’ve gone 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight games there. So these points might be worth taking with the visitor.
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