It’s always important to win in Week 1 in the NFL as teams that do so make the playoffs more than they don’t. But it’s even more vital when your Week 1 games is inside the division. That’s the case on Sunday when Baltimore visits Cincinnati. I might add, the NFL odds for this game are pretty strange but it makes sense. The Bengals are the betting favorites against the Ravens, due to the fact that we don’t know how well Joe Flacco will do this season.
Baltimore at Cincinnati NFL Odds & Betting Prediction for Week 1
When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ETWhere: Paul Brown StadiumTV: CBSRadio: 98Rock WIYY 97.9 FM (Baltimore) / WCKY-AM ESPN 1530 (Cincinnati)Stream Option: NFL LiveOpening NFL Odds: Bengals -3 (42.5)
Now it’s up to us to go do it. pic.twitter.com/k1iroBv1xx— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 5, 2017
- Clear: 20°C/68°F
- Humidity: 53%
- Precipitation: 0%
- Wind: 9 mph E
- Cloud Cover: 1%
- Type of Stadium: Open
Why Bet On Baltimore?Coach John Harbaugh said QB Joe Flacco is “ready to roll” for Week 1 against the Bengals. This has been the expectation all along, especially after Flacco returned to practice over the weekend. He missed all of camp and the preseason with a disk issue in his back. Flacco responded well to a full practice workload and doctors have said that his extended rest should mean he won’t have to deal with the injury throughout the season.But Flacco doesn’t know what to expect after he takes the first hit. Flacco still can’t pinpoint how he injured his back while at home before training camp. Doctors said it could have even been a previous injury from which he never felt any symptoms. Heading into his 10th season at 32 years old, Flacco has only missed six games over his career. They all came in 2015 after he tore his ACL. RB Danny Woodhead (hamstring) is practicing in full this week. The same went for WR Jeremy Maclin (hand) and WR Breshad Perriman (hamstring).
How Well Has Coach Harbaugh Done in Baltimore?In Harbaugh’s first five seasons combined, the Ravens produced the fifth-most rushing yards and reached the postseason each year. In the past four seasons combined, Baltimore has ranked No. 27 in rushing yards and has made the playoffs just once. The key for Baltimore is to reach 120 yards. In Harbaugh’s nine seasons, the Ravens are 49-11 (.817) when they reach that mark. That’s the fourth-best record over the span — it trails only New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers and Atlanta Falcons.Harbaugh plans to emphasize the run more this season. “I’m excited. We’re all excited. It’s a fresh start,” Ravens All-Pro guard Marshal Yanda said. “The word I think of is commitment. I think we’re going to be committed to it this year more than we ever have.”If last season is any gauge, there’s a chance for the ground game to get off to a solid start Sunday in Cincinnati. Although the Bengals have been a strong defensive team in recent years, they struggled against the run in 2016, finishing No. 21 in the league while yielding an average of 4.4 yards per carry
Why Bet On Cincinnati?Jeremy Hill is listed as the starting running back on the Bengals’ Week 1 depth chart. As was the case all summer. Old school coach Marvin Lewis is going to see this one through to the end, making second-rounder Joe Mixon “earn” starting duties away from Hill. It’s clear Hill will get the official Week 1 start, but Mixon could easily emerge as the Bengals’ most featured back against the Ravens.Tight end Tyler Eifert (knee) is practicing in full this week. Eifert has stayed relatively healthy all summer. He didn’t do much in the preseason with the Bengals taking it easy on him. The oft-injured tight end has missed almost half of his career opportunities against Baltimore. Eifert has caught a touchdown in each of his last two games against the Ravens; and was targeted 11 times last year, producing five receptions for 68 yards.
How Well Did the Bengals Do Last Season?Last season, Cincinnati had an average defensive unit that struggled to stop the run. The Bengals will be without Vontaze Burfict and Adam Jones (Pacman) for their first regular season game. Burfict has been suspended for three-games after a vicious hit on Anthony Sherman. Pacman is suspended for one-game for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. The Bengals may also be without Shawn Williams due to an elbow injury.The Bengals haven’t tipped their hand on how exactly they’ll replace Jones. Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said William Jackson III also will get in for a significant number of plays. Darqueze Dennard, the 24th overall pick in 2014, is listed as the starter. Dennard has made four starts during three injury-marred seasons.For whatever reason, Marvin Lewis has had the Ravens’ number. The all-time running total between the two AFC North foes is tied at 21 wins a piece. However, the Bengals have won six of the last seven games.
- Total Meetings: 42
- First Meeting: November 3rd, 1996. Memorial Stadium. Baltimore, Maryland
- Last Meeting: January 1st, 2017. Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati, Ohio
- All-Time Series: Tied 21-21-0
- Largest Margin of Victory: Cincinnati 37-0 (2000)
- Longest Win Streak: Baltimore 6 (1998-2000)
- Current Win Streak: Cincinnati 1 (2017)
Latest NFL Odds Trends
- Baltimore is 1-6 ATS in the last 7 games on the road
- Baltimore is 0-5 SU in the last 5 games on the road
- The total went OVER in 4 of Baltimore’s last 5 games
- Cincinnati is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 games
- Cincinnati is 6-10-2 ATS in the last 18 games
- The total went UNDER in 7 of Cincinnati’s last 8 games