One of the biggest mismatches on paper for Week 17 of the NFL regular season is an AFC North matchup between a bad Cincinnati team playing out the string and a Baltimore Ravens squad that will be a wild-card team with a victory – and MyBookie clearly expects one as the NFL lines indicate a Ravens victory.
Bengals at Ravens Week 17 NFL Lines & Game Info
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) December 27, 2017
When: Sunday, 4:25 PM ET
Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore
Radio: 1530 AM (Cincinnati) / WBAL 1090AM (Baltimore)
Stream Option: NFL Live
Opening NFL Lines: Ravens -10 (40.5)
- Partly Cloudy: -3°C/27°F
- Humidity: 42%
- Precipitation: 19%
- Wind: 13 mph WNW
- Cloud Cover: 59%
- Type of Stadium: Open
In Week 1, we somewhat got a glimpse of how bad the Bengals were going to be this season and how good Baltimore’s defense could be in a 20-0 Ravens win. Baltimore’s rebuilt defense picked off Andy Dalton four times and forced him to fumble once. The Ravens ended a five-game losing streak in Cincinnati by pressuring Dalton into matching his career high for interceptions, three of them in the first half. The Ravens got a pair of touchdowns 24 seconds apart late in the half to take control.
Dalton has had nine three-interception games during his career, four of them against Baltimore. His only other four-interception game also was against the Ravens in the 2013. It was the first time Cincinnati was shut out in an opener since 1979. Joe Flacco was just 9 of 17 for 121 yards with an interception.
Why Bet on Cincinnati’s NFL Lines?
About the only reason I can come up with would that the Bengals can throw caution to the wind with nothing to play for and the fact it’s also likely the final game as Bengals coach for Marvin Lewis. Cincinnati does come off its beat game in weeks, snapping a three-game losing streak to beat the Lions. Giovani Bernard ran for 116 yards and a clinching touchdown in the closing minutes. The upset eliminated Detroit from playoff contention.
Lewis gave every indication in his weekly Wednesday news conference this week that he has yet to talk about his future Bengals president Mike Brown. But left end Carlos Dunlap agreed it feels like an era is ending.
“With everyone going on, all the pub going on, yeah. We’ll see. Come the new year it could be a new year,” Dunlap said. “He’s been a great mentor. I would love to see him come back. The decision is his to make. Whatever happens is going to happen.”
It would be fitting if Lewis’ final game is in Baltimore as it was there where Lewis burst on the scene at the turn of the century as one of the NFL’s bright young defensive minds and when he led the Ravens to one of the NFL’s greatest season of defense in 2000 as the team’s D-coordinator and became one of the league’s hottest head coaching candidates.
LB Vontaze Burfict (shoulder), CB William Jackson (knee), RB Joe Mixon (ankle) and OT Cedric Ogbuehi (shoulder) are all in question for this one. Of the 39 quarterbacks with 30-plus attempts since Week 13, Dalton ranks only 28th in passer rating. The Ravens have allowed the second-lowest passer rating in the league this season.
Why Bet on Baltimore’s NFL Lines?
Baltimore controls its playoff destiny and took the first step to the postseason with a 23-16 victory over the Indianapolis Colts last weekend at home. Baltimore entered their bye week 4-5 and the playoffs appeared to be a pipe dream. In their last six games, the Ravens have gone 5-1.
The Ravens clinch a wild-card spot with a victory and would visit AFC West champion Kansas City in the wild-card round. If the Ravens are upset, they still have two paths into a wild-card spot. Baltimore would be in if the Miami Dolphins beat or tie the Buffalo Bills or the Titans lose to or tie the Jaguars. The Ravens can’t get in if they lose while both the Bills and Titans win (Baltimore would lose the 9-7 tiebreaker).
Should Baltimore get into the playoffs with a loss and via a Bills loss to the Dolphins, the Ravens would be the sixth seed — assuming the Titans also defeat the Jaguars on Sunday. As the sixth seed, the Ravens would get a rematch against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who beat them 44-7 earlier this year in London.
To get to the playoffs for the first time since 2014, all the Ravens have to do is beat a Bengals team that has dominated them over the past couple years – except for Week 1. The Ravens aren’t great at covering large spreads. In their past 15 games, they’ve gone 14-1 straight-up, but just 7-8 ATS. The Ravens are 9-2 ATS against divisional opponents since the beginning of the 2016 season, which is tied for the best mark in the NFL.
Alex Collins has now started 11 games and a big performance Sunday could get him to 1,000 yards. He is averaging 4.7 yards per rush and has 895 yards on 192 carries. He has topped the century mark twice. Collins has been a huge surprise but also has fumbled twice in the past three games — the Ravens recovered both — and has averaged 1.6 and 2.8 yards per carry over the past two contests, respectively.
With WR Jeremy Maclin’s uncertain status, the Ravens are down to Mike Wallace and four other unproven receivers: Breshad Perriman, Chris Moore, Michael Campanaro and Quincy Adeboyejo. Outside of Wallace, none of the other receivers have more than 20 receptions this season. Maclin is unlikely for this week.
Latest NFL Lines Trends
- Cincinnati is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games
- Cincinnati is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games on the road
- The total has gone UNDER in 12 of Cincinnati’s last 18 games on the road
- Baltimore is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
- Baltimore is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Baltimore’s last 10 games when playing at home against Cincinnati
Expert Prediction & NFL Week 17 Pick
Buy this number down to 9.5 and take Baltimore. It wins by 10 to earn the AFC’s fifth seed.