Bengals vs. Ravens NFL Picks: Play 'Under' in Week 3's AFC North Battle

Steven Suarez

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 11:49 AM GMT

The Bengals have jumped out to a 2-0 start this season, while division rival Baltimore has lost each of its first games. Who should we be favoring with our NFL picks in Week 3?

Odds Overview
The NFL odds for Week 3 have been out for quite some time, and we've already seen some pretty big movement in this line. 

As of time of writing, Baltimore had grown from a 1.5-point favorite up to a 2.5-point favorite at some sportsbooks. Some sites even have an even number of three available, for those thinking the underdogs may be the best route to take. This should be a battle from kickoff to the final whistle, with oddsmakers listing a total of 44.5 points on the board for now.

 

Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens have lost their first two games by a combined 11 points, and now they find themselves in a pretty big hole they need to climb out of if they want to make a run at the playoffs. They're in one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL and nothing's going to come easy, so they need to start winning games sooner rather than later.

Last week was especially brutal for Baltimore, considering they were such heavy favorites on the road against Oakland. The Ravens defense was atrocious against Derek Carr and company, however, with the loss of Terrell Suggs really proving to be tough to overcome, at least in the early goings of the season.

Whenever you allow 351 passing yards and three touchdowns, to a second-year QB no less, you know it's been a struggle for a defense. It didn't matter that Baltimore was able to find success offensively - Joe Flacco neared 400 passing yards and the offense put up 33 points in total - as the defense completely let the team down. Will the Ravens make up for that letdown back at home

 

Cincinnati Bengals
So far so good for the Bengals, who have beaten Oakland handidly on the road (33-13) before surviving a tough test at home in a 24-19 victory over San Diego.

Against the Chargers, it was a strong defensive effort that acted as the buoy for Cincinnati, and Andy Dalton's efficient leading of the offense didn't hurt either. Dalton was 16-of-26 for 214 yards and three touchdowns, with Tyler Eifert, Marvin Jones and A.J. Green all getting in on the scoring action. Meanwhile, Giovani Bernard got a majority of the carries after Jeremy Hill fumbled twice and promptly ran for over 120 yards.

Things should get even tougher for the Bengals in Week 3 back out on the road against what will be a pissed off, motivated Baltimore team. It remains to be seen if Hill has lost his hold of the starting job, but you'd think he be given another opportunity considering his talent level. 

 

NFL Pick
These divisional battles are often difficult to predict, and that seems to be even truer when it comes to showdowns between Baltimore and Cincinnati. There's certainly no love lost between these two teams, and both play a physical brand of football that few others in the NFL can match.

That's part of the reason why we think the UNDER may be the best route to take with our NFL picks. We believe points are going to be hard to come by, regardless of how poor Baltimore looked defensively last week; this seems like a great spot for the Ravens defense to show up with pride and bounce back, at home against a mistake-prone Dalton.

On the other side, we've been very impressed with Cincinnati's defensive efforts so far, and we think they'll be in for a good showing too. So, let's add the UNDER to our collection of sports picks for what should be a great Week 3 of action.

Pick: Under 44.5

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