Bet Ravens ATS Over Bengals for Week 8 NFL Picks

Kevin Stott

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 9:09 PM GMT

The Ravens and Steve Smith Sr. head to the Queen City to face the Bengals and Andy Dalton in a critical AFC North battle on Sunday. So what’s the best bet here in Cincinnati in this promising Week 8 showdown?


Betting Odds - Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals (Sunday 17:00, (CBS, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT)
This point spread for this game was 3½ on the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook’s Early Line last week (released on Wednesdays) and 2½ when it was released as an opener for Week 8 and was then bet down to 1½ by Monday afternoon, so, the line movement can somewhat be attributed to a public reaction to the way the Bengals were handled by the Colts in Indianapolis on Sunday in Week 7 (Colts won 27-0). And, big respect to anyone who decided to take that 3½ points with the Ravens late last week as now you can pretty much do what you want with this game.

The Baltimore Ravens (5-2 SU, 4-2-1 ATS) seem like one of the under-the-radar teams in the NFL that can possibly sneak into the Super Bowl and this date with the Cincinnati Bengals (3-2-1 SU, 3-3 ATS) will be a true test for both teams, with another solid spanking the last thing this Cincinnati team needs for its collective psyche—especially here at Home at Paul Brown Stadium.

As mentioned, oddsmakers have made the host Bengals the favorites here and the moneyline NFL odds are Bengals -120, Ravens +100 (Paddy Power), and could be heading to a potential Pick or maybe even a Ravens being favored situation if money keeps coming in on the Underdogs (for now). The Total Points for the game is set at 46 (Pinnacle), although there are still 45½’s and 46½’s in the marketplace at this time early in the week. The Ravens Total Team Points is at 22½ (Stan James) while the host Bengals Total Team Points is at 23½. So, all the numbers point to a very close game with both teams scoring the the mid-20’s. But what’s supposed to happen because of the way the numbers are seldom is close to what really ends up happening on the football field.

 

Baltimore Ravens
It’s pretty obvious to see why the Ravens are in a position to be the likely Kings of the AFC North—should they win this game and go to 6-2—when you look at their NFL rankings in Passing (9th), Rushing (8th) and Against the Rush (7th) heading into this week of play. It’s obvious this team is balanced, well-coached and has solid special teams, but where Baltimore needs to be to get to the Super Bowl this season is to be a team that consistently wins on the Road (2-1 SU). And the Ravens will remember losing in Week 1 to these same Bengals at Home in Crab City (23-16), and will no doubt have revenge in their hearts as well as planted in their heads by head coach John Harbaugh (62-49-5 ATS).

Leading the offense for this team is QB and former Delaware Blue Hen Joe Flacco (156/245, 1,854 yards, 14 TDs), RBs Justin Forsett (82/502, 3 TDs) and Lorenzo Taliferro (44/199, 2 TDs) and the Fabulous Wide Receiving Smiths of Baltimore—Steve Smith Sr. (38/640, 4 TDs, 16.8 ypc) and Torrey Smith (18/303, 4 TDs). And signal-caller Flacco (31-25-3 ATS as Underdog) can always rely on TE Owen Daniels (6/58, TD Sunday in win over Falcons).

As far as the injury list for the Ravens, DT Christo Bilukidi (ankle), T Eugene Monroe (knee), G Kelechi Osemele (knee), WR Marlon Brown (pelvis) are all listed as Day-To-Day and Baltimore should be pretty healthy heading in although having injured players out now like TE Dennis Pitta (hip), NT Terrence Cody (hip) and CB Chris Canty (infection) available would be nice in game of such magnitude.

 

Cincinnati Bengals
QB Andy Dalton (121/189, 1,375 yards, 6 TDs) and the Bengals roared off to an impressive 3-0 start this 2014 NFL season, but, since then, Cincinnati has gone 0-2-1 and from a team potentially making a run at a Super Bowl appearance to now just a team hoping to make the playoffs, especially should they lose here at Home to the Ravens on Sunday afternoon. One player that has been impressive for the Bengals so far this season has been RB Giovani Bernard (93/401, 4 TDs, 4.3 ypc) and WR Mohamed Sanu (30/406, 3 TDs) has emerged as a nice target for Dalton (7-10-2 ATS vs Division) with star AJ Green (toe) on the mend.

Cincinnati comes into this game a little more banged up than Baltimore with CB Leon Hall (back), DT Brandon Thompson (knee), LBs Vontaze Burfict (neck) and Emmanuel Lamur (shoulder) all listed Day-To-Day as is the aforementioned star WR Green. Having Burfict and Lamur healthy for Sunday is pretty important with Rey Maualuga (hamstring) out indefinitely, but having playmaker Green in there against such a tough opponent in such a crucial situation may be the difference between the Bengals winning or losing this one, he is that good. The latest word is that Green had a positive meeting with the foot doctor and will be trying to be ready for this one, as head coach Marvin Lewis (89-90-8 ATS) would probably greatly appreciate.

 

Best Approaches
Most of the relevant recent trends point to taking host Cincinnati here but I’m not buying it. The Bengals are 4-1 ATS L5 and 7-3-1 ATS L11 against Baltimore at Home and Cincinnati is 11-1-1 SU L13 at Home, but if anyone can beat the Bengals here, it’s this Ravens team and in this (revenge) particular situation. And just look at the difference between the overall team statistics Rushing (BAL #7/CIN #16), Passing (#8/#16) and against the Rush (#24/#26) and the Pass (#7/#26) and it’s very obvious who the better football team is here. And toss in the fact that Flacco (16) has 10 more TD passes than Palmer (6) having played just 1 more game and that big weapon Green is a big question mark and one can see why the line has gone steadily down from the early line of Bengals -3½ (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) last week. And it’s only Monday.

Betting into the teeth of strong trends is not always advised, but when one team has revenge on its minds, is better all around statistically and can almost wrap up their division before Halloween with a Road win—the Ravens would be 6-2—then count me in on the so-called, yet mathematically real Underdog here in Cincinnati.


NFL picks: Ravens PK at 5Dimes

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