Free NFL Picks on AFC Showdown Between Bengals vs. Ravens

Steven Suarez

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 2:10 PM UTC

Tuesday, Sep. 2, 2014 2:10 PM UTC

These two division rivals know each other well. There's no love lost between the Ravens and Bengals, but one team will emerge victorious in Week 1 of our NFL Picks and put themselves in a great position in the early part of the season. Who will it be?

* * U P D A T E * *
Well, the lines have continued to move, as the spread is now down to a pick'em at most sportsbooks. Apparently people are liking the available value on Cincinnati, which has driven the odds down.

Now it's just down to who's going to win this game straight up.

There are cases for both teams here. The Ravens are at home, and still have talent to turn to even with Ray Rice out due to suspension. Baltimore has an experienced quarterback in Joe Flacco leading the way, and a few nice receiving options in Torrey Smith, Steve Smith and Dennis Pitta.

But Cincinnati has weapons too, namely the trio of Andy Dalton, A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard. The Bengals have also got some big-time playmakers on the defensive side of the ball.

Nonetheless, we think the value comes with Baltimore in this spot. We shouldn't under-estimate home-field advantage, so we look for Flacco and company to get the win.

NFL Picks: Ravens PK at 5Dimes


The NFL betting lines tend to always be close when Baltimore and Cincinnati meet up, and it's no different for Sunday.

The Ravens are at home and therefore have been pinned as the favorites, albeit not by much. Though they opened as 2.5-point favorites, that line has already been bet down to as low as one point at certain sportsbooks. If you act fast, you can even find a PK at 5Dimes, that is if you like Baltimore to get the job done.

Meanwhile, the O/U for Sunday is at 43 points and seems to be holding steady.

Baltimore in 2013-14 Regular Season: 8-8 SU, 7-9 ATS, -2.0 margin of victory

Cincinnati in 2013-14 Regular Season: 11-5 SU, 10-5-1 ATS, +7.8 margin of victory

There have been a few changes here and there for the Ravens ahead of the 2014-15 season.

Joe Flacco remains the starting quarterback and Torrey Smith is the number one receiver, but Ray Rice is suspended, leaving Bernard Pierce as the top running back to begin the season. Baltimore was also able to bring speedy Steve Smith on board, who will be the number two wideout.

The Bengals just gave Andy Dalton a raise, and it's going to be interesting to see if he lives up to his new contract. It's a good thing he's got an insanely talented target in A.J. Green to rely on. Cincinnati also figures to lean heavily on Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill out of the backfield, especially now that BenJarvus Green-Ellis has been released.

Defensively, both teams are tough-nosed and don't like to give up points, so there's reason to believe a total play could offer value. We'll have a better inclination of where to go with our NFL picks soon.

Check back with us later in the week for more updates on this AFC North showdown in Baltimore. Will the NFL odds continue to move all the way through Sunday?

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