Last week they took an L, but this week the Ravens bounce back. Yes, the Ravens won last week, and no, they didn’t cover. I made the fateful decision to double down on them 2H last week, and boy what a disappointing 0-2 that was.
But that’s the point here: The Ravens squeaked by a third-string quarterback last week and got smacked by the Browns the week before. I’m buying low. Why? Starting with the line itself, I love the movement. With the Ravens getting only 44 percent of the bets, this line has moved 2.5 points from 8 to 10.5, indicating the sharps are buying in. I love that. Going deeper, I do believe in this Ravens team. Big favorites have been covering way more this season than they have historically, which also eases my nerves in backing the double-digit home favorites.
Looking at the Bengals, this is a team desperately searching for an identity, one I don’t believe they’ll find in a hostile Baltimore environment. This Bengals team is poor all around: 28th in offensive efficiency and 31st in defensive efficiency. They’re battered and bruised (literally, their wide receivers are decimated), and the offensive line has been nothing more than a sieve. Juicy.
That brings us to the Ravens. As mentioned above, the public is not backing them. NFL betting in particular seems to be an exercise in overreactions, and I for one like to pounce on those opportunities.
Lamar Jackson has had some turnover trouble these past two weeks (five interceptions, two fumbles, no turnovers in their first three games), but this Cincinnati defense is 23rd in takeaways, which is not a particularly daunting stat.
The Ravens’ offense is currently fifth in offensive efficiency, and I expect them to exploit this Bengals’ defense at home. Defensively, they’re a lackluster 24th, but should still be able to match up well against Andy Dalton and company.
I’ll have some more picks and player props closer to game time; make sure you follow me on Twitter for the most up-to-date plays. Questions, comments, concerns? Holler at me there as well.