Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals Betting Preview – NFL, Week 17, 2020

By Dean McHugh in NFL
| December 29, 2020 10:02 am PDT

The Ravens have sealed a playoff spot and will be looking to make a statement against eliminated Cincinnati, who themselves are looking to finish the season strong and make it three wins in a row.

Baltimore has won four of their last five games and clinched a playoff spot with a comfortable win over the Giants last time out. They started that game very well, taking a 14 point lead into the second quarter, and never looked back.

The Bengals are finishing the season well, having won their last two in a row, which is the first time that has happened this season.

The Ravens have won the last four in a row against the Bengals, but they haven’t had it all their own way at the Paul Brown Stadium, having only won two of the last five games there.

Ravens vs. Bengals Odds

Ravens -11.5-110
Bengals +11.5-110
Ravens To Win-700
Bengals To Win+520
Over 44.5 Points-110
Under 44.5 Points-110

The bookmakers are predicting a low scoring one-sided game here, which is understandable looking at the season as a whole. However, the Bengals have looked decent in the last two weeks, especially in their win against the Steelers, so they could possibly win this with such a big start.

Ravens Analysis

Following a run of three straight defeats, the Ravens have finished the season strong, winning their last four in a row. However, three of those wins came against teams that have failed to make the playoffs, so I wouldn’t get too carried away by their form.

They have generally been good away from home, having won five of their seven fixtures on the road. However, those two defeats came in the last three away trips, which is a slight concern.

Against the spread, they have been near perfect, having won their last five in a row. On the road, they have won nine of their last 12 but against the Bengals, that all changes as they have lost four of the last six against the spread. They have also only won five of the last 15 in Cincinnati against the spread, so they won’t welcome covering such a large spread here.

Their games have been entertaining lately as four of the last six have seen over the betting total achieved, but on the road, that drops considerably to two of the last six going over the betting total.

The Ravens are a team that likes to run the ball, and they are the best in the league at it, averaging just under 180 rushing yards per game, which has resulted in an impressive return of 28 points per game on average. They are the only team in the league to post more rushing yards per week than passing yards, as they have the second-lowest amount of passing yards in the NFL this year.

Defensively they are very good, too, averaging just 20 points per game against them, which is the fourth-best in the league. They have forced by far the most fumbles of any other team with eight more fumbles than the team with the second-highest amount, which is the Browns.

Bengals Analysis

The Bengals, too, are bouncing back from a poor run just like the Ravens are. After losing five in a row, they stunned the Steelers with a superb 27-17 win, and they showed that was no fluke with a win next time out against the Texans.

They have definitely been better at home this year, having picked up three of their four wins on home soil. Their last two wins at home have been mightily impressive, beating both the Steelers and Titans comfortably, so it seems they rise to the challenge of facing the big boys at home.

Their games have been contrasting, comparing over and under the betting total when home and away as four of their last six games have seen under the total, but at home, only two of the last six have gone under the betting total.

They have been good at home against the spread, having won five of their last six, which supports the fact that they have been better at home this season.

Looking at their stats, there are little positives to draw off of as they need to improve all over the field. They are only averaging 20 points scored per game and are conceding an average of 25.

However, they do have the joint second highest number of sacks made this year, which is presumably down to the fact that they spend so much time without the ball!

Ravens vs. Bengals Pick

Pick
  • Bengals +11.5
    -110

Although the Bengals have had some very poor performances this year, they have only once lost by a margin bigger than 11 at home, which is why I am going to take them with the handicap.

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