Bengals vs Ravens Odds, Pick, Prediction | NFL Week 18 Betting Preview

Bengals vs Ravens Odds, Pick, Prediction | NFL Week 18 Betting Preview article feature image

Kirk Irwin/Getty Images. Pictured: Joe Burrow.

  • The Bengals are laying 10 points to the Ravens in Week 18.
  • Cincinnati has been red hot and can ensure home-field in the first round, potentially against the Ravens.
  • Ricky Henne breaks down the matchup and makes his Bengals vs. Ravens pick below.

The entire country was shaken when Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest on the field at Paycor Stadium during Monday Night Football. Thankfully, Hamlin’s on the road to recovery, which is most important.

The NFL rightfully cancelled the BillsBengals game, which in turn handed Cincinnati the AFC North crown. However, the decision also created an unprecedented situation when the Bengals host the Ravens on Sunday.

Now, let's look at the Bengals vs. Ravens odds.

Stick with me here as this is certainly confusing, but worth knowing ahead of kickoff. Even though the Bengals are division champs, a win by the Ravens would make them 2-0 over Cincinnati. A Chargers victory over the Broncos would then mean the Ravens and Bengals square off next week in the Wild Card round. Should these two results occur, according to the rules adopted by the NFL, the home team for that game would be decided by a coin toss.

Got all that? Good.

All that really matters, though, is how the unique set of circumstances impacts how we approach this game. So, will the Ravens come out on top and force a coin flip to determine home field next week? The sharps, public and big money are all in alignment, and the answer is a resounding … NO! Let’s investigate why Cincinnati is such a popular pick.

Bengals vs. Ravens Odds

Sunday, Jan. 8
1 p.m. ET
Bengals Odds
-112o / -108u
Ravens Odds
-112o / -108u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Bengals vs. Ravens Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Bengals and Ravens match up statistically:

Bengals vs. Ravens DVOA Breakdown
Overall DVOA1012
Pass DVOA1414
Rush DVOA214
Overall DVOA48
Pass DVOA711
Rush DVOA47

It’s hard to fade the Bengals when they’ve been so profitable against the spread (ATS).

Evan Abrams did a wonderful job outlining must-know information about Cincinnati heading into this weekend.  Notably, the Bengals are 12-3 this season ATS. They’ve also won and covered seven straight games. Not only that, but they’ve been the most profitable team ATS over the last two seasons, going 26-10 when factoring in the playoffs.

Bet Baltimore vs. Cincinnati at FanDuel

Then there’s the Joe Burrow factor.  He’s been flat-out dominant since entering the league in 2020. The former first-round pick is 31-14 ATS, making him the most profitable quarterback over that span.

Now, ready for a mind-boggling stat? According to Abrams, Burrow’s 21-6 mark against teams with a .500 record or better is the sixth-best mark over the past 20 years.  The only quarterbacks who’ve been better? Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Russell Wilson and Ben Roethlisberger.

A Bengals offense ranked fourth in total DVOA (14.7%) and second in weighted DVOA (24.0%), according to Football Outsiders, is also humming at exactly the right time, averaging 29.3 points per game over their seven-game winning streak.

Cincy also averages 4.9 more points per game at home than on the road (29.0 vs. 24.1), giving them a sizable advantage when playing at Paycor Stadium. Conversely, a stout Baltimore defense gives up an extra 1.2 points per game on the road.

As far as the Ravens’ offense goes, it’s been in a tailspin ever since Lamar Jackson went down with a balky left knee. They’re averaging a meager 11.8 PPG in the last five weeks and haven’t scored more than 17 points over that span.

Now, they’re up against a Cincy defense that ranks seventh in points against (20.4 PPG) and have given up just 18.2 PPG over its past five games.

Betting Picks

It’s easy to see why the sharps, public and big money are all siding with the Bengals to cover. I’m firmly in that camp as well. As outlined, there’s almost an overwhelming number of reasons to back them.

Most of all, I personally can’t get over them being the most profitable team ATS over the past two seasons, nor the fact that they’ve covered seven-straight games. I’ll nearly always ride a trend like that until it doesn’t hit, so I’m not about to stop now. We may end up looking silly, but I’m all about good process, and the trends here point toward the Bengals taking care of business.

If that wasn’t enough, while there’s no perfect solution after last week’s game was cancelled, Bengals players are not pleased that a loss on Sunday may force them to hit the road on Wild Card Weekend despite capturing the AFC North crown.  They made their feelings quite clear on social media. Not that they need it, but there’s certainly plenty of extra motivation to go out there, make a statement and ensure a berth to the Divisional Round goes through Cincinnati.

I’m backing the Bengals to win by double digits. However, depending on the sportsbook, you can get this as low as 7.5. Jump at that opportunity.

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