Bengals vs. Ravens Odds, Pick, Prediction | NFL Playoffs Preview

Bengals vs. Ravens Odds, Pick, Prediction | NFL Playoffs Preview article feature image
  • Bengals vs. Ravens odds have Cincinnati listed as an 8.5-point favorite at FanDuel.
  • Cincinnati won this matchup last week, but Tyler Huntley is back at QB for Baltimore.
  • Phillip Kall makes his Bengals vs. Ravens pick below.

Bengals vs. Ravens Odds

Sunday, Jan. 15
8:15 p.m. ET
Bengals Odds
-105o / -115u
Ravens Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

It feels like just last week we were also looking for a Bengals vs. Ravens pick.

OK, dad jokes aside, the Ravens are lucky Week 18 did not go worse for them. The Bengals had minor miscues on three potential touchdowns. Then, once they still gained a large enough lead, the Bengals comfortably ran the clock without fear of the Ravens responding.

One week later, we're looking at the Bengals vs. Ravens odds again and there's no sign of any change for Baltimore. The hope has been for Lamar Jackson to return, and each week, Baltimore fans are disappointed. Now, the Ravens went through a whole week of practice and have not named a starter. The most obscure behavior for a team that had Super Bowl aspirations but refuse to pay their MVP quarterback.

The Bengals are coming off their seventh straight win. That hot streak has led to Cincinnati entering the Super Bowl conversation. Cincy is top 10 in both points scored and points allowed per drive and have arguably the best set of offensive skill players.

With Cincinnati hot and Baltimore struggling down the stretch, a near double-digit spread is no surprise. Let's take a deeper look at the Bengals vs. Ravens odds to see who will have the edge in the third installment of this AFC North matchup.

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 DVOA1211
Pass DVOA1612
Rush DVOA214
Overall DVOA47
Pass DVOA711
Rush DVOA47
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What has made the Bengals so potent offensively has been their play in high-leverage spots. They are top five in both third down and red zone efficiency and that is no doubt thanks to Joe Burrow.

They call Burrow “Joe Cool,” and he lives up to that title in the clutch. Per Pro Football Reference, Burrow’s passer rating in the fourth quarter is the highest among all quarters. His passer rating in the red zone is better than anywhere else on the field and his third-down passer rating is better than all other downs. Add in some extra fire to avenge the Super Bowl loss from last year and I can’t wait to see what he does this postseason.

The only worry for the Bengals is when they take their foot off the gas, things come screeching to a halt. Last week against the Ravens is a perfect example.

Bet Baltimore vs. Cincinnati at FanDuel

After coming out on fire and scoring 17 points on the first three drives, Cincinnati’s offense disappeared. The offense scored just three more points and had only one drive last longer than five plays. It may not apply this week, but this offense can't take its foot off the gas against high-powered offenses.

Defensively, the Bengals live by the bend-don’t-break mantra. They ranked 16th in yards allowed per game but sixth in points allowed per game. Injuries have left them depleted at corner, so they do their best not to give up easy touchdowns. In the red zone, they tighten up and force field goals instead of touchdowns. Their defense is ninth-best in the red zone.

Turning to the Ravens, the absence of Jackson is starting to show how valuable he is. In the six games Jackson has thrown five or fewer passes, the Ravens have recorded six of their seven lowest point totals.

They have had just one game of over 200 yards of passing offense. That game was last week against the Bengals. For context, 169 of their passing yards in that game came in the fourth quarter when the game was out of hand.

One big boost for Baltimore will be the return of J.K. Dobbins. Since his return, Dobbins has been fantastic, averaging 5.7 yards per carry. That is despite not being able to hit top speed as he continues to recover from a torn ACL. His presence should give the Ravens a way to maintain drives they lacked early in last week's game.

Defensively, there is a reason the Ravens backed up the Brinks trucks for Roquan Smith. Since his addition, the Ravens defense has been on another level.

Last week was the first game they allowed more than 20 points and that is only because the offense gave up a fumble recovery touchdown. If Baltimore is going to make any noise in the playoffs, it will be because of its defense. Smith’s addition gives them a much better chance of doing so.

Betting Picks

Last week, the Bengals were in complete control and won handily despite missing easy scoring opportunities. It's hard to imagine things going any differently in this Wild Card game.

The Ravens are getting reinforcements in Dobbins, but that is playing right into the strength of the Bengals defense. They are ninth in yards per rush allowed but 18th in net yards per pass allowed.

Cincinnati’s weakness on defense is at corner, where their starting outside cornerbacks rank 95th or lower, per PFF. Unfortunately for the Ravens, they will be using a second or third-string quarterback. They will also be relying on one of the worst groups of outside receivers to attack the Bengals' weakness. A recipe for disaster.

As for the Bengals, last week their offense had its worst performance of the season, per PFF. Their first three drives were vintage Bengals before things fell apart. Missed throws, dropped passes and no run blocking — a complete disaster yet still a comfortable victory.

If Cincinnati can start strong and score early to put pressure on the Ravens to throw, it will once again control the game. We saw last week what the Ravens' passing attack could do when it wasn’t garbage time. Through three quarters they had 133 yards passing and two interceptions.

Trust the Bengals to start the playoffs strong and take care of business in Round 3 of this AFC North matchup.

Pick: Bengals -8.5 | Bet to -9.5

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