Bengals-Ravens Betting Preview: A.J. Green’s Absence Looms Large
David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Andy Dalton
Betting odds: Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens
- Spread: Ravens -4
- Over/Under: 43.5
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: CBS
>> All odds as of Friday afternoon. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets
Betting market: The line for this game finally opened on Saturday morning, leaving bettors just over 24 hours to get some action down.
Baltimore initially opened at -4.5, but quickly fell to -3.5. About an hour later, the line bumped back up to -4. Last week, Baltimore was -5.5 on Westgate’s lookahead lines. — Mark Gallant
Which team is healthier? Bengals
Neither team is anything close to 100% healthy. Robert Griffin III was the team’s only quarterback at practice on Thursday with both Joe Flacco (hip) and Lamar Jackson (illness) sidelined.
Starting offensive tackles James Hurst (back) and Ronnie Stanley (ankle) aren’t guaranteed to suit up either.
The Bengals aren’t expected to have the services of A.J. Green (toe) this time around against their divisional rival, and each of Joe Mixon (knee), John Ross (groin), Vontaze Burfict (hip) along with cornerbacks Dre Kirkpatrick (concussion) and Darqueze Dennard (shoulder) should be considered questionable.
Trends to know: Flacco has only missed six games since being drafted in 2008. The Ravens are 2-4 straight up and 4-2 ATS in games Flacco hasn’t started during that time. — John Ewing
Since the beginning of 2016, Andy Dalton has played seven games without Green. Cincinnati is averaging 20 PPG in those contests, failing to eclipse 28 points in their past five games.
Without Green, Dalton has thrown just eight passing touchdowns in seven games (1.1 TD/game). As a point of comparison: He has 42 scores in 24 games (1.8 TD/game) with Green since 2016. — Evan Abrams
Biggest mismatch: Ravens secondary vs. Dalton
The Bengals boast the week’s single-worst combined net yards per pass attempt rate. Sure, they hung 34 points on the Ravens back in Week 2, but that was with the services of Green and Tyler Eifert (ankle, IR).
The team’s new-look offense has been held to fewer than 230 passing yards in four of its past five games. They Bengals will have their hands full with the Ravens’ seventh-ranked defense in pass DVOA. — Hartitz
DFS edge: Bengals offense has been held below 300 yards of total offense in three of its past four games, hardly resembling the same unit that scored at least 30 points in three of the first four weeks
Next up is a Ravens defense that the Bengals shredded for 34 points in Week 2, but that was with a fully functioning Green and Eifert.
Neither Tyler Boyd (3-65-0) nor John Ross (2-39-1) were able to get much of anything going in last week’s alleged cake matchup against the Saints, and the continued absence of the team’s alpha dog receiver could lead to more of the same against the Ravens’ fifth-ranked defense in overall DVOA.
Any exposure to Boyd should be focused on FanDuel, where his $7,000 price tag comes with a 97% Bargain Rating. — Hartitz
Bet to watch: Ravens
Regardless of who plays quarterback for the Ravens, I think this is a good spot to back Baltimore at -4 against a banged up and reeling Bengals bunch.
First of all, John Harbaugh has always performed excellent with extra time to prepare during his 10-year-plus tenure in Charm City, especially after the bye week, where he owns an impressive 8-2 SU and ATS record. And that bye couldn’t have come at a better time for a Ravens team dealing with a plethora of key injuries.
Secondly, you should get the Ravens’ best effort here at home, where they have a top-tier advantage but are playing with MAJOR double revenge. Cincy ended their playoff hopes in the final minutes of last season at M&T Bank Stadium, and the Bengals waxed the Ravens on national television earlier this season.
From a matchup perspective, the Ravens should have the advantage in the trenches on both sides of the ball and, as mentioned above, the elite Baltimore secondary should have no issues shutting down Dalton and the Cincy passing attack now that Green has been ruled out. — Stuckey
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.