Bengals-Ravens Betting Preview: A.J. Green’s Absence Looms Large

Bengals-Ravens Betting Preview: A.J. Green’s Absence Looms Large article feature image

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.

Note: Info as of 6 p.m. ET Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff. — Ian Hartitz

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.

How would you rate this article?

Top Offers

Action Newsletter
Sign Up >
The top betting news and picks for all the big games delivered directly to your inbox daily.
Action Podcasts
Listen >
The award-winning Action Network Podcast covers all angles of betting and DFS from industry-leading pros.
Betting 101
Bet Smarter >
New to betting? No sweat. Check out our betting education hub, which ranges from beginner tips to advanced strategies.
Sports Betting Legalization
Predictions >
When will sports betting be legal in your state? Check our our projections for all 50 states.
Betting Calculators
Try Now >
Easily calculate your winnings for straight bets and parlays using American, Decimal, or Fractional odds.
Expert Picks
Best Bets >
See all of the bets Action Network experts are making in real-time, covering the big games and the hidden gems.

Top Stories