Sunday Night Football Picks: Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions

Sunday Night Football Picks: Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions

This article is part of our NFL Picks series.

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions for Sunday Night Football Week 5

The Bengals (2-2) bring a two-game winning streak into M&T Bank Stadium when they take on the division-rival Ravens (2-2) in this primetime AFC North showdown.

Baltimore is still seeking its first home win after dropping a 23-20 decision to the Buffalo Bills in Week 4, a game they'd held a 20-3 lead in at one point in the second half.

Cincinnati has rebounded nicely from an unexpected 0-2 start, recording consecutive victories over the Jets and Dolphins over a four-day period in Week 3 and Week 4.

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens for Sunday Night Football Week 5

*Best lines at time of writing listed

Moneyline: Bengals +160 (PointsBet Sportsbook)/ Ravens -175 (DraftKings Sportsbook)

Point spread: Bengals +3.5 (PointsBet Sportsbook)/ Ravens -3.5 (FanDuel Sportsbook)

Totals: Over 47.5 points (DraftKings Sportsbook)/ Under 48 points (BetMGM Sportsbook)

The Ravens were listed as standard three-point home favorites when this line was first released last week, and even after the Bengals were the only one of the two squads to notch a Week 4 win, Baltimore's projected advantage grew by a half-point following Sunday's narrow loss to the Bills. The number has since toggled between 3 and 3.5 at most sportsbooks.

The total has seen a dip of a full point since it was first released last week, checking in at 48.5 points at the open, and after a couple of jogs in either direction, settling in at its current 47.5. The fact the Ravens will be missing Rashod Bateman while the Bengals' Tee Higgins is questionable with an ankle injury certainly plays a part in the slightly depressed offensive expectations.  

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Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens Betting Picks This Week

The Bengals surprisingly trampled the Ravens by a combined 44 points in their two meetings a  year ago. Joe Burrow turned in jaw-dropping performances in each instance, throwing for 416 yards and three touchdowns in Week 7 before somehow one-upping himself with 525 yards and another four scores in Week 16.

On paper, the situation doesn't look very appealing for Baltimore coming into this contest, considering the Ravens are allowing 315.3 passing yards per game and 11.1 yards per completion. Veteran cornerback Marcus Peters (quadriceps) is listed as questionable going into the weekend, but assuming he can overcome the issue, which only popped up Thursday, Baltimore will have a fully staffed starting secondary that also includes ballhawks Marcus Williams, Chuck Clark and Marlon Humphrey.  

When digging deeper into the Ravens' poor pass defense metrics, it's also important to note how much they're skewed by their disastrous Week 2 meltdown against the Dolphins, which was Peters' first game since a wild-card loss to the Bills in January 2021 due to the torn ACL that wiped out last season. The secondary was already playing much more cohesively by last week, when they held Josh Allen and company to 213 yards passing on 5.9 yards per attempt.

Moreover, despite its unwanted generosity in terms of yardage, Baltimore has also already recorded seven interceptions and generated a respectable eight sacks through four games. That's potentially bad news for Burrow, who operates behind an offensive line that's already allowed him to get sacked 16 times and has also done nothing to help keep defenses honest by generating a tiny, NFL-low 2.95 RB yards per carry.

On the other side, Jackson does face a very tough matchup passing-wise, as the Bengals have only allowed a 56.96 percent completion rate and three passing touchdowns. Yet, this is also a unit that's yet to be tested, considering it's faced Mitch Trubisky, Cooper Rush, Joe Flacco and Teddy Bridgewater for a significant portion of the Week 4 win over Miami. And, Bridgewater actually enjoyed plenty of success, throwing for 193 yards at 8.4 yards per attempt while nearly leading a comeback.

J.K. Dobbins should also continue to prove capable of handling a progressively heavier workload with every passing week after overcoming his own August 2021 knee injury, and he already scored two touchdowns in his second game back in Week 4. Cincinnati has been a tough defense against the run thus far as well, but once again, a combination of questionable caliber of opponent and some run-game-averse game scripts has arguably helped in that regard.

It won't be easy with Bateman unavailable, but Mark Andrews tore through the Bengals for an 8-125-1 line in the Week 16 loss a season ago and has the ability to replicate such a performance in what should be an elevated role.

There should be enough firepower here on both sides for a decent amount of points to be scored, and I like the Ravens to finally exert their homefield edge in this critical early-season division clash. As such, a parlay combining both outcomes at a great price is in play for me.

Bengals at Ravens Best Bets: Same-Game Parlay: Ravens moneyline and Over 47.5 points (+200 at DraftKings Sportsbook)

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens Prediction

Ravens 28, Bengals 24

The Ravens will be out to make sure Cincinnati doesn't hang another 41 points on their defense a third straight time, but there should still be plenty of offense in this game, even without Bateman's presence. The two quarterbacks will unsurprisingly play outsized roles here, but ultimately, I see the home team prevailing by a close margin for Baltimore's first home victory.

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Juan Carlos Blanco
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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