Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens: Line Still at -9

Written by:
Ean Lamb
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Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens

While around half the online sportsbooks have pushed the Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens line down to -8 ½, many were still offering the Ravens as -9 home favoritesAction on this game was relatively even.  The line had opened at -9 and we have not witnessed a whole lot of line movements during the week.

The Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens game promises to be among the more exciting of the week, something that could not have been fathomed heading into the 2009 regular season. 

While Baltimore is 3-1 and among the best teams in the league, it has actually been the offense that has led the Ravens, not their vaunted defense. While the offense is ranked third, the defense is eighth and has given up 20 points per game. Mattison, Rex Ryan's replacement at defensive coordinator, needs to get the Ravens back to being a dominant unit.

Every Bengals game this season has been decided in the final minute. It does not matter whether the opponent is formidable like Pittsburgh or Denver or winless like Cleveland, Cincinnati likes to make it interesting.

Baltimore (3-1) committed a season-high nine penalties in a 27-21 loss at New England in Week 4. The Ravens were twice flagged for late hits on quarterback Tom Brady and each penalty led to a Patriots' touchdown, prompting linebacker Ray Lewis to claim it was "an embarrassment to the game."

The Ravens must get past their frustration and focus on a key matchup with the Bengals (3-1), as sole possession of the division lead is at stake.

"You can't let the emotions linger," center Matt Birk said. "You can't afford to do anything else but move on and be in tune for the next one. Otherwise, it can snowball on you."

Shayne Graham made a 31-yard field goal in the closing seconds of overtime last week to give the Bengals their third win of the season.

Carson Palmer ran for a 15-yard first down on fourth-and-11 with a little more than a minute to go. It tied the longest run of his career.

Palmer, who rallied the Bengals to a comeback win over the Super Bowl champion Steelers last week, finished 23 of 44 for 230 yards. He threw two TD passes to Chad Ochocinco, who only had three catches but made the most of them.

"The whole thing keeping me going is No. 9," Ochocinco said of Palmer, who missed 12 games last season with an elbow injury. "He's so confident in the huddle. The way he has been the last two weeks is unbelievable. Especially the situations we've been in."

While the Cincinnati receiver remains outspoken and flamboyant, Ochocinco has toned down his antics in key moments and demonstrated a renewed focus after letting a contract dispute distract him last year.

Something interesting to consider from AccuScore regarding the Bengals vs. Ravens game:

While Baltimore's pass-oriented offense is good for Joe Flacco fantasy owners, it is not good for Baltimore to stop emphasizing the running game. When Flacco passes for over 250 yards the Ravens win 74 percent vs the 81 percent they win when he is under 250 yards. The Bengals allowed Jerome Harrison to rush for 121 yards. If Baltimore gives Willis McGahee and Ray Rice plenty of carries and the duo combine for 100+ yards the Ravens win 85 percent. If they have fewer than 25 total rushes and under 100 yards the Ravens win just 50 percent. Cincinnati needs to Carson Palmer to protect the ball. He has thrown 5 INTs in 4 games. If he throws zero interceptions and at least 1 TD the Bengals have a 39 percent chance, but if he throws 1+ INTs the Bengals win just 16 percent.

Some important trends to consider before betting on this game:

Baltimore has only beaten the Bengals twice in the last 10 by more than the current spread including on the road in Cincinnati the last time these two teams met. 

The Ravens are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS loss.  This is perhaps the most important stat we here at were looking for following their loss to New England last week and first loss of the season.

They are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 vs. AFC.

The Ravens are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 vs. AFC North.

The Bengals are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 vs. AFC. will be on the Ravens at -9 in this one.

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Ean Lamb,



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