Week 5 Preview: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravensby Sam Schneider October 10, 2020 0 comments
The Cincinnati Bengals (1-2-1) travel to Maryland to face off with the Baltimore Ravens (3-1) in a Week 5 AFC North Division showdown. Cincinnati is coming off a 33-25 win at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Ravens return home after beating the tar out of the Washington Football Team in their house, 31-17. Both teams are riding high after comfortable victories, but this rivalry remains a close one, historically.
The Ravens lead the all-time series 25-23. Many players and coaches in Baltimore still recall a Bengals squad (with nothing to play for) scoring a last-minute touchdown in the final game of 2017 to bump the Ravens from a playoff spot. They have been taking it out on the Bengals ever since, going 3-1 in the series including a 49-13 beatdown last November.
The Bengals got their first win of 2020 on the shoulders of an impressive offensive display, totaling over 500 yards of offense. That output was highlighted by 181 yards from scrimmage and three trips to the promised land by Joe Mixon. For his part, Joe Burrow, (who was mic’d up for the game) hit the 300-yard mark for the third time in his first four games in the league. This Sunday, Cincinnati fans should finally get their first glimpse of All-Pro Geno Atkins this season. He has battled a shoulder injury, but it appears he will finally line up next to monster offseason acquisition D.J. Reader, solidifying the middle of a line that has been susceptible to the run.
Baltimore drubbed Washington on the back of reigning MVP Lamar Jackson. Jackson passed for 193 yards and rushed for 53 more, tossing two touchdown passes to tight end Mark Andrews while also finding paydirt on a rush. Aside from Jackson, the Ravens’ running game has yet to really crank up. In Week 4, Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards split carries and totaled 17 rushes for 72 yards. Jackson and Marquise Brown connected four times for 86 yards, signaling the possibility of a more consistent connection between the two. A depleted Cincinnati secondary will give them a chance to continue that fellowship, especially if “Hollywood” finds himself in man coverage with Darius Phillips. Jessie Bates III will be covering over the top and is having arguably the best season by a safety so far in 2020, so Jackson would be wise to draw him away from the intended receiver before throwing.
Date: October 11, 2020
Start Time: 1:00 P.M. est
Location: Baltimore, MD
Stadium: M&T Bank Stadium
TV Info: CBS
Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook
Point Spread: CIN +12 (-110) | BAL -12 (-110)
Moneyline: CIN +535 | BAL -835
Over/Under: O 50.5 (-110) | U 50.5 (-110)
Vegas clearly favors the Ravens for obvious reasons. That said, Cincinnati has always played the Ravens tough apart from the debacle late in 2019. Throwing a few bucks on the Cincinnati Moneyline at +535 is basically a lottery ticket in case there is a shocker or if Jackson (knee) gets knocked out of the game. Additionally, these two do not usually play typical AFC North games, airing the ball out often. The game should go over 50.5, even if it is on the strength of a garbage-time touchdown by Cincinnati.
The point spread opened at 14-14.5 and would have been a slam dunk cover for Cincinnati. At 12 points now, it’s a dangerous bet for either side and should be avoided.
Assuming Jackson has no issues with his knee, which kept him out of multiple practices during the week, Baltimore will win this game. Cincinnati is showing serious signs of life and Joe Burrow has looked like a seasoned veteran on the field. Burrow gets another 300-yard game, but the Bengals cannot get the run game going against the stout Ravens defense. It will not be a blowout, but for Baltimore, there will never be a concern.
Final Score: Cincinnati 24, Baltimore 33
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