A week after we got to talk about the Bears/Panthers game on Thursday Night Football, we get an absolute cracker this week, as the Cincinnati Bengals head to Baltimore to take on the Ravens in a massive AFC North matchup. With the Bengals already 0-2 in division, this is as high leverage a game as they could want, with a loss here severely hurting their chances of making the playoffs. With both teams coming off a loss, look for a bounce back from both teams, and hopefully a competitive matchup.
Below, we will dissect the matchup, previewing how we think things will play out, and give out our Best Bet. Make sure you are following Before You Bet, as we will have dedicated Match Previews for all Prime-Time games this season, as well as a preview of the main slate on Monday’s. All for free!
NFL Week 11 Preview & Betting Tips
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens
M&T Bank Stadium, Friday 17th November, 12:15pm (AEDT)
The Bengals played a crazy game last week against the Texans, with the win literally slipping through their fingers in the dying stages of the game. To their credit, the Texans were the better team, and deserved their road win over the highly fancied Bengals, however with the Bengals driving late down 3, Joe Burrow threw a perfect ball into the endzone for Tyler Boyd, however the ball went straight through his hands, meaning a field goal tied things up at 27. C.J. Stroud once again showed why he should have been the #1 overall pick, leading his team on another game winning drive, setting up Matt Ammendola with a 38-yard field goal to win the game as time expired, which he nailed for the 30-27 win.
Speaking of poor losses, the Ravens will have come away from their week 10 game against the Browns unable to comprehend how they lost the game. The Ravens led 17-3 through the first quarter, with the Browns unable to get anything going on offense. An early 3rd quarter touchdown had the Ravens ahead 24-9, and it appeared as though they were home. Then, an 18-play touchdown drive and successful 2-point conversion had the Browns back in the game at 24-17. The Ravens went up 31-17, before a Browns TD, followed by a Browns pick-6 had the Ravens up by only 1. A Browns 40-yard field goal as time expired sealed the remarkable comeback win for the Browns, and a horrible loss for the Ravens.
Marlon Humphrey / Trayvon Mullen (CB) – OUT
Tyus Bowser / Trenton Simpson (LB) – OUT
Andrew Vorhees (OG) – OUT
Ronnie Stanley (OT) – OUT
Daryl Worley (CB) – Questionable
John Simpson (OG) – Questionable
Devin Duvernay (WR) – Questionable
Kyle Van Noy (MLB) – Questionable
Sam Hubbard (DE) – OUT
Devin Cochran (OT) – OUT
Devonnsha Maxwell (DT) – OUT
Chase Brown (RB) – OUT
Tee Higgins / Andrei Iosivas (WR) – OUT
Tycen Anderson (SAF) – OUT
These teams met back in week 2, with the Ravens managing to come into Cincinnati and get the win, 27-24. Despite the scoreline giving the impression this was a close game, it wasn’t all that close. The Ravens outgained the Bengals 415-282, managed 2.1 yards per pass play more than the Bengals, and managed 33 minutes time of possession. For the Bengals, a punt return touchdown early in the second quarter meant they were within 3 halfway through the 3rd quarter, however this could easily have been 27-10 deep into the 4thquarter. Yes, Joe Burrow was still injured during this game, but the Ravens showed they can get what they want offensively against this Bengals defence, and I see that continuing on Thursday Night.
The Ravens were 3-point favourites on the lookahead, before re-opening as 3.5-point favourites. The Bengals had some poor injury news coming out of their week 10 game, with Sam Hubbard (Out), and Trey Hendrickson (Questionable) popping up on the injury report. Given how poorly the Bengals have defended, these defensive injuries were enough to push the number to Ravens -4, with the number since bouncing back and forth between 3.5 and 4. I make the Ravens a 3-point favourite, however with the injuries I can easily see why the Ravens have been bet. I bet Bengals +4, and would lean the Bengals at the line, however it won’t be a best bet.
The total was 44 on both the lookahead and re-open, with overs money coming into the market. The total now sits at 46. I sit more towards the opener at 44 and see some value in the under. Unders have been a money printing machine in prime-time games this season, and I will once again bet on the unders here. Again, it won’t be a best bet, with the Bengals defence concerning me here.
My play this week is going to be a first-half bet. The Ravens have been unbelievable at the scripted portion of games so far this season, with their propensity to kick out to solid leads at halftime notable. Whilst the Bengals are also more than capable of starting quickly, the Ravens at home should be good enough to have a 3-point lead heading into the second half. The full game I’m a little more concerned about the ability of Burrow to make the comeback for the Bengals, and as such I’ll play the halftime handicap. The leads the Ravens have had at halftime in their past 7 games include over the Browns (8), Seahawks (14), Cardinals (7), Lions (28), Titans (15), Steelers (7), and Browns (18). They are a first half juggernaut and I’m hopping on board.
Ravens -2.5 1st half
$1.86 (1.5 Units)