Baltimore @ Cincinnati
Baltimore +8½ -104 over Cincinnati

Posted at 11:15 AM EST odds are subject to change.

Pinnacle +8½ -113 BET365 +8½ -110 SportsInteraction +8½ -104 888Sport +8½-110

Baltimore +8½ -104 over Cincinnati

8:15 PM EST. When this line first came out, Cincinnati was a -6½-point favorite. The inefficient market started salivating and absolutely hammered the price to what you see now. With Lamar Jackson’s status of “out” being released, the saliva started dripping out of mouths across two continents. Now ask yourself, do you think the oddsmakers were asleep at the wheel when they released -6½ on Cincinnati to open? You don’t think they were aware that the possibility of Lamar Jackson playing was less than 10%? C’mon man! If you’re betting Cincinnati here because Lamar Jackson is out and you believe you caught the oddsmakers off guard, you haven’t learned anything. Oddsmakers threw up a -6½, expecting or anticipating that Lamar wasn’t going to play while also knowing that the market would hammer Cincinnati at that price. If you take the bait, you might get away with it but the more likely scenario is that the bad wager will bite you. The price here on the Ravens is grossly inflated.

Frankly, we prefer Lamar on the sidelines because he hasn’t played in six weeks. We never liked him anyway. Aside from that, there isn't a team that plays Joe Burrow quite like the Ravens. Defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald has had his number all year. Two of the Bengals' bottom-five performances in passing DVOA have come against the Ravens, the most recent meeting being even worse than the first. The Ravens are the Jungle Cats' worst nightmare. Furthermore, in most of the post-season games the Ravens have mostly blown since Lamar Jackson became starting quarterback, they’ve been the favorite. As the underdog, long-term winning tendencies under John Harbaugh makes them an alluring commodity in a quick-turnaround, re-hook against a division rival.

Cincinnati has been almost as underrated as the Giants: 12-4 (Against the Spread) but after blowing away Baltimore last year in two regular season games prior to their Super Bowl run, the Bengals’ offense gained only 291 and 257 yards in this season’s meetings against the Ravens, The Ravens got a new defensive coordinator and found ways to limit explosive pass plays by the Bengals.

While the market eats up the Lamar Jackson injury, it’s worth pointing out that Cincinnati is having offensive line issues, with the entire right side of the line out. Baltimore is getting healthy in the secondary, and they have the speed and talent to at least make things difficult for Joe Burrow and the Bengals' offense. The strategy has to be to shorten the game and take advantage of limited possessions.

We’re betting on the Ravens so we should at least address the Baltimore QB situation. Ravens coach John Harbaugh would not name a starter after Friday's practice. Huntley is listed as questionable. He was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday before being a full participant on Friday. Huntley, who is 3-5 as a starter in his career, is the more experienced quarterback but has struggled to throw the ball downfield because of the injured shoulder. In four starts this season, he has completed just three passes that have traveled at least 20 yards. When Baltimore rested Huntley in last Sunday's 27-16 loss to the Bengals, Brown impressed the coaches with his confidence to make tough throws. But Brown is more prone to mistakes, turning the ball over three times (two interceptions and a fumble) last Sunday.

Harbaugh will likely use both QB’s but we’ll see. Frankly, it matters not to us, as we’re scooping up the inflated points. The 8½-points being offered surely have to be hugely insulting to every player and coach in that Baltimore locker room. Baltimore is a team with an outstanding playoff pedigree that knows this enemy as well as anyone. An upset wouldn’t shock us but prospective Bengals backers better be convinced that this is a mismatch because giving Baltimore serious weight is unprecedented. Baltimore has excelled as an underdog in part because the coaches and team has skillfully deployed two motivational tactics as needed: playing the no-respect card and circling the wagons. Take the points.


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Our Pick

Baltimore +8½ -104 (Risking 2.08 units - To Win: 2.00)