THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL will host this AFC rivalry as the Ravens travel to Cincinnati seeking revenge against Andy Dalton’s Bengals.
Low-scoring affairs between these teams are very much the norm so it’s interesting to see this total climb as the game nears kick-off.
Aside from last season’s 58 point explosion, the four previous meetings between these sides saw an average of just 32.5 points – none of those games saw more than a combined 40 points scored.
Cincinnati’s defence was somewhat of a concern at times in Indianapolis last week but this unit thrives on their home turf. Last season, they allowed an average of 20.1 points per game at Paul Brown Stadium.
Only three teams scored more than 20 points on them at home in 2017, with the first of those coming in Week 8 as the team began to be decimated by injury. What’s also interesting is that they did not concede a first quarter touchdown at home until their Week 14 loss to the Chicago Bears.
Meanwhile, Baltimore’s defence has less question marks around it and certainly ranks among the top defensive units in the NFL.
Their Week 1 decimation of Buffalo makes it hard to gage exactly where this team ranks this season given how horrid the Bills were in that one but John Harbaugh remains one of the most astute coaches in the league.
The Ravens have won their last seven Thursday night games when coming off a short turnaround and given what’s at stake for his side (they were eliminated from the playoffs in the final week of last season by a last minute TD against the Bengals) you can be sure they’ll be fired up for this one.
Dalton struggled drastically against this defence last season and we expect him to have a tough time airing it out against this Ravens secondary once again.
AFC Division games on Thursday Night Football have a history for being low-scoring games; 10 of the last 12 games have stayed Under the total. Expect the Ravens defence to dictate the outcome, with both sides being forced to settle for empty possessions throughout.
Tip: Under 45 points @ $1.91 (Sportsbet) (1.5 units)