Cincinnati Bengals (0-0, 0-0 ATS) @ Baltimore Ravens (0-0, 0-0 ATS)
*ATS= against the spread
BETDAQ Line: Baltimore -2 (42.5)
Cincinnati: CB Darqueze Dennard (questionable– hip), WR James Wright (doubtful– concussion)
Baltimore: CB Ladarius Webb (questionable– back)
Cincinnati is 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 Week 1 games
Baltimore is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Week 1 games
Baltimore is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. AFC North opponents
The home team is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings between these 2 teams
The OVER is 4-1 in Cincinnati’s last 5 games overall
The OVER is 4-1 in Baltimore’s last 5 games overall
Three reasons to back Cincinnati
1. The Bengals have one of the NFL’s best defenses, a unit that ranked 3rd in the league in total yards allowed in 2013. They should be even better this year now that All Pro defensive tackle Geno Atkins is back from a knee injury that cost him the final 7 games of last season.
2. Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton had a breakthrough season in 2013, finishing the year with over 4,200 passing yards and 33 touchdowns. In two games against the Ravens he passed for 555 yards and 4 TDs, so he certainly knows how to attack the Baltimore defense. Plus, Baltimore’s best cornerback– Ladarius Webb– is nursing a back injury and is listed as questionable.
3. The Ravens have a terrible offense; they ranked 29th in yards per game last season and their biggest problem– the offensive line– projects as a weakness again this year. They have little chance of success against the fearsome Cincinnati defense.
Three reasons to back Baltimore
1. The Ravens have been a great opening week team under coach John Harbaugh, going 5-1 against the number in their last six Week 1 games. They’ve also played well at home under Harbaugh; even last season, a down year by the organization’s standards, they beat this very same Cincinnati team 20-17 in a Week 10 home game.
2. The Baltimore defense is surely licking its chops at the thought of another shot at Andy Dalton, who threw 6 interceptions in two games against the Ravens last season. Dalton is regarded by many as the weak link on the Cincinnati offense.
3. The Bengals have a pedestrian offense, they’ve covered just once in their last six Week 1 games, they’re breaking in new coordinators on both sides of the ball after losing Mike Zimmer and Jay Gruden, they’ve lost 5 of their last 6 games in Baltimore… shall I continue?
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