A divisional battle between two rivals with hopes of finishing atop the AFC North this season is the top billing among the group of early kickoff games on Sunday. The Bengals will showcase a few new pieces they hope will jumpstart their offense while the Ravens hope their starting quarterback will be healthy and ready to start the new campaign.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Point Spread: Bengals -3 Date: Sunday, Sept. 10, 1:00 PM ET Location: Paul Brown Stadium – Cincinnati, Ohio
Point Spread and Betting Analysis
The Bengals opened as 3-point favourites (-110) on the Sports Interaction NFL odds board.
Cincinnati is 6-1 straight up and 5-2 against the spread against the Ravens in the two sides’ last seven head-to-head matchups. Baltimore failed to cover the spread in six of its eight road games a season ago, including Week 17 at Cincinnati. This is the first time the Bengals will open the season at home since 2009 when they lost 12-7 to the visiting Denver Broncos.
Since winning the Super Bowl in 2013, the Ravens have missed the playoffs in three of the last four seasons. They hope to return to the postseason but that won’t be possible without Joe Flacco under center.
The former Super Bowl MVP winner missed all of training camp because of a sore back. He began throwing again at the beginning of September and is expected to start against the Bengals.
Ravens fans hope Flacco can develop chemistry quickly with Jeremy Maclin, formerly of the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles. Maclin will feature as a starting wideout opposite Mike Wallace which should give the big-armed Flacco two speedy, big-play targets.
Marvin Lewis is entering his 15th season as the sideline boss for the Bengals, but there’s a very good chance this could be his last. Lewis is on the last year of his contract with the team and there has been no news about a potential extension.
There are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic about Cincinnati’s season. Receiver A.J. Green is healthy after missing his squad’s final six games last year with a lingering hamstring injury. The Bengals’ offense will be among the league’s best if Green and tight end Tyler Eifert can stay healthy.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals Prediction
Bengals 27-Ravens 18