Vegas Odds & NFL Predictions: Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (September 13th, 2018)
Division Rivals Baltimore and Cincinnati Meet on Thursday Night Football
Granted, the Bills offensive line looked terrible in preseason and was no better on Sunday. Previous starter Tyrod Taylor was also left to depart in free agency and the Bills traded away their only veteran option AJ McCarron at quarterback as the preseason came to an end. That left them with Nathan Peterman starting and their first-round pick Josh Allen waiting in the wings.
The Ravens ate the Bills offense alive, holding them to just 153 yards of total offense and 70 yards of passing. They also forced two turnovers and managed to build a 26-0 lead by halftime.
QB Joe Flacco has been much maligned the past three seasons as he’s failed to live up to the standards he set in his Super Bowl season. But he came into this camp healthier than he’s been in years and likely more motivated as well to keep his job after the team drafted Lamar Jackson in the first round of the 2018 draft.
He was in total control passing for 236 yards and three touchdowns and posting a 121.7 QB rating. The running back committee was also great as they rushed for 117 yards and three touchdowns.
The Cincinnati Bengals figure to pose a much stiffer challenge in week two. The Bengals are another team that came into this season under the gun after two underwhelming seasons in a row. Despite those poor results, the Bengals decided to retain both coach Marvin Lewis and QB Andy Dalton to right the ship.
In their season debut they went on the road to face Andrew Luck and the Colts in his long-awaited return. The teams engaged in a good old-fashioned shootout before the Bengals emerged with a 34-23 win.
The Colts built a 13-3 lead with 3:01 left in the second quarter, but the Bengals outscored them 31-10 the rest of the way. Even still the Colts were on the verge of winning the game in the final moments until the Bengals forced a fumble and Clayton Fejedelem rumbled 83 yards for the touchdown in the opposite direction.
Dalton completed 75% of his passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns and Joe Mixon looked like the difference maker he was drafted to be in 2017. The running back rushed for 95 yards on 17 touches and a touchdown and also caught five balls for 54 yards.
The Ravens are +1 underdog and the over/under is 45 points. The teams split their games last year with the Bengals winning in memorable style to end the Ravens season last year on a long bomb. That put the Bills in instead of Baltimore. These teams hate each other and this should be an incredibly physical affair. I think the Ravens are the flavor of the week, but Cincinnati has the tools to stay with them. The Pick: Bengals 27-23.