Baltimore at Cincinnati: NFL Week 2 Preview

By September 13, 2018articles

Week 1 saw an underwhelming tie between two AFC North rivals. Week 2 puts the two teams atop the AFC North against one another, positioning one to take a lead in the Division as Cincinnati hosts Baltimore Thursday at 8:20 p.m. ET. The Las Vegas line has the contest as a PICK’EM game with the over/under total currently sitting at an even 44.

Baltimore (1-0) is coming off one of the most impressive efforts of any team in Week 1 with a 47-3 romping of the Bills. Most of the questions about the Ravens coming into the season revolved around the offense: Will Joe Flacco return to the vintage 2013 version that led the team to the Super Bowl? Will his new stable of wide receivers transform a passing offense that was anemic in 2017? The Ravens finished 9-7 SU (8-7-1 ATS) in last year despite their flaws and if Week 1 wasn’t a fluke, they figure to be much better this season.

In Week 1, Joe Flacco was the ultimate distributor of the football, throwing three touchdowns, including one to each of his new weapons in Willie Snead, John Brown, and Michael Crabtree. If the Joe Flacco and the offense can consistently compliment what was a top-10 defense in 2017, watch out. Last year the Ravens beat the Bengals 20-0 in the season opener, despite being 2.5-point underdogs.

The Bengals also had a very impressive Week 1 performance, albeit in a different way. Cincinnati entered the second half of last week’s contest against the Colts down 23-10, before scoring 24-straight points, 17 in the fourth quarter alone. Andy Dalton had a solid day with 243 yards passing and two touchdowns, complimented well by second year bell-cow running back Joe Mixon’s 149-yard effort (rushing and receiving).

Cincinnati’s story in recent years has been that they have all the talent, but never seem to live up to expectations. It was apparent early last year that the team— which finished the year with a 7-9 record SU (9-7 ATS) — wasn’t a playoff team. However this year, a weakened Steelers team and impressive week one performance has the team thinking playoffs are a possibility.

In terms of betting for this matchup, the total has gone under in three of the Raven’s last four games against the Bengals. Notorious for struggling in primetime, the Bengals have gone under in six of there last seven at night.

Pick: Our very own sports betting expert Scott Matthews has this game as a 3-unit selection and likes the game going OVER 44 on the total.