The Bengals are taking on the Ravens as underdogs. For the second straight week, the team has a chip on their shoulder courtesy of Vegas.
The Bengals are hosting the Ravens, both of whom are coming off double-digit Week 1 wins. Baltimore blew out the Bills, while Cincinnati clawed back against the Colts. Now that the two take each other on in a divisional battle, the odds barely favor one or the other.
According to OddsShark, the Ravens are favored by 1 point over the Bengals. Additionally, almost two-thirds of bettors are placing their money on the Ravens. This is a strange phenomenon for a couple reasons. First, the Bengals are the home team – usually, this is worth about three points in a Vegas line. That means on a neutral field, Vegas is favoring Baltimore by four points, which is a lot.
Secondly, the Bengals have absolutely dominated the Ravens or the past half decade. Baltimore, who don’t have any significant advantages over Cincinnati on paper, aren’t some powerhouse team this year either. This line, although very small, seems like an overreaction based on last week.
The Bengals, who are -105 to win straight up, are a solid pick this week, although I wouldn’t say it’s as good a pick as last week. I may actually stay away from this game, especially since divisional rivalries can end up with wacky results. However, I would want nothing to do with Baltimore’s side on this one.
The last betting point is the over under, which is set at 44 points. I like the under here for two rivals who are known for their defense. The Ravens have no chance of matching last week’s offensive explosion, and may even have a post-win slump following a wild output in Week 1. The Bengals will also struggle more against a tougher defense in Baltimore. I’d be surprised if either of these teams scored more than 24 points.