Baltimore Ravens (5-10) at Cincinnati Bengals (11-4)
I’m completely torn on this one. On one hand, the Ravens are in a good spot because divisional road underdogs are 57-31 ATS in a same season regular season rematch against a team they previously lost to as divisional home favorites, since 2002. Revenge is far from uncommon in divisional matchups similar to this one and the Ravens lost as home favorites against the Bengals earlier this year. Meanwhile, the Bengals are in a tough spot, as teams are 81-105 ATS since 1989 off of a road loss in overtime, 60-85 ATS if we exclude teams that were road underdogs in their 2nd of two road games the following week. The Bengals lost by a field goal in Denver last week.
On the other hand, the Ravens are in a bad spot, coming off of a huge upset victory at home over the Steelers as 10.5 point underdogs. That was an impressive victory, but teams are 46-72 ATS since 2012 off of a win as home underdogs and 50-70 ATS since 1989 off of a win as double digit underdogs. They could be overconfident after winning their Super Bowl last week and get caught off guard by the Bengals this week.
We’re also not really getting any line value with either side. The Bengals come in at 5th in rate of moving the chains differential, as opposed to 26th for the Ravens, which suggests that the Bengals should be favored by more than the 9.5 points they’re currently favored by. However, the Bengals are still without quarterback Andy Dalton. Backup quarterback AJ McCarron has been serviceable and has been able to put up decent production because of a strong supporting cast. The Bengals also get safety George Iloka and tight end Tyler Eifert, key players, back from injury. It’s tough to lay this many points with them with any sort of confidence though, especially since both teams are in bad spots. In fact, I’m going to go the other way and take a Baltimore team that has lost just twice by more than 8 points all season, though I can’t be confident because the Bengals are talented enough to make that three times.
Cincinnati Bengals 17 Baltimore Ravens 9
Pick against the spread: Baltimore +9.5