Bengals Ravens Betting Predictions – Bengals Look To Take Down AFC North Rivals
After a pair of sports betting losses cost to the New York Giants cost the Dallas Cowboys a playoff spot a year ago, the latter responded with a 24-17 win in the 2012 kickoff game to set the tone and make sure they avoid the same fate this time around. The Cincinnati Bengals lost all four games they played against the AFC North rival Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers a year ago and still make the playoffs as the second Wild Card team. Even though on paper Cincinnati has improved, it will be very difficult for them to lose four divisional games and still make the postseason again. The Bengals travel to Baltimore to clash with the Ravens in their season opener on Monday Night Football, and while it is still week one this could be the toughest test they face all year.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens
Monday September 10, 2012 – 7:00 PM ET
M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland
NFL Betting Line: Baltimore Ravens – 6
The Ravens are the only NFL team that has made the playoffs in each of the past four seasons, and now they are hoping they have finally found the perfect balance to go all the way. A dropped touchdown pass and missed field goal kept them from reaching the Super Bowl a year ago, but will now serve as motivation to be better.
NFL Betting Preview: Cincinnati Bengals
The most interesting decision made by the Bengals this offseason was to let running back Cedric Benson walk in favor of free agent addition BenJarvus Green-Ellis, even despite the success they had on the ground with the former. Green-Ellis had a strong season with the New England Patriots a year ago, but he has never played in the bell cow role that he is likely to run with in Cincinnati this season. The focus of the offense will be around second-year quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver AJ Green, but the Bengals really didn’t do enough to surround them with additional playmakers, and they let Jerome Simpson go. The Cincinnati defense was very good a year ago, and consistency will be the key going forward although rookie first round pick cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick won’t be available for the opener due to injury.
NFL Betting Preview: Baltimore Ravens
With an elite running back in Ray Rice and some solid receiving options, the expectation is that this year it will be quarterback Joe Flacco that finally breaks through and takes this offense to the next level. Flacco has all of the tools to be an elite passer, and he could reach that level with more consistency. Meanwhile, for the first time in several years it is he Ravens’ defense that has the biggest question marks entering this year. Terrell Suggs is hurt and Jarratt Johnson left via free agency, leaving Baltimore without its top two outside linebackers from a year ago.
NFL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick
The Ravens took both sportsbook games a year ago by a single score, winning by 8 and 7 points respectively. While the defense takes a hit, Flacco should lead the offense to one of its best statistical seasons in franchise history, if not the best. There will be a lot of pressure on the Bengals to build on last year’s playoff appearance and while Dalton and Green represent a solid young core, consistency has been a problem for Cincinnati under head coach Marvin Lewis so far.
NFL Betting Pick: Baltimore Ravens