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Predictions For Ravens Bengals Betting – Ravens, Bengals Meet In Huge Season Finale

Posted by Tony Bryant on 12/24/2012 4:40:12 PM
The Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens are both part of a crowded and cluttered AFC North race. One way or another, this game could adjust the AFC playoffs' wild-card matchups.

Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals – Sunday, December 30   

NFL betting line:

Why Baltimore Will Win                        

The betting websites that are taking action on this contest will have logic on their side when they argue that the Ravens will win. Cincinnati hosted Baltimore in the final game of the 2011 season as well. At the time, it was quite possible that the Bengals needed to win in order to get into the playoffs. Yet, Cincinnati lost at home, succumbing to late-season pressure and showing how far it had to go in order to make the big leagues. Cincinnati got into the 2011 playoffs despite that loss, but only because it received help from other results around the league. The Ravens have done very well against the Bengals over the years and know how to counteract Cincinnati's strengths.

The weight of the argument for Baltimore is ultimately an argument against Cincinnati. One can acknowledge how weak the Ravens have been this season and yet point to the youth and shakiness of Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton, who has yet to prove that he can take command of his team's offense in late December and early January. The Bengals' offense scored a paltry six points in Sunday's playoff-clinching 13-10 win over Pittsburgh. Cincinnati backdoored into the 2011 playoffs with a 9-7 record and then lost in the wild-card round to a team (Houston) that was playing a third-string quarterback, T.J. Yates. Sunday's win over Pittsburgh felt like much the same thing for Cincinnati's offense. The Bengals have a lot of room for improvement, and history suggests that they won't improve against Baltimore.

Why Cincinnati Will Win

When playing online poker, you must go against the grain at times. Baltimore might seem like the smart pick to some, but here's why Cincinnati can triumph: Very simply, the Ravens can't be trusted the way they might have been trusted in past regular seasons and previous playoff pushes. It's true that Baltimore came within one catch of winning the AFC Championship Game last season and making Super Bowl XLVI to face the New York Giants. It's true that last season, quarterback Joe Flacco performed well under pressure and did what he could to lift his team to pro football's ultimate event, only to see receiver Lee Evans fail to wrap up a touchdown catch against the New England Patriots in the final minute of regulation. It's true that Flacco has made multiple AFC Championship Game appearances in his career, doing what many other men have failed to do in the long history of the NFL, but he has regressed this season.

The Ravens have declined in recent weeks – beating the New York Giants but being really bad in their losses, with Flacco making the kinds of gaffes that Mark Sanchez might even think to be eye-popping. Baltimore has lost trust and focus in the wake of the firing of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron in the month of December. The panic move by head coach John Harbaugh has left this team unsure of itself, and one has to wonder if one win against the Giants will truly transform this team. Cincinnati is in position to seize on the Ravens' weaknesses in a home game that will test – and possibly rattle – Flacco.

Who Will Win

Which team in this game has the best chance of winning? It's a close call, but the Ravens' lack of consistency at the moment means that Cincinnati, at home, owns a very real and important edge.  

NFL Football Betting Pick: Cincinnati


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