Week 11 begins with the Cincinnati Bengals on the road to face the Baltimore Ravens (-3.5, 45.5) on “Thursday Night Football.”
So what can we expect from a betting perspective?
Betting analysts Tyler Fulghum, Eric Moody, Seth Walder again Aaron dear they are here to give their thoughts.
Note: Odds with ESPN BET.
Both teams entered the short week with heavy losses. How much does that affect your health and how do you bet this game?
Fulghum: Includes my confidence in the Ravens -3.5. If Baltimore hadn’t completely blown its Week 10 game at home in Cleveland, I think there would be an increased chance of that kind of upset. The fact that so many of their mistakes allowed the Browns to get back into that game will provide a sharp focus for this matchup. They stay at home, while the Bengals have to go on short rest. Cincinnati’s offense will still be missing WR Tee Higgins. I expect this to be a tough place for tourists.
Moody: It affects how I bet this game (Bengals +3.5). With the loss to the Ravens, the Bengals are not out of the playoff race, but things are getting tougher. Cincinnati is a team that wants to win, and more importantly, they want to win against an AFC foe. We have to see that desperation on full display. Including the playoffs, the Bengals are 15-5 against the spread in their last 20 games as underdogs. Burrow & Co. should keep this game close.
treasure: I don’t really look at last week’s big loss as a handicap for this game. Some players will have a hangover from such a loss. Some players will overcome that and play much better to try to make up for the loss. I think those of us who scout the NFL from the outside don’t know who the players are and shouldn’t try to analyze the players to find that out. So the bottom line for me is that the Ravens are the best team in the NFL in play by play according to DVOA and there is no evidence that their offensive struggles in the fourth quarter have any predictive value unlike their offensive success. general. I think missing LT Ronnie Stanley rates the Bengals missing Higgins, but despite that fact and after adjusting our ratings for the fact that Burrow is healthy, I still like the crows -3.5.
Are you sold on this Ravens defense being one of the best in the NFL in a long time, and do you expect the Bengals to be able to move the ball?
Fulghum: Crows have good protection, but I don’t think they’re historic by any measure. The Bengals still have plenty of talent … and Joe Burrow. They will do a few games.
Moody: The Ravens led the league with 39 sacks, had 15 takeaways and ranked second in opponents’ total yards per game. I agree with Tyler that this defense is not the 1985 Bears, I hope that Burrow and the Bengals offense will find a weakness to exploit. This game is very much in danger of Cincinnati not finding a way to move the ball like the Cleveland Browns did last week.
Walder: They currently rank fourth in EPA per game since 2013, so I guess the answer is yes: they are on track to be one of the best defenses in a long time. Regardless of the designation, this is a legitimately good unit and a ton of credit goes to defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald for using simulated pressures to get the most out of this defense. In the back they did very well as well: they ranked second best behind only the Jets in open points defense.
treasure: Whether the Ravens have one of the best defenses in a long time depends on how many defenses you count among the “best defenses.” Their current defensive DVOA of -25.9% is good enough to lead the league in an average year if no team was doing what the Browns are doing right now. (I’ll point out here that the Ravens do better in DVOA than EPA on a per-play basis because of the opponent’s adjustment.) That said, the Browns’ play showed some armory holes. They dropped to ninth against the rush, for example. They only rank 18th in DVOA against No. 1 receivers. 1 opponents, so Ja’Marr Chase might be able to get his yards. The Bengals will move the ball, but I doubt they will score a ton. In fact, as the Bengals defense has also improved in recent weeks, I like under 45.5 in this game.
The Bengals have one of the top pass rushers in the NFL. Do you expect that to affect what Lamar Jackson and the Ravens do? How does it affect your betting style?
Fulghum: This is another problem with the Bengalis. Their pass rush has been disrupted. DE Sam Hubbard (ankle) is already OUT for this game and DE Trey Hendrickson (knee) is HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE. That is a problem. Especially after last week’s disappointment against Cleveland, I fully expect Lamar to be on the mend.
treasure: I don’t know if the Bengals have one of the best running backs in the NFL. They rank 11th in adjusted sack average and 20th in Pass Rush Win Rate. They have risks as Trevor said. Then again, the Ravens have injuries on the offensive line, Ronnie Stanley announced. I’m sure the Bengals will get their share of pressure against Jackson but he has held that penalty so far this season.
What is your favorite prop in this game?
Fulghum: Mark Andrews Anytime TD (+155). The Bengals have struggled in TE defense this season. They are 31st in fantasy points allowed in the area. Andrews hit them with 5/45/1 on eight targets in their Week 2 match. Coming off a disappointing performance in the loss to the Browns, don’t be surprised to see Andrews targeted early and often.
Moody: Mark Andrews over 55.5 yards receiving. All season long, the Bengals defense has been a good mix of tight ends. In the last three games, Cincinnati faced Dalton Schultz, Dalton Kincaid and George Kittle. This team averaged 100.3 receiving yards per game against the Bengals. Andrews averaged 6.5 targets this season. Since 2021, he has averaged 76.8 yards per game against the Bengals.
Walder: Patrick Queen over 7.5 boards + assists (-114). Queen’s has gone over that line in seven of 10 games this season, and my model predicts he’ll face 8.5+ assists on Thursday. Even though it would be better for Queen’s total if the Ravens don’t blow the lead, he’s actually recording the same share of pass plays for plays, so he can record things when Joe Burrow backs off.
Is there anything else playing on Thursday?
Moody: Joe Burrow over a 24.5 completion. The Bengals will rely heavily on Burrow, and with the Ravens allowing a 22.2 completion average, he has the upper floor. This season, Burrow boasts a 67% completion rate, an average of 38.6 pass attempts and 26.0 completions per game. Defensively, the Ravens intend to keep two safeties deep to create a vertical passing game for the Bengals while using a variety of coverages. It’s unlikely that Baltimore will blitz too much, opting to pressure Burrow into a short passing game. Therefore, I believe that you will have many completions in this game, which leads to another betting recommendation.
Moody: Joe Mixon is over 20.5 yards receiving. Mixon had five targets and four receptions for 36 yards against the Ravens in Week 2. He is well positioned to deliver the same performance. Since 2021, Mixon has averaged 41.5 yards when targeted five or more times since 2021.
Walder: Lamar Jackson over 17.5 completions (-134). I’m surprised because my finish model usually ends up being very close to the line, but I’m still finishing 21.8 in Jackson on Thursday. One thing that does: Jackson’s completion percentage is up to 70%, up from 62% last season. With a new offense and playing with better receivers, I’m inclined to believe this is the real change we should be buying.