The two betting favorites to win the AFC North this season face off on Sunday night in Week 5 as Cincinnati visits Baltimore. Which way to lean at BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks?
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens
Sunday, October 09, 2022 – 08:20 PM EDT at M&T Bank Stadium
It’s a matchup of former Heisman Trophy winner quarterbacks in the Sunday night NFL game in Week 5 as Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals visit Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens.
Last year, Cincinnati was the AFC North champion and swept Baltimore very convincingly. The Bengals were 41-21 winners at home. Burrow threw for a franchise-record 525 yards, the fourth most in league history.
Norm Van Brocklin holds the record with 554. Burrow threw 2 touchdown passes to Tee Higgins and one each to Tyler Boyd and Joe Mixon as the Bengals swept the Ravens for the first time since 2015.
Burrow finished with 941 pass yards against the Ravens last season, the most by any QB against a single team in one season all-time. The road team is 5-2 against the spread in the past seven meetings.
Burrow Now Being Protected
The team that loses in the previous season’s Super Bowl often has a hangover, too. The Bengals did as they lost their first two games close, but have followed with back-to-back double digits wins.
It was 27-15 over the visiting Dolphins on Thursday in Week 4 as Cincinnati knocked out Miami QB Tua Tagovailoa with a concussion. He has already been ruled out this week.
Joe Burrow was sharp in the win with 287 yards and 2 scores with no picks and just 1 sack taken, the offensive line was a major issue early in the season. He has now gone three straight games without an interception after his four-pick game in Week 1.
Coach Zac Taylor is confident the offensive line is coming together. Burrow said it was the best protection of his 30 career games. Before they got stopped on a fourth-and-one, the Bengals converted five straight third-and-ones with Joe Mixon carrying on three of them.
Tee Higgins, not reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Ja’Marr Chase appears to be Burrow’s favorite target this year as Higgins had seven grabs for 124 yards and a TD vs. Miami and has 20 catches for 315 yards and two scores thus far.
Following the game, Higgins said he sprained his ankle and then tweaked it again midway through the game but that he’s fine.
Vonn Bell was the defensive star with two picks. Cincinnati kept Miami to under 100 rushing yards without its best run defender as tackle DJ Reader was hurt in Week 3 and will miss about a month.
The Bengals are 7-1 ATS on NFL picks in their past eight following a win.
Ravens Keep Blowing Leads
The Ravens are 2-0 on the road, but 0-2 at home after losing 23-20 to Buffalo on Sunday. Coach John Harbaugh had a very curious decision as Baltimore had fourth-and-goal at the Bills’ 2 with 4:15 left.
Baltimore opted not to kick the chip-shot field goal but went for it, and Lamar Jackson was intercepted.
The turnover made not scoring even more costly for Baltimore because it gave the Bills possession at the 20 instead of starting the drive backed up at the two-yard line.
"I felt like it gave us the best chance to win the game," Harbaugh said. "(If we score) seven, the worst that happens is if they go down the field and score, and I think we'll get them stopped, the worst thing that can happen is you're in overtime. But you kick a field goal there, now it's not a three-down game anymore, it's a four-down game.
Baltimore Makes History
Baltimore blew a 20-0 late third-quarter lead. It became the first team in eight years to lose multiple games at home when leading by 17 or more points.
The Ravens entered the game as one of the NFL's least penalized teams yet were flagged nine times for 70 yards. Jackson was 20-for-29 for 144 yards with a TD and pick and led the team with 73 yards on 11 carries.
The Ravens have now lost seven straight games decided by one score, the longest active streak in the league. They have lost a team-record five straight games at home and blown 17-point leads in consecutive home games.
Harbaugh’s team is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 after a loss. I consider this basically a pick’em in the NFL odds, so I’m using Bovada (visit our Bovada Review) because it’s the one site giving me 3.5 points.
Score Prediction: Ravens 24 - Bengals 21
NFL Pick: Bengals +3.5 (-115) at Bovada
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.