The two best teams in the AFC North will meet on Sunday Night Football when the Baltimore Ravens take on the Cincinnati Bengals. Both of these teams are 2-2, and the winner will likely sit all alone at the top of the division after this week. Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow are two of the best young quarterbacks in the league, and they are both looking to make sure their teams sit atop this division for the foreseeable future.
The Baltimore Ravens will host AFC North rival Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday Night Football. This game will take place on Sunday, October 9, 2022, at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC.
NFL Week 5 Betting Odds
Cincinnati Bengals +3
Baltimore Ravens -3
Money Line: Bengals +144, Ravens -165
Since the NFL betting odds were opened for this game last Sunday, the line has vacillated between Baltimore -3 and -3.5. Currently, the Ravens are three-point favorites, and it’s unlikely that the line falls below that number. The total has moved between 48 and 48.5 since it opened too.
The offensive line has been the biggest story for the Cincinnati Bengals through the first month of the season. Cincinnati did its best to address its deficiencies along the offensive line in the offseason, but the Bengals allowed 13 sacks in their first two games and ended up losing to Mitch Trubisky and Cooper Rush. However, Joe Burrow has been sacked just three times over the last two weeks, leading to Cincinnati beating its last two opponents by double digits.
When he has time to throw the ball, Burrow is one of the most dangerous quarterbacks in the league. Cincinnati has three quality receivers in Tee Higgins, Ja’Marr Chase, and Tyler Boyd, and he does a great job of distributing the ball between those three targets. However, Joe Mixon hasn’t been as effective as he was last season, and he is averaging just 2.7 YPC. It might be easy to blame the offensive line for that too, but Mixon’s advanced metrics are not good. Higgins and tight end Hayden Hurst are questionable to play this week.
Cincinnati ranks 8th in scoring defense (17.5 PPG) and 11th in total defense (327.5 YPG). The Bengals have done a great job of getting off the field on third and fourth down, and the front seven is allowing just 3.8 YPC. The only thing they struggle with is pass rush, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing against Lamar Jackson.
Lamar Jackson is in the last year of his contract, and he is looking to sign a massive deal at the end of the year. Jackson has played very well through the first month of the season, completing 65% of his passes for 7.6 YPA with 11 touchdowns and four interceptions despite not having a truly elite receiver. Tight end Mark Andrews is his only real target in the passing game, as his two best receivers are Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay.
Jackson is one of the most dangerous runners in the league. He is averaging 8.5 YPC, and he is one of a handful of players that has more than 300 rushing yards. Justice Hill has been the best option alongside him in the backfield, averaging 6.6 YPC, while both J.K. Dobbins and Kenyan Drake have struggled to move the chains.
Baltimore does not have a good defense through the first month of the season. The Ravens rank 23rd in scoring defense (25.0 PPG) and 30th in total defense (425.0 YPG). They are surrendering 6.2 yards per play, and they are giving up more passing yards per game than any other team in the league. The safeties have been a real disappointment, but Marcus Peters hasn’t played well either.
Bengals at Ravens Free Pick
This is a good matchup for the Cincinnati Bengals. Their strengths play into the Baltimore Ravens’ weaknesses pretty well, and Burrow has the potential to pick apart this secondary to lead the Bengals to an upset victory.
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