Against the bungling Bengals (0-5), Jackson could win with his arm, his legs, or even just take the day off by handing the ball to Mark Ingram II and Gus Edwards and letting those capable running backs shred Cincinnati. That being said, a 12-point spread is greedy when you consider Jackson has won a game by that many points only three times in 12 career starts (once this season).
Baltimore continues to prove its defense has taken a major step back, allowing Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges to post a passer rating near 100.0. Lamar Jackson has four touchdown passes and five interceptions in the last three games. The Bengals are 4-1 against the spread in their last five road games against the Ravens. This game could be closer than some expect.
The Ravens (3-2)laying 12 points is aggressive, but they should clearly win the game against a Bengals (0-5) team still searching for its first win. It’s tough to imagine Cincinnati holding down the running game of Mark Ingram and Lamar Jackson.
The market always has a tough time accurately pricing truly horrendous teams. Considering the Bengals got outgained by 1.3 yards per play to the lowly Cardinals last week, they qualify as a truly horrendous team.
The Ravens are historically known for being a great defensive team, but this year’s squad is allowing 6.7 yards per pass attempt — the second-worst mark in the league. They’re also near the bottom of the league in terms of takeaways and sacks. The Bengals stink, but they should be able to make some big plays and keep this one within the number.
Three of Cincinnati’s five losses — on the road against Seattle and Buffalo, and at home against Arizona — have been by a combined eight points. Of course, there were a couple of blowouts mixed in there, too, but Baltimore’s defense is cracked enough to allow a backdoor cover, if nothing else.
The number of winless teams has dwindled to four, thanks in large part to the Bengals. In the past two games, they’ve allowed winless teams to win their first game — the Steelers and Arizona Cardinals. The Ravens are 3-0 against teams who have one victory or fewer.
Do we know the Ravens are good? They blasted the Dolphins. Other than that? Their wins were relatively close ones against the Cardinals and the Steelers, who finished the game with their third-string quarterback and still went to overtime. The Ravens weren’t all that close against the Chiefs and looked bad against the Browns, and that’s Cleveland’s only decent game of the season. The Bengals stink, but I really don’t buy the Ravens right now.
Baltimore is going through a rough patch, being routed by Cleveland and escaping Pittsburgh with an OT win. They should use this game to get into form. The winless Bengals couldn't even beat the Cardinals at home.
The Ravens are a run-first team with Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram and their complementary backs. Their passing game is off, and rookie wide receiver Marquise Brown is hurting. They won't get cute here; they instead will just pound away against a Bengals defense that can't stop anything on the ground.
The Ravens are coming off a tough, physical game with the Steelers, which can impact a team at times. Not here. The Bengals have issues on both sides of the ball, which I think will show up.
Hard to lay so many points in a divisional game with a team that went to overtime last week, but the Bengals are that bad. Only Miami and the Jets have a worse yards-per-play differential this season, and only Miami has a worse turnover margin.