Take The Points And BET Ravens At Bengals In AFC Wild Card Game

AFC North co-tenants meet for a third time this season when the 6-seed Baltimore Ravens (10-7) visit the 3-seed, and division champion, Cincinnati Bengals (12-4) Sunday in an AFC Wild Card game.

These teams split the regular-season series 1-1 with the Ravens winning the first 19-17 at home in Week 5 and the Bengals beat Baltimore last week 27-16 clinch the AFC North division.

The Bengals pushed as 11-point favorites over the Ravens in Week 18. But, Cincinnati is 3-0-1 against the spread (ATS) vs. Baltimore since the beginning of last season.

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson will miss his sixth consecutive game and they are 2-3 overall and 2-2-1 ATS in the first five. Baltimore backup QB Tyler Huntley missed last week's game vs. Cincy and is battling a shoulder injury.

Cincinnati enters on an eight-game winning streak (8-1-1 ATS). The Bengals covered all four playoff games last season including their Super Bowl loss to the Rams.

Ravens-Bengals Betting Board (DraftKings)

Per both Football Outsiders and Pro Football Focus (PFF), the Ravens are better on defense and special teams. Baltimore's defense has turned into a top-tier unit after acquiring LB Roquan Smith at the trade deadline before Week 9.

The Ravens are fifth in defensive EPA/play over that span and have allowed more than 20 points just twice in nine games. Also, their defense is perfectly built to face Cincy's offense.

Baltimore can stop the run without putting more defenders in the box. It held Cincy to just 50 rushing yards on 20 carries last week. The Ravens are third in both yards per rush allowed and rushing yards per game allowed on defense.

They have Pro Bowl-talent on all three levels including five elite defensive backs. In fact, none of Cincy's starting three WRs have better than an "average' matchup vs. Baltimore's secondary, according to PFF.

Furthermore, Cincy is down two offensive line starters in RG Alex Cappa and RT La'el Collins. The Ravens are better in run blocking and pass protection/rush on both sides of the ball, per ESPN win rates.

The Ravens out-gained the Bengals 5.1-4.0 in yards per play and had five more first downs (20-15) last week. Despite being down to their third-string QB and without TE Mark Andrews and RB J.K. Dobbins.

Andrews was given Week 18 off but balls out vs. the Bengals. He has a combined 16 receptions for 214 yards with 2 TDs in his last two games against Cincinnati.

Most of these AFC North battles are one-score games so Baltimore's edge in special teams and Justin Tucker are more important in these spots.

Finally, this is a good fade the public spot. Roughly 80% of the action at DraftKings Sportsbook is on the Bengals at the time of writing, per VSIN.

We know Cincy will be included in a ton of ML parlays and teasers so the sportsbooks will be rooting for Baltimore. It's best to be on the same side as the House and against the public in sports betting.

BET: Ravens +8.5 (-105) at DraftKings Sportsbook

PS Player Prop: Ravens RB J.K. Dobbins OVER 59.5 rushing yards (-115) at DraftKings

Dobbins was also given an off-day last week to be at peak-health entering the playoffs. He missed all of last season with an injury but has been on-fire lately.

Over the past four games, Dobbins has rushed for 397 yards and is averaging 5.7 yards per rush on the season. Dobbins only ran for 44 yards vs. the Bengals in Week 5 but he did so on just eight carries.

He should be given a bigger role in this Ravens-Bengals meeting since Lamar is out with an injury and Baltimore's WR corp is one of the worst in the NFL.

Lastly, Dobbins is fifth in rushing yards over expectation per attempt, according to NFL's Next Gen stats. While Cincinnati's defense has the third-worst run-stopping win rate, according to ESPN.