Sunday Night Football (SNF) features a much-anticipated rematch. Joe Burrow’s Cincinnati Bengals faces Lamar Jackson’s Baltimore Ravens for the top spot in the division. The Bengals vs Ravens betting odds favor Baltimore by a field goal. The Bengals enter as underdogs for the first time this season. The team has been on a roll as it looks to continue its success in the M&T Bank Stadium.
Bengals Roaring Behind Trio of Receivers
It was rough for Burrow and the Bengals who went 0-2 to start the year. They turned the ball over five times in Week 1 then managed just 254 total yards of offense in Week 2. In spite of that, the team won two straight over the AFC East and is back in business. Since that Week 1 kerfuffle, Cincinnati has turned the ball over just once and has a +6 turnover differential. Their secret? Burrow’s connection with the three-headed monster at wide receiver.
Tee Higgins, Ja’Marr Chase, and Tyler Boyd each have over 200 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns. The team is eighth in the NFL in passing yards and seventh in passing touchdowns. Heading to the season, Chase’s prowess was overstated. He’s still prolific. But the emergence of both Higgins and Boyd will make Cincinnati more difficult to contend with.
“They obviously have the best trio of wide receivers in the league,” Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey said. He jokingly said he got “cooked” in Cincinnati’s two blowout wins over Baltimore last season. “They all bring a different dynamic to the game. Boyd is a guy they want to get the ball to on third down a lot. Chase is their deep threat, speed, really strong YAC guy. Higgins is a mixture of both, all big-bodied guys. It’s a really tough matchup for everybody and you have to be on point.”
With this trio continuing to play at a high level, there is good reason to back the underdog on the Bengals vs Ravens betting odds. The SNF point spread indicates a close game between the two. Baltimore has been in close games in its two losses – both at home. Ravens backers have reason to be concerned with the visitors this Sunday night.
Ravens Must Solve Second-Half Woes
A part of the Ravens’ concerns includes their meltdowns in the second half of games. Baltimore has trailed for a total of 44 seconds this season. And yet, Baltimore is just 2-2. It has been outscored 48-10 in the second half in both games at home. And yet, the Bengals vs Ravens betting odds still favor the home team.
“Lamar Jackson said the offense needs to take care of the little details. Feels like that’s preventing them from extending leads in second halves. Said it’s little “BS” that’s hurting offense,” Jeff Zrebiec, senior staff writer for The Athletic-Baltimore tweeted in response to Baltimore’s loss against Buffalo in Week 4.
Jackson has been putting up Offensive Player of the Year-worthy stats this season. He is tied for the lead in the NFL in passing touchdowns (11), is fourth in passer rating (105.1), and is eighth in adjusted net yards per pass attempt (7.27). Markedly, his first-half and second-half splits have been damning.
The 2019 NFL MVP is unconscious in the first half: A 71.7 percent completion rate (Cmp%), seven total touchdowns, and a 128.5 passer rating. In the second half? 57.9 Cmp%, six total touchdowns, and an 80.5 passer rating. He’s not the only one at fault. The Ravens’ passing defense is getting lit up.
The 2019 NFL MVP is unconscious in the first half: A 71.7 percent completion rate (Cmp%), seven total touchdowns, and a 128.5 passer rating. In the second half? 57.9 Cmp%, six total touchdowns, and an 80.5 passer rating.
This unit has given up the most passing yards (1,261). Fair play, the team has a few key players on the injury report NFL like CB Kyle Fuller and edge rusher Justin Houston. Be that as it may, Baltimore’s passing ‘D’ is not entirely washed. It has played better on the road and has allowed just one touchdown while producing four interceptions and six sacks.
If the defense can transfer that productivity on the road to the M&T Bank Stadium, it will be a more prolific outfit.
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