NFL Week 17 Picks: Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Sunday, 12/29/13, 1:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Cincinnati -4
Current Betting Line:  Cincinnati -6
Opening Total:  44.5
Current Total:  44.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Cincinnati Bengals are 8-0 SU as home favorites of 3.5 to 7 points since 2011

The Cincinnati Bengals are 8-0 SU as home favorites of 3.5 to 7 points since 2011

Baltimore has a chance to make the AFC playoffs for a sixth consecutive season and seventh time in the last eight years, as it looks to bounce back from a 41-7 setback to the New England Patriots as 1.5-point home underdogs in Week 16.  Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has been bothered by a left knee injury that he suffered on Dec. 16, which is important to consider when making your NFL betting picks, as he completed 22 of 38 passes for 206 yards with two interceptions last time out.  Baltimore is 4-5 SU and 6-3 ATS as underdogs of 3.5 to 9.5 points the last two-plus seasons.

The Ravens have played nine games this season that have been decided by three or fewer points—posting a 5-4 record in those contests.  Baltimore has won 10 of its last 13 regular season finales, including four of five under head coach John Harbaugh.  Offensively, the team is 26th in the league in averaging 20.2 points per game, while it ranks 29th in gaining 313.1 yards a contest.  The franchise is 24-11 SU versus division foes since 2008—the fifth best mark in the league in that situation.

Cincinnati is in the postseason for a third straight season for the first time in franchise history, which is important to consider when looking over the pro football odds page.  The Bengals have already been crowned as AFC North Division champions and are still alive for a possible No. 2 conference seed if they pick up a victory in this spot and the New England Patriots falter.  Overall, this particular series is tied 7-7 in the last 14 meetings, while the franchise is 10-7 all-time at home.  Cincinnati is 8-0 SU and 6-1-1 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5 to 7 points the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 5-3 in that situation.

The Bengals need a big performance out of third-year quarterback Andy Dalton, who has completed 53.1 percent of his passes for four touchdowns and six interceptions in five career games against the Ravens.  He’ll likely target wide receiver AJ Green in the passing game, as he caught eight passes for 151 yards in the first meeting this season.

Sports bettors will likely back the Bengals due to the favorite being 4-0-1 ATS in the last five meetings in this rivalry.

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