Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals Matchup Preview (1/3/21): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)
The Ravens are 10-5 and currently sit as the #6 seed in the AFC, but they need to win this game to secure a playoff spot. Baltimore can also clinch a spot in the postseason if either Cleveland or Indianapolis loses this week. The Ravens have won four straight games against the Bengals, their AFC North rival, and they’ll be looking to extend that streak to five games and secure a playoff spot this week. For odds movement and full matchup history, visit the Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals Matchup Page.
Date: Sunday, January 3th, 2021
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Location: Paul Brown Stadium – Cincinnati, OH
TV Coverage: CBS
Ravens vs. Bengals Live Stream
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Baltimore Ravens: DE Yannick Ngakoue (thigh) Q, CB Marcus Peters (calf) Q, CB Jimmy Smith (shoulder) Q, OG Patrick Mekari (back) Q, WR Willie Snead (ankle) Q, QB Robert Griffin III (thigh) IR eligible to return, CB Khalil Dorsey (shoulder) IR eligible to return, DB Terrell Bonds (knee) IR eligible to return, LB Otaro Alaka (knee) IR eligible to return, P Sam Koch (COVID-19) IR
Cincinnati Bengals: WR Tee Higgins (hamstring) Q, WR Tyler Boyd (concussion) Q, LB Jordan Evans (hamstring) Q, LB Logan Wilson (ankle) Q, C B.J. Finney (abdomen) Q, CB William Jackson (concussion) Q, DT D.J. Reader (quadriceps) IR eligible to return, WR John Ross (foot) IR eligible to return, DE Takkarist McKinley (groin) IR eligible to return
Baltimore Ravens Analysis
After a groggy start to the year, the Ravens’ offense has found itself as Baltimore has scored 37 points per game over the past four weeks in a four-game win streak. Lamar Jackson isn’t on quite the same MVP-level pace from last year, but he has put together solid numbers. He’s completed 64.8% of his passes for 2,644 yards and 23 touchdowns with 8 interceptions. Jackson also leads the team in rushing with 148 carries for 908 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Baltimore’s rushing offense has been dominant with 5.3 YPC, the highest mark in the NFL, 2,667 yards, the most, and 22 touchdowns, tied for the second-most. Gus Edwards has 132 carries for 663 yards and 6 touchdowns, while J.K. Dobbins has 121 carries for 645 yards and 7 touchdowns. With that level of dominance in the rushing game, Baltimore’s passing offense hasn’t had to produce much for the team to score.
Despite their injury issues on defense, the Ravens have allowed just 20.0 points per game, the fourth-fewest in the NFL, and 338.7 yards per game, the ninth-fewest in the NFL. They’ve also held opponents to just a 35.2% third-down conversion rate, the second-lowest in the NFL. However, with Yannick Ngakoue, Jimmy Smith, and Marcus Peters all hurt, the Ravens are in a precarious position. Cincinnati has already ruled out their starting quarterback and running back, Joe Burrow and Joe Mixon, for this game, while Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd are questionable. Baltimore’s defense will dominate against a weakened Cincy offense.
Baltimore Ravens Depth Chart
Cincinnati Bengals Analysis
The Bengals had seen inspired play from rookie quarterback Joe Burrow this season before his career-altering injury. Burrow had completed 65.3% of his passes for 2,688 yards and 13 touchdowns to 5 interceptions. However, Cincy has surprisingly put together a 2-3 record since Burrow’s injury and has scored 32 points per game over the past two weeks despite two different starting passers over that span. Brandon Allen got the start last week and completed 78.3% of his passes last week for 371 yards and 2 touchdowns.
With Joe Mixon playing in just 6 games this season, Giovani Bernard has racked up 764 yards from scrimmage and 6 touchdowns on 168 touches. Tyler Boyd leads the team with 78 catches for 840 yards and 4 touchdowns, while Tee Higgins has 67 catches for 908 yards and 6 touchdowns. However, Boyd and Higgins are both questionable for this week’s game. If they do play, they will produce against a Ravens’ secondary missing several key pieces.
On defense, the Bengals have been surprisingly solid this year as they’ve allowed just 25.7 points per game, the 20th-fewest in the NFL. The secondary has seen some solid play from all of William Jackson, Darius Phillips, Mackensie Alexander, Jessie Bates, and Vonn Bell. Meanwhile, Carl Lawson and Sam Hubbard have excelled off the edge. Cincinnati’s defense looks to have a bright future moving forward.
Cincinnati Bengals Depth Chart
Spread: Ravens -12, Bengals +12
Moneyline: Ravens -800, Bengals +550
Over/Under: 44.5 points
This is a huge spread for the Ravens to cover on the road, especially with how the Bengals have played as of late. The improved Cincy offense won’t produce the same way if Tyler Boyd or Tee Higgins is unable to play, so it’s important to keep an eye on the team’s injury report. I also think the Ravens won’t be scoring as much as they have in recent weeks – Cincy has a talented secondary that will shut down an already limited passing offense for Baltimore, leaving their offense one-dimensional. The Ravens’ defense is excellent across the board, although their passing defense could be limited due to injuries to their top cornerbacks and top pass-rusher in Yannick Ngakoue. Still, I’ll bet on this being a low-scoring game with the Bengals covering a huge spread at home and the Ravens getting a win to guarantee them a playoff spot.
My predictions: Ravens win 23-16, Bengals cover, under 44.5 points
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Daily Fantasy Picks
It’s hard to know what either of these teams will look like injury-wise, but I’m inspired by the Ravens’ rushing offense in this matchup and am targeting both J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards in DFS. On the other side of the ball, if Tyler Boyd or Tee Higgins is unable to go, the other guy would be in a great position for DFS value. Despite a tough matchup, Giovani Bernard is worth considering as well. Lamar Jackson is the guy to highlight as one of the highest-priced QBs who could finish as the #1 QB for fantasy this week.