The Baltimore Ravens had an injury-riddled camp, and no one’s injury to get more attention than that of quarterback Joe Flacco, whose back was hurting bad enough that he missed the entire training camp. But Flacco will be in action because the alternative, Ryan Mallett, is almost too painful to think about. Baltimore would get its season underway against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday at 1 PM ET at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. This game will be regionally televised by CBS, and BetAnySports patrons will have the opportunity to place wagers on it while it is happening, utilizing the technology made available through Live Betting Ultra.
Ravens vs Bengals Odds – 2017 Week 1 NFL Betting Line:
In the NFL betting odds posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, the Bengals are the favorites at home:
Cincinnati Bengals -3 (-105)
Baltimore Ravens +3 (-115)
Over 42 points -110
Under 42 points -110
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Ravens vs Bengals Odds – CJ’s Take:
Flacco, who cashed in big after the Ravens won a Super Bowl, has not been a model of consistency lately. Last season he did throw for 4317 yards, but his ratio of 20 touchdowns to 15 interceptions left a lot to be desired. He has a strong arm, which gives the Ravens the ability to stretch the field with receivers like Mike Wallace, Brashad Perriman and Jeremy Maclin, but we will have to see how he performs without taking any snaps in live action during the pre-season. Mallett was not impressive in his place, so that gives Baltimore fans a lot to worry about in case Flacco goes down.
The Bengals are obviously coming off a disappointing campaign, but they hope they have revived the running game by drafting Joe Mixon, the troubled Oklahoma star, in the second round. What makes Mixon dangerous is the fact that he not only has blazing speed, but is a good pass-catcher out of the backfield, and so, along with Jeremy Hill and Giovanni Bernard, this would give Cincinnati some real options in the backfield.
Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton simply needs more time to throw. He suffered 41 sacks last season, which equaled his totals from 2014 and 2015 combined. They just can’t have that. Maybe if Mixon gets off real well, that will cause an impediment for pass rushers, and then Dalton might have time to get the ball down the field to one of the premier receivers in the NFL, AJ Green, who averaged 14.6 yards per catch last season. Brandon Lafell is a very good complement to him, and then there is first-round draft choice John Ross, who has scary speed but will likely be kept out of this game with a knee injury.
The concern for Baltimore in the ground attack is that they don’t really have a “go-to” back. Kenneth Dixon is out of action, and so that leaves them once again looking for a “committee” to work with. Danny Woodhead was acquired, and he will help, but he is mostly a short-range receiving outlet. But the Ravens catch a break in this opener, as linebacker Vontaze Burfict and cornerback Adam Jones will be sitting this one out on suspension.
Baltimore’s defense looked great in the pre-season, and that carried them to a 4-0 record during the exhibition slate. This is a team that allowed the opposition only 3.7 yards per carry and made 18 interceptions. If that Cincinnati offensive line is not repaired, it leaves quite an opening for Terrell Suggs to make some noise.
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By Charles Jay