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Bengals vs. Ravens Week 11: Where’s the Smart Money Going on TNF?

This article originally appeared at FanDuel Research.

Ahead of tonight’s division battle on Thursday Night Football, our friends at FanDuel Sportsbook have your Bengals vs. Ravens prediction and more.

The Baltimore Ravens (7-3) will host the Cincinnati Bengals (5-4) for Week 11’s edition of Thursday Night Football, and this is the primetime matchup that NFL fans have been waiting for.

The Ravens find themself atop the AFC North standings, while the Bengals sit at the bottom of the division heap. But both teams have minus odds to make the playoffs (-800 for the Ravens and -144 for the Bengals) — that’s how stacked the AFC North is this season.

The Bengals got off to a rough start this season. They dropped three of their first four games, and Joe Burrow threw as many interceptions as touchdown passes during this span.

But it’s been a different story for the Bengals ever since. They won five straight, including games against teams such as the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, and Buffalo Bills, and Burrow has 12 touchdowns over his last six contests.

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Cincinnati lost on a last-second field goal to the Houston Texans last Sunday. Tonight, they will look to get back on the mend and redeem their early-season woes against a Baltimore team that edged them 27-24 in Week 2.

For Bengals fans, perhaps you’re experiencing a bit of deja vu with this team. Similarly to last season, the Bengals held a 5-4 record going into Week 11 – from there, they won the rest of their regular-season games.

The Ravens, meanwhile, have been excellent pretty much all season. They are one of only four teams to have seven-plus wins, and all three of their losses have been decided by a touchdown or less.

The one area where Baltimore seems to falter is in the fourth quarter. This season, they have led every single game entering the final quarter but have sacrificed the late-game lead thrice, including last week’s 33-31 loss at the hands of the Cleveland Browns.

A close spread could indicate that the Ravens may be tasked with closing out the game in the fourth quarter tonight, so we’ll see if they can get over the hump.

The game kicks off at 8:15 p.m. ET and can be streamed on Prime Video.

All NFL odds via FanDuel Sportsbook. Lines may change after this article is published.

Bengals at Ravens Week 11 Betting Odds: Spread, Total, and Moneyline

  • Spread: Ravens -3.5 (-112)
  • Total: 46.0
  • Moneyline:
    • Ravens: -196
    • Bengals: +164

Bengals at Ravens Week 11 Matchup Analysis

On paper, this matchup seems more lopsided than the spread indicates. According to numberFire’s nERD-based power rankings, the Ravens are the third-ranked team in the league and tout the second-best schedule-adjusted defense and 10th-best offense, while the Bengals rank 21st overall and have a 20th-ranked D and 18th-ranked offense.

But when looking at this Bengals team, going by strictly season-long numbers is all too misleading. Following Week 4, Joe Burrow had the fifth-worst Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) total in the league (ahead of only Mac Jones, Kenny Pickett, Bryce Young, and Daniel Jones). Since that time, Burrow’s Passing NEP has jumped from -21.44 to +19.24, putting him ahead of Lamar Jackson.

In the same four-week span to start the season, the Bengals allowed 23.5 points per game and had an abysmal -45 point differential. In the time since, they are allowing 19.6 points per game and tout a +35 point differential.

Cincinnati’s biggest task tonight will be going up against a top-ranked Baltimore pass defense. The Ravens are allowing only 173.1 passing yards per game (fourth-fewest), and the Bengals have a tough time competing when Burrow is silenced in the passing game — they are 4-1 when he throws for at least 250 yards and 1-3 when he doesn’t.

Tee Higgins is out tonight, so look for Tyler Boyd and, as always, Ja’Marr Chase to step up in his absence. In Week 2, Burrow’s receivers grabbed two of the only seven receiving touchdowns allowed by Baltimore this year, and they will need more where this came from to be in a good spot tonight.

Defensive end Sam Hubbard is among other key injuries for the Bengals, but Trey Hendrickson, who failed to practice on Monday, has been marked good to go, so Cincinnati will have the defensive end who leads the team in sacks.

Baltimore’s offensive game plan for tonight will likely be fairly simple: run the ball. Their first-ranked rush offense has plenty of assets. Lamar Jackson is the obvious shoutout here — he has more rushing yards than any other QB in the league, by a lot. Jackson’s 481 rush yards this year is more than 100 yards more than the next-best QB in this regard.

Beyond Jackson, Gus Edwards and Keaton Mitchell round out the top rushers on the team. Edwards has the third-most rushing touchdowns in the league (8; behind only Christian McCaffrey and Raheem Mostert), while undrafted rookie Mitchell had a breakout performance in Week 9, grabbing 138 yards on the ground and reaching the end zone in each of his last two outings.

The Ravens’ success with the run game has led them to rush the ball 51.27% of the time, which is more than any other team in the league (Cincinnati runs the ball only 33.39% of the time).

Regardless of opposition, Baltimore is keen on taking a Mark Andrews-or-run approach (not to discredit the great rookie season Zay Flowers is up to). But against the third-worst rush defense in the league, we could — and probably should — see Baltimore go with a run-heavy attack. The Bengals allow the third-most rush yards, the third-most rushing first downs, and the second-most yards per rush attempt.

With that being said, the Bengals were able to keep this matchup within three points during Week 2, and since then, they have started to look more and more like the team that has won back-to-back AFC North titles. Cincinnati also leads the league in takeaways (18), all while sacrificing the second-fewest giveaways (8), which could really flip the script in this game.

The Ravens have struggled within the division, posting a 2-2 record within it and a 5-1 record outside of it.

The outcome of this game will have a major bearing on the playoff and AFC North race. All in all, this should be one of the best TNF matchups of the season.

Bengals vs. Ravens Prop Bets

Keaton Mitchell Over 37.5 Rushing Yards (-114)

The Ravens are already running the ball a ton, but a date with a terrible rush D should be grounds for some major running plays. And, according to coach John Harbaugh, Keaton Mitchell is very much a part of the game plan tonight.

After grabbing a towering 138 yards off of nine carries in Week 9, Mitchell was limited to just three carries last week but still managed 34 yards.

Harbaugh assured that Mitchell should be in line to see more reps tonight, so I’m targeting Mitchell accordingly.

He is averaging 14.3 yards per rush attempt, which is a pretty bonkers, unsustainable number, but it’s a great sign that he can get the job done here even while being second in line to Gus Edwards for carries — especially given that the Bengals allow the second-most yards per rush attempt.

Whether Harbaugh’s word is his bond is yet to be seen, but given his comments, this matchup, and the quick turnaround game, I’d be very surprised if Mitchell doesn’t end up closer to his nine carries from Week 9 than his workload this past Sunday.

Gus Edwards Any Time Touchdown (+105)

Let’s target Mitchell to get us to the red zone and have Gus Edwards take over at the goal line.

As mentioned, Edwards has the third-most rush touchdowns in the league and has reached the end zone at least once in each of his past four games. His red zone rush share over this time stands at a sizable 42.4%, and he’s averaging 3.5 red zone rush attempts per game off of a 57.1% rushing success rate.

The Bengals allow the 10th-most (tied) rushing touchdowns per game and have ceded the sixth-most rushing scores over their last three games.

The market has the Ravens implied to score 24.5 points tonight. Baltimore has scored at least 25 points in seven different games this year — six of those sans J.K. Dobbins. In those six games, Edwards has reached the end zone in five of them.

— Annie Nader

Bengals vs. Ravens Prediction

The numberFire projections model gives the Ravens a 72.5% chance of victory against Cincinnati.

A spread of 3.5 points and total of 46.0 implies a final score of approximately 25-22.

Bengals vs. Ravens prediction via numberFire projection model

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