NFL betting is officially underway and EveryEdge looks to build on an 8-1 ATS record when the Cincinnati takes on the Baltimore Ravens in Part I of the Monday Night Football double-header
Andy Dalton and AJ Green pose a big test for the new-look Ravens defense
WEEK 1 MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
It’s only Week 1 but after watching the Steelers and Browns lose Sunday, first place in the AFC North for at least six days is on the line Monday when these rivals clash. Odds makers opened the Ravens as a 7-point favorite in April and the line softened to -5.5 in August but the books shifted back to -7 early September.
Each of these teams made changes to the defense during the off-season Paul Kruger has big shoes to fill, taking over for Terrell Suggs (Achilles). He along with third-year LB Albert McClellan will get significant more playing time with unit that ranked second against the run last year and third in QB sack percentage.
Cincinnati will have two new faces on the O-line that need to be tested but with QB Andy Dalton’s weapons on the outside, this Ravens D cannot simply pin its ears back. Speedy WR AJ Green led all rookies with 65 catches for 1,057 yards and seven touchdowns last season and with RB Scott (hand) out, Cinci’s attack will be geared more towards exploiting single coverages.
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QB Joe Flacco has his own set of downfield threats and Torrey Smith will stretch the defense, opening things underneath for WR Anquan Boldin – who looked great in camp, but the Bengals fierce pass rush will not allow much time.
RB Ray Rice could end up being the game changer tonight, as he often is. Rice had 345 all-purpose yards with four TDs in two meetings vs. Cinci last season (Week 11 and 17) but one thing to consider is that four of his top five rushing performances came in the second-half of the season.
In 2010, Baltimore played 12 of 16 regular season games decided by seven points or less. Early in the 2011 season it looked as if things had changed when the Ravens played five-straight decided by double-digit margins (4-1 SU/ATS) but then from Week 7 to the Conference Final against New England, the Ravens won only four games by more than seven points. Scoring won’t come easy for either squad and getting at least a touchdown we feel the value here is on the underdog.
Pick: Take the Bengals