Run it back! The Baltimore Ravens (10-7) visit the Cincinnati Bengals (12-4) in an AFC Wild Card round rubber-match at Paycor Stadium. The game kicks off on Sunday, Jan. 15 at 8:15 p.m. on NBC. These two teams met in Cincinnati in Week 18 and since the Ravens’ playoff spot was locked in, Baltimore rested most of its starters. The Bengals opened as a -6 (-110) favorite at FanDuel Sportsbook, but that number almost immediately dropped to -5.5. Find Ravens at Bengals Wild Card opening odds below.
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NFL Wild Card Opening Odds: Baltimore Ravens At Cincinnati Bengals
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How The Bengals Got Here
Cincinnati built upon its Super Bowl runner-up year with a 12-win season and the third overall seed in the AFC. Joe Burrow continues to cement himself as one of the league’s elite passers, helped along in part to superstar Ja’Marr Chase. Although their Monday Night Football game against the Bills was declared a no-contest, the Bengals lost just one single game outside of AFC North play.
The Bengals’ offensive firepower draws most of the attention, but the defense made the Bengals downright dangerous this year. Specifically, second-half adjustments by DC Lou Anarumo sealed victory after victory. Cincinnati allowed just 8.7 second-half points per game this season, eighth-best in the league, but they didn’t allow a second-half touchdown until Halloween.
The Bengals generated the ninth-most pressure, but also the second-highest rate of QB knockdowns in the league.
They lost Alex Kappa on the offensive line to an injury in Week 18, someone they hope to have back by Wild Card Weekend.
How The Ravens Got Here
The Ravens battled a tumultuous year, embattled with contract talks for and injuries to Lamar Jackson. Once again the backfield and receiving corps was stripped of its depth thanks to injuries to JK Dobbins and Rashod Bateman, among many others. They lost their final four games without Jackson, but secured a playoff berth thanks to their wins accrued at the start of the season.
Will Jackson be back for the Wild Card game? With a potential super contract on the horizon, there’s a good chance he doesn’t risk playing again this year. However, that’s unclear at odds opening.
The Ravens– like the rest of the AFC North– went 3-3 in division. Their loss in Week 18 assured no shot at hosting the Wild Card game, rather, they’ll travel back to Cincinnati. Only one team scored fewer points over the last four games of the season than the Ravens (11.7 points per game) and their defense on the season finished painfully average (17th in EPA per play).
The top hope for the Ravens heading into Super Wild Card Weekend is that Jackson returns to the offense.
NFL Playoffs Begin Jan. 15 With Super Wild Card Weekend
The Kansas City Chiefs secured the AFC’s top overall playoff seed Saturday with their win over the Raiders. Patrick Mahomes & Co. get the coveted bye week for the Wild Card Round. The bye also fortifies their position as the Super Bowl odds favorites. On the other side, the Philadelphia Eagles locked up the NFC’s top overall seed. Led by NFL MVP contender Jalen Hurts, the Eagles also get an extra week’s rest and await winners of the Wild Card Round.
Aside from this game, the Buffalo Bills host the Miami Dolphins and the AFC South-champion Jacksonville Jaguars face the Los Angeles Chargers in the AFC Playoffs. The San Francisco 49ers play either the Packers or Seahawks, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers face the Dallas Cowboys, and the Minnesota Vikings host the New York Giants on the NFC side.
Super Wild Card weekend begins Jan. 15 with the Seahawks at 49ers. Follow along with TheLines for NFL Playoff odds and coverage. Best of luck wagering on Bengals vs. Ravens odds