NFL Week 17: Ravens vs. Bengals

28

Dec 2012

POSTED IN Betting | no comments

Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012 1 p.m. ET

As a result of the win over the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants last week at M&T Bank Stadium, the Baltimore Ravens were able to officially clinch the AFC North division title. Although the Ravens had already punched their ticket to the playoffs before taking the Giants in Baltimore, the Ravens needed the win over New York for many different reasons. The moral of the Ravens over the past few weeks has been anything but good. Baltimore lack of confidence in the second half of the season has made many believe that Joe Flacco and company will likely be one-and-done come playoff time. With that being said, needing to bounce back from a three-game losing streak with a win over the Giants on their home field was crucial moving forward. One of the most glaring problems for the Ravens has been on the offensive side of the football with the team seemingly having lost their edge offensively. As a result of the offensive struggles as of late, the Ravens parted ways with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron replacing him with Jim Caldwell. The move was highly criticized and made many wonder why they’d make such a move with the playoffs right around the corner. Needless to say, the firing of Cameron hasn’t made things any better in Baltimore with the team still failing to get a grip on an identity offensively. Regardless of the recent struggles, the Ravens can now focus on the playoffs with Week 17’s matchup against the division rival Cincinnati Bengals basically meaningless and nothing more than a formality before heading into the playoffs. It doesn’t matter if the Ravens win or lose this game on the road at Paul Brown Stadium as it will not change anything in terms of playoff positioning for either of the two playoff bound AFC North teams. As for the Bengals, Andy Dalton and company will try to keep up their winning ways regardless having won six out of the last seven games of the season before heading into this showdown with the Ravens. Cincinnati has been on a roll as of late and there’s no better time for the team to be firing on all cylinders with the playoffs around the corner. Coming into this matchup, the Bengals are favored to get the win at home with a -1 point spread. That sounds about right to me with the Ravens likely resting starters to prepare for the playoffs.

Prediction: Bengals -1

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