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Week 5 NFL Spreads: Bengals vs. Ravens

NFL Week 5 – Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens

Time: Sunday 1:05 ET
Venue: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland
MoneyLine: Ravens -380 (-110) / Bengals +320 (-110)
Spread: Ravens -9
Over/Under: 42


Be honest. After that defensive screwup on the final play of opening day, you thought the Bengals were toast, right? If you can’t beat a rebuilding Denver team at home, what are you going to do against the Pittsburghs and Baltimores?

But that was then and this is now, and at the schedule quarter pole the 3-1 Bengals are alive and kicking, and surprisingly tied for first place in the AFC North with the Ravens. The teams meet Sunday in an early-season test that kicks of a month of key games in the division.

The Bengals have some talent, but they’ve dealt with so much BS over the last half-decade – on and off the field – that it seemed like they would never be able move a move on the Ravens or Steelers. Carson Palmer has had to rebound from assorted knee and arm injuries, Chad OchoCinco’s antics have been a huge distraction, and a good percentage of the proceeds from ticket sales had to be diverted to bail players out of jail.Sports Betting at Sportsbook.com

But as Roberto Duran liked to say, “No mas.”

Palmer hasn’t exactly channeled his inner Drew Brees, but he’s been effective and – just as important – healthy. OchoCinco is getting the ball enough to stay relatively quiet and defenses honest. That has opened up things for running back Cedric Benson, one of the real surprises of the season. Benson is fourth in the league in rushing and on a pace to rush for nearly 1,500 yards. Benson’s 23-yard touchdown run in Week 3 against the Steelers helped set up a 23-20 Bengals victory that has helped turn the AFC North on its head.

The Ravens, meanwhile, were last seen in New England, whining about the referees after a 27-21 loss to the Patriots dealt Baltimore (3-1) its first defeat of the season. Seems Ray Lewis and John Harbaugh think that the refs went overboard on roughing-the-passer calls. They had no trouble with the roughing the pass penalty called against New England’s Mike Wright when his hand brushed the helmet of Baltimore QB Joe Flacco.

Referee bashing aside, the Ravens finally have a decent offense to go along with their turnover-producing defense. After trotting out a number of OK quarterbacks who were asked just not to lose games, they have a real triggerman in Flacco, who ranks 10th in the league and has thrown for more than 1,00 yards with 8 TDs and only 3 interceptions.

The Ravens, who were driving for what would have been the winning TD in the AFC Championship Game last season when Pittsburgh’s Troy Polamalu pick-sixed them into then offseason, feel that they have better balance this season and plenty of horse to again go deep into the playoffs. The next two weeks are important. After Cincinnati, they travel to Minnesota, then get their bye week. After that, Denver and a trip to Cincinnati. By early November we’ll know much more about them.

Comment on this game below, hit us with your pregame NFL picks and predictions…

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Lawrence Paul is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog, and is a free-lance gambling and travel writer from Massachusetts.


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About Lawrence Paul

Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!