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Dec 29, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) throws a pass during the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Bengals defeated the Ravens 34-17. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Ravens Early Favorites Over The Cincinnati Bengals

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The Ravens have won 14 straight games at M&T Bank Stadium in the month of September.  Since 2008 (Joe Flacco’s rookie season and John Harbaugh’s first as the Raven’s coach), the team has gone 5-1 in season openers.  Only Tom Brady of the Patriots has a better opening day record since then (6-0).  So it may not surprise you that Las Vegas has the Baltimore Ravens as the early favorites over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Even though most media pundits expect the Bengals to have a better season than the Ravens, most have chosen to look at history when predicting the outcome of this game.  Despite the heart breaking loss the Ravens suffered at the hands of this Bengal’s team in week 17 of last season that eliminated them from playoff contention, this is a new year in which the Ravens have seemingly plugged all the holes that doomed them last season.

And M&T Bank Stadium is a notoriously tough place to play, especially early in the season.  Fans are riled up after last year’s disappointing finish and starved for some real action.  They are eager to see what this team can do with an entirely new offense and a fiery leader in wide receiver Steve Smith.  This is going to be a seriously hostile environment for the Bengals, especially quarterback Andy Dalton.

With these factors in mind, let’s take a look at how all the various Vegas outlets are predicting the outcome of Sunday’s game.

Bookmaker

Ravens +1 1/2, O/U 42 1/2

BetDSI

Ravens +1 1/2, O/U 43

Bovada

Ravens +1 1/2, O/U 43

5Dimes

Ravens 1/20, O/U 43

Pinnacle Sports

Ravens 2/03, O/U 43

WagerWeb

Ravens +1 1/2, O/U 43

So it’s pretty unanimous overall.  The opening line is Ravens +2 1/2 with an over/under of 43.  We expect this to be pretty accurate in the end and don’t expect a blowout.  The Bengals are a much improved team with a lot of weapons on offense, as well as a strong defense.  Both teams match up well.  But the home team gets the slight edge here, with a bit if history on its side.

 

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