I took the Saints -6 over the Bengals last week and that was an easy winner. I will continue betting against the Bengals when AJ Green is not playing. In their week 2 contest against the Ravens, AJ Green had 3 TDs in the first half en route to a 34-23 victory. They also played that game at home on a short week. Without AJ Green on the road, this one is a lot tougher. I like the Ravens to cover this game easily.
Last week I inserted a graphic that had Andy Dalton’s stats without AJ Green against teams with winning record. Here are his stats in every game without AJ Green.
The numbers tell the story. I could justify this pick by solely looking at these numbers. The only time Andy Dalton has won on the road without AJ Green was against the Browns who finished 1-15. Dalton is 2-2 against the Ravens without AJ Green, losing both games on the road. I expect the Bengals offense to struggle mightily once again this week. They were only able to score 14 points against the Saints who went into last week ranked 28th in defensive efficiency. This week they face the Ravens 5th ranked defense, coming off a bye and a 3 game losing streak. The Ravens defense will be ready for this game and I expect this to be another game where the Bengals are unable to gain 300 total yards.
On the other side of the ball the Ravens offense will be getting a boost from Lamar Jackson as Joe Flacco is out with an injury. This is a major advantage for the Ravens as there is very limited film out on Lamar Jackson. Also the Bengals defense is terrible, ranked 26th in overall efficiency (22 passing, 30 rushing). This should play right into the hands of a mobile quarterback so I expect Lamar Jackson to make a lot of plays. The coaching staff has also hinted there will be some appearances by RG3. I expect both QBs to give the Bengals defense issues all day. The rest of the Ravens schedule is fairly easy other than games against the Chiefs and Chargers but they need to win this one first. The Bengals are going to get smoked again this week as the Ravens push for a playoff spot.