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Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals preview: Predictions, odds and 3 matchups to watch

The Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals will do battle for the second time in a week when they take on one another in the NFL Wild Card Playoffs Sunday evening.

Baltimore will be without star quarterback Lamar Jackson for a sixth consecutive game due to a knee injury. Meanwhile, the homestanding Bengals boast an eight-game winning streak as they look to repeat as AFC Champs. Below, we preview this game with all the information you need heading in.

Related: Sportsnaut’s NFL Playoff and Super Bowl predictions

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals odds

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals
David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the latest odds for this NFL Wild Card Game via BetMGM.

  • Spread: Bengals -8.5
  • Moneyline: Bengals -450, Ravens +340
  • Point total: 40.5

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals game info

baltimore ravens at cincinnati bengals nfl wild card preview
Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s how to watch this NFL Wild Card Game, TV info and broadcast time.

  • Date: Sunday, January 15
  • Time: 8:15 PM ET
  • TV info: NBC, Peacock
  • Location: Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio

Related: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals standing in our NFL power rankings

3 matchups to watch in NFL Wild Card Game

Let’s check in on some major matchups for this playoff game set to take place in Cincinnati Sunday evening.

Ja’Marr Chase vs Marlon Humphrey

baltimore ravens at cincinnati bengals nfl wild card game preview
Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Despite missing five games to injury during the regular season, Ja’Marr Chase recorded a resounding 87 receptions for 1,046 yards and nine touchdowns. He remains one of the truly elite pass-catchers in the game as evidenced by Joe Burrow boasting a 98.7 QB rating when targeting the wide receiver.

However, it also must be noted that Burrow has thrown 10 interceptions in 29 career games while throwing the ball in Chase’s direction. Sometimes, the Pro Bowl quarterback tends to force it. That’s where Humphrey comes into play. The three-time Pro Bowler recorded three interceptions while yielding an 83.8 QB rating when targeted during the regular year.

If Baltimore is going to have any chance in this one, it will need a game-changing play from the team’s best defensive back.

Related: Ranking NFL Playoff defenses

Baltimore Ravens running backs vs Cincinnati Bengals front seven

baltimore ravens at cincinnati bengals preview
Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Baltimore’s standing as the second-best rushing offense heading into this NFL Wild Card matchup is somewhat marred by Jackson’s absense. The quarterback led his team with 764 rushing yards during the regular season despite missing five games to injury.

With all of that said, Baltimore’s hopes of pulling off a major road upset will depend heavily on its rushing attack. J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards must come to play in this one. Dobbins has put up 397 rushing yards at a clip of nearly seven yards per rush over the past four games. As for Edwards, he averaged 5.0 yards per rush during the regular season.

It won’t be easy going up against a Bengals front seven that spearheaded a top-five run defense during the regular year. Whether it’s Tyler Huntley or Anthony Brown under center for Baltimore come Sunday evening, Cincinnati’s defense will hone in on Baltimore’s rushing attack. That’s for sure.

Mark Andrews vs Bengals safeties

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of the Ravens needing to get big performances from their stars, Andrews has been somewhat absent recently. In the first four games that Jackson missed to injury, the Pro Bowl tight end caught just 12 passes. That changed in Week 18’s loss with Andrews hauling in all nine of his targets for 100 yards from Anthony Brown.

In two regular-season games against Cincinnati, Andrews caught 17-of-19 targets for 189 yards and a touchdown. He should have a plus-level matchup against a Bengals defense that allowed tight ends to catch 67% of their targets during the regular season. With that said, Jessie Bates and Vonn Bell are among the best cover duos at safety. That could be an issue depending on Cincinnati’s coverage scheme heading into this one.

Related: Ranking NFL Playoff offenses

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals prediction

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Even if the Ravens had Jackson in this one, it would be difficult to go into Cincinnati and come away with a win over the streaking defending AFC champions.

Now that either Tyler Huntley or Anthony Brown is slated to get the start, that’s magnified further. Baltimore averaged a mere 13 points in the five games Jackson missed to conclude the regular season.

As for Cincinnati, the team has won eight consecutive games while outscoring its opponents by an average of nearly 10 points per outing. It is clicking on all cylinders. In reality, this one shouldn’t be all too close.

  • Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals 30, Baltimore Ravens 10