On Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens (8-6) will hit the road to face their division rival, the Cincinnati Bengals (8-6).
The Ravens are second in the AFC North behind the Bengals and on the bubble for a playoff spot.
With three more games remaining in the season, two of those against division rivals, the Ravens will need to win out to ensure that they can secure a playoff spot.
Cincinnati Bengals vs Baltimore Ravens moneyline, odds
The Cincinnati Bengals vs Baltimore Ravens matchup kicks off at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 26. (CBS).
As of Wednesday afternoon, the Ravens are the 2.5-point underdogs (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook in Maryland, which is now taking bets at Horseshoe Casino Baltimore.
On the moneyline, Baltimore is +115. That implies that the Ravens have about a 46.51% chance of beating the Bengals on Sunday. As far as the over/under, the total is at 45.
Ravens quarterback situation
Heading into this matchup, the Baltimore Ravens “anticipate” that quarterback Lamar Jackson (ankle) will make his return under center. While an “anticipation” isn’t an exact answer, backup quarterback Tyler Huntley (pictured above) has been a solid option for the Ravens so far.
Huntley made his first career start in Week 11 against the Chicago Bears while Jackson was out with an illness. In this matchup, the young quarterback completed 26-36 passes for 219 yards and threw one interception.
In Week 14 against the Cleveland Browns, Huntley came in during the second quarter when Jackson left with an ankle injury. Despite the loss and Huntley’s turnovers in this game, he completed 71% of his passes.
However, just last week, we saw some improvements. Huntley protected the ball against the Green Bay Packers and was only sacked once. He finished with the highest QBR for any Ravens quarterback this season (82.4).
Coach John Harbaugh credited Huntley’s game to the great performance of his offensive line.
“I thought the offensive line played really well.” pic.twitter.com/oLerNvFrBJ
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) December 20, 2021
Ravens plagued with injuries
Meanwhile, heading into Sunday, the bigger issue for the Ravens is stopping the Bengals’ offense with a banged-up defense.
In Week 7, the Bengals offense was a huge problem for the Ravens. Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow completed 23 passes for 416 yards and three touchdowns. His prime target Ja’marr Chase collected eight catches for 201 yards with one touchdown.
The Ravens secondary is already without starters Marcus Peters, Marlon Humphrey and Deshon Elliott. Currently, cornerback Tavon Young is in concussion protocol after leaving the Packers game on Sunday.
COVID-19 is also a factor in this defense. Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee was the seventh active player added to the reserve/COVID-19 list. He joins OLB Justin Houston, S Chuck Clark, C Trystan Colon and cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Chris Westry.
While injuries and COVID-19 may not be on their side, the Ravens will need to put together a dominant defensive performance to have a chance against the Bengals on Sunday.
How to place a bet for Sunday’s game
For sports bettors in Maryland, you can place a wager for Sunday’s game at five Maryland casinos.
In addition to Horseshoe Casino Baltimore/Caesars, MGM National Harbor (BetMGM Maryland Sportsbook) and Live! Casino & Hotel (FanDuel Sportsbook Maryland) and Oceans Downs (TwinSpires) have launched sports betting operations.
On Dec. 23, Hollywood Casino Perryville (Barstool Sports) is expected to launch its sportsbook.
All of these casinos offer in-person retail sports betting. However, online sports wagering isn’t expected to launch in MD until late next year.
Otherwise, nearby states such as Virginia, Pennsylvania and West Virginia offer full online betting if you’re within their borders.