Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals Wildcard preview

An eight-game winning streak to end the season saw the Cincinnati Bengals win the AFC North as they look to make a second consecutive Super Bowl appearance.

Joe Burrow and co will host division rivals Baltimore Ravens in the Wildcard round and for a second consecutive week after ending the regular season with a 27-16 win at the Paycor Stadium.

The Ravens were without star Quarterback Lamar Jackson for a fifth straight game with a knee injury and now he’s only Questionable to return for the playoffs. Of course, he could have been rested for this game, but had the Ravens won their season finale, a coin toss would have decided the AFC North winner.

Anthony Brown started in his place and went just 19/44 for 286 yards and 2 interceptions. Should Jackson not return on Sunday then Baltimore can wave goodbye to progress from this round. And even if the 2019 MVP is back, I still make them the underdogs.

Joe Burrow and Jamarr Chase have been tearing defences up when healthy this season. And Chase is healthy – 8 catches for 86 yards and 1 touchdown versus the Ravens on Sunday.

Despite losing three of their last four, John Harbaugh’s defence has tightened up down the stretch, allowing an average of just 14.7 points over their last six games, though not the strongest opponents (Pittsburth twice, Denver, Cleveland and Atlanta).

The Bengals have a good defence themselves and can get pressure on the opposition quarterback, whomever starts.

What is the Ravens @ Bengals money line?

The Cincinnati Bengals are -6.5 point favourites at home on Sunday Night Football and are as short as 1/3 on the money line. These odds will be closer should Lamar Jackson’s return be confirmed.

Ravens @ Bengals pick

Although these two went 1-1 in the regular season series, Baltimore’s win came in week 5 as their divisional rivals started 2-3. They lost just once afterwards. Cincinnati head into the playoffs in much better form, a better offence and arguably a better defence. They win.

Pick: Cincinnati Bengals