NFL Week 17 odds: Baltimore at Cincinnati

The Ravens already have clinched the AFC North , while the Bengals have clinched a wild-card spot. So realistically neither has much to play for Sunday.

Cincinnati beat Pittsburgh 13-10 last week as Josh Brown booted a 43-yard field goal with four seconds remaining, vaulting the Bengals into the playoffs while eliminating their AFC North rival in the process. Cincinnati (9-6), an AFC wild card entry a year ago, last reached the playoffs in consecutive seasons in 1981 and 1982. Andy Dalton finished with 278 yards on 24-of-41 passing and was also intercepted twice, with A.J. Green amassing 116 yards on 10 catches to help the resurgent Bengals to their sixth triumph in their last seven outings.

Baltimore beat the Giants 33-14. Joe Flacco threw for 309 yards and two touchdowns as the Ravens clinched their second straight AFC North title. Flacco completed 25-of-36 passes with no interceptions and added a rushing touchdown for the Ravens (10-5), who snapped a three-game slide. Ray Rice finished with 107 yards on 24 carries and 51 yards and a score on six receptions, while Anquan Boldin led all receivers with 93 yards on seven catches before leaving the game in the third quarter with a shoulder injury.

The Ravens’ offense is built around featured back Ray Rice. He is one of the most productive (accounts for 30 percent of the Baltimore offense) players in the league. Cincinnati has been inconsistent defending the run but was solid (allowed 3.1 yards per attempt) versus the Steelers in Week 16. Look for newly appointed offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell to get his best chain-mover touches (running the football between the tackles, screens and option routes) on the ground as well as in the passing game.

Baltimore beat Cincinnati 44-13 in Week 1. Flacco threw for 299 yards and two scores.

WAGERWEB.COM OPENING ODDS: Bengals -1 (41) Check our current lines.

RAVENS NOTES: Have reached playoffs for 5th consecutive season. Captured AFC North title for 2nd straight year … QB JOE FLACCO has career-best 3,783 passing yards in ’12. Needs 217 passing yards to join VINNY TESTAVERDE (4,177 in ’96) as only 2nd Raven to reach 4,000 in season. Posted 13th career game with 300+ passing yards last week & Bal. is 12-1 (.923) in those games … RB RAY RICE (1,138 rush, 478 rec.) needs 84 scrimmage yards to reach 1,700 for 4th season in row. Has 17 career games with 100+ rush yards & Bal. is 14-3 (.823) in those games. Rookie RB BERNARD PIERCE had career-high 123 rush yards last week … WR TORREY SMITH (99) needs catch to reach 100 career. Has career-high 8 TD rec. WR ANQUAN BOLDIN (921) needs 79 rec. yards to reach 1,000 for 6th time of career … TE DENNIS PITTA (7) needs TD rec. to set single-season club record among TEs (TODD HEAP, 7 in ’05) … S ED REED has 10 career INTs vs. Cin. … DT HALOTI NGATA has at least 5 sacks for 3rd season in row … KR-WR JACOBY JONES has NFL-best 32.1 KR avg.

BENGALS NOTES: Reached postseason in consecutive seasons for 1st time since ’81-82 … Have won 6 of past 7 … QB ANDY DALTON is 18-13 (.581) as starter, highest all-time win pct. by Bengals QB (min. 20 starts). Has 95.1 4th quarter rating in ’12 … In past 2 at home, RB BEN JARVUS GREEN-ELLIS is averaging 109 rush yards/game. Has career-high 1,094 rush yards in ’12 … WR A.J. GREEN (1,324) needs 117 rec. yards to surpass CHAD JOHNSON (1,440, ’07) for single-season club record. Green (95) needs 5 rec. to become 3rd Bengal to reach 100 in season (T.J. HOUSHMANDZADEH, 112 in ’07; CARL PICKENS, 100 in ’96) … Defense (47) needs 1.5 sacks to surpass franchise record of 48 in ’01 … DT GENO ATKINS (13) needs half sack for most by Bengal in season since 1982 (EDDIE EDWARDS, 13 in 1983). Since ’10, leads NFL DTs with 23.5 sacks … DE MICHAEL JOHNSON has career-high 9.5 sacks in ’12 … CB LEON HALL had 17-yard INT-return TD last week … S REGGIE NELSON has 3 INTs in past 4 games.

WAGERWEB.COM TRENDS: Bengals are 1-6-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. Bengals are 1-7-2 ATS in their last 10 vs. AFC North. Bengals are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game. Ravens are 1-3-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. Ravens are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games in December. Ravens are 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game. Ravens are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.


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