Totally Covered – Week 1: Ravens at Bengals

The Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals are ready to tee-off on the 2017 NFL season

John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens are looking to build on last year’s .500 record and the first step is improving a lackluster 1-2 record in divisional road games.

Cinci is under the gun to get back into the playoffs where they can stage another shot at failure. To do that, they will need improvements from the run game and offensive line. Cinci’s run production has been declining for three consecutive years and we are looking for them to establish that early in this AFC North slugfest.

Week 1 NFL Picks: Ravens at Bengals

Line: Bengals -3 and O/U 41

In conference road play, the Ravens have only seen two of their past 11 first-halves get past 20 total points scored. They have been outscored 12.3 to 6.3 in those 11 games, an average of just 18.6 total points. It explains why this first-half line is sitting at 20.5 points.

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Cincinnati’s 16 games in 2016 finished with a total of exactly 41 points. Their first-half scoring average was 12 to 9.5 (21.5 points). Cinci is 8-11 O/U in conference home games since 2014, when Paul Guenther took over the defense. When the total was less than 47, the Bengals went 5-9 O/U and the average score dipped to 20.5 points.


Baltimore has a divisional home opener on-deck against Cleveland and you know what would make that day a whole lot more fun for Harbaugh and his crew? A win, exactly — so it’s not like Baltimore is looking past this game. Closely contested games such as this usually tend to start of slow and the scoring averages are 11.9 to 5.5 in the first-half, favoring the home side.

The Bengals won in Week 1 last year and they would like a repeat performance. Home teams in this angle have produced a 61-percent “Under” record in database history. There is also a solid 63-percent “Under” system live on this game for road teams that rushed for less than 90 yards per game the previous season.

Baltimore has gained a notoriously good reputation for strong starts under Harbaugh, going 18-9 SU and 17-10 ATS. Part of that is predicated by a strong defense and we expect that to be on full force today.

TC Pick of the Week: Ravens at Bengals UNDER 20.5 in the first-half

Totally Covered is written by Jarvis Simes, lead handicapper at Pick Sixty Sports. Follow @PickSixtySports for more winning systems, free NFL picks and Best Bets throughout the season!