Today’s Cincinnati Bengals vs Baltimore Ravens game means absolutely everything for one team and not much for the other, which could really scramble the AFC wild-card picture. The Bengals last week clinched the AFC North and a first-round bye, so there’s a high likelihood they’ll rest their starters today in Week 17. The Ravens, meanwhile, blew it last week against the Patriots, setting them up for a do-or-die game against the Bengals if the Super Bowl champs even want a shot at the playoffs. If you’re in Baltimore or a Ravens fan, this one’s a must-watch game. You can see the live broadcast on CBS or watch Ravens vs Bengals game free online live using one of several different tools.
Most betting lines have the Ravens Bengals point spread at 6.5 points, though you can find a 7-point spread in some places. The fact that the spread is consistent shows just how much the Bengals are favored over the Ravens in today’s Bengals game. In fact, only one ESPN analyst is picking the Ravens to win, and he seems to pick underdogs almost blindly. The odds are largely based on record, with the 8-7 Ravens facing a 10-5 Cincinnati team, though if you’re ever going to pick a ‘dog, this is your game, as the Ravens are 9-0 in games following a double-digit loss like the one they suffered last week against New England.
Still, today’s Ravens game is being played in Cincinnati at Paul Brown Stadium, where the Bengals have scored 40 or more points in four straight games. In fact, the Bengals rank second in scoring at home with a 34.4-point average, second only to the Denver Broncos.
The Ravens and Bengals also have a history of see-saw victories, having basically traded wins since 2011. The last time they met, seven weeks ago in Baltimore, the Ravens won a 20-17 nail biter that took a Hail Mary TD to send the game into overtime, during which Justin Tucker kicked a game-winning field goal. For multiple reasons the Bengals will thus be favored when you watch Ravens vs Bengals game free online live.
The quarterback battle between Bengals QB Andy Dalton and Ravens QB Joe Flacco will be key as you watch today’s Ravens game. In their previous game this season, the Ravens held Dalton to a 52.2 passer rating, the second worst of his career, hit him nine times and sacked him five. Dalton’s still had a big season, throwing for more than 4,000 yards, and the Baltimore defense has been in a pass-rush rut lately, including slumps by both Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil. That could mean good things for Cincy.
Flacco, meanwhile, is coming off the worst home loss in Ravens history and a game in which he was 22-of-38 for 260 yards with two interceptions. Flacco was clearly dealing with a knee injury in last week’s 41-7 loss to the Patriots, but if the Ravens fail to make the playoffs a year after winning the Super Bowl, Flacco’s emotional injuries may be even worse. All season he’s battled comments about failing to live up to his contract. Miss the playoffs completely, and that grumbling will only be amplified.
Rather than entering today’s game as AFC North champs, the Ravens have to win today and have the Dolphins or Chargers lose just to get a wild-card spot. If that’s reason enough for you to catch the game, you can watch Ravens vs Bengals game free online live on DirecTV’s website if you have the NFL Sunday Ticket with MAX Package. The package requires a subscription, but anyone who has one can watch the live streaming version free of any game, including today’s 1:00pm EST / 10:00am PST NFL game between the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals.