Baltimore (10-7) at Cincinnati (12-4)
When: Sunday, January 15th 2023
Where: Paycor Stadium,
Time: 8:15 ET | TV: NBC
Opening Odds: Cincinnati -6.5/43.5
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It’s an AFC North battle this Sunday night in the AFC wild card round, as the Baltimore Ravens visit the Cincinnati Bengals from Paycor Stadium. The Ravens finished 10-7 during the regular season, but their quarterback situation is completely up in the air heading into the postseason. Starter Lamar Jackson has been out of action since Dec. 4 and backup Tyler Huntley is questionable for Sunday’s contest. It’s possible that they Ravens will go to third-stringer Anthony Brown, who started the last game at Cincinnati last week. The Bengals won that matchup 27-16 and have not lost a game since Halloween night. Cincinnati is aiming to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl for the second consecutive season. Last year, the Bengals surprised many by beating top-seeded Tennessee and second-seeded Kansas City en route to the Super Bowl.
Jackson injured his knee against the Denver Broncos over five weeks ago and progress has been very slow. Jackson led the Ravens to an 8-4 record before suffering the knee injury and threw for 2,242 yards, 17 touchdowns and seven picks and led Baltimore with 764 rushing yards and added another three scores on the ground. Huntley threw for 658 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions in six total games, while we highlighted above what Brown did last week. In addition to Jackson, running back Gus Edwards (concussion) and long snapper Nick Moore (illness) missed Wednesday’s practice. Cornerback Brandon Stephens (illness) also sat out but is back in Baltimore after being hospitalized in Cincinnati last Sunday after becoming ill.
There’s no doubt Cincinnati should win this game. Even if Jackson was playing, the Bengals are far more superior. With Huntley, there’s a slim chance. With Brown starting, forget it. The Bengals have all the tools to make it back to the Super Bowl again and it starts with a blowout victory in the wild card round.
Pick: Bengals -8.5