Upcoming Match-ups

3 Props to Bet in Ravens vs Bengals on Week 2 Thursday Night Football

Ravens kicker Justin Tucker warming up.
Ravens kicker Justin Tucker has gotten better with age and is nearly perfect from inside the 60 over the last two years Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC License].
  • Ravens vs Bengals on Thursday Night Football kicks off the NFL’s Week 2 slate.
  • With the best kicker in the league, Justin Tucker, in the mix, there is value on a couple FG-related side bets.
  • Below, find the three props we are playing in tonight’s AFC North battle.

Hopefully you followed Matt’s advice last Thursday because he nailed all four of his prop bets in Falcons/Eagles, putting him up nearly 11 units. What a way to start the year.

It’s a tough act to follow, and I don’t have the big moneylines in my plays to match that total, but I do have confidence in the following prop bets for the TNF matchup between the Ravens and Bengals tonight (8:20 PM ET, Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati).

Prop #1: No Defensive/Special Teams Touchdowns

Will there be a defensive/special teams TD in the game? Odds at  BetOnline
YES +175
NO -210

Cincinnati had no return touchdowns last year. The Ravens had two, but their best return option (Janarion Grant) is questionable with a hand injury.

A pix-six or strip sack that gets taken to the house is always on the table with the Ravens defense. They had five defensive scores in 2017, alone. The Bengals had three of their own last year and another in Week 1.

But this is likely to be a low-scoring, run-heavy game, which lessens the opportunities for defensive touchdowns. I also expect laser focus on both sides with the lead in the AFC North on the line.

Prop #2: The First Score of the Game Will Be a Field Goal or Safety

What will be the first score of the game? Odds at BetOnline
TOUCHDOWN -135
FIELD GOAL OR SAFETY +105

This line is shaded toward TD, in part, because of what these offenses did last week, scoring 81 points combined. But let’s remember who they were playing: the Bills and Colts.

Buffalo has the early claim to the worst-team-in-the-league title, while Indy’s defense remains a bottom-tier unit. Also, one of Cincinnati’s TDs came on defense. Andy Dalton didn’t exactly light the world on fire, especially in the first half, and his struggles in primetime games are well documented.

Meanwhile, the Ravens have the best kicker in the league in Justin Tucker, who is almost automatic from anywhere inside 60 yards these days. That’s not hyperbole. He’s 15/17 on 50-plus-yard field goals over the last two years. And he has the leg to hit from way longer.

I have less confidence in Cincinnati’s Randy Bullock, but he was 2/2 last week and 4/4 on extra points, and I have supreme confidence in Baltimore’s defense stiffening up inside the red zone.

Prop #3: The Ravens Will Kick OVER 1.5 Field Goals

How many field goals will the Ravens convert? Odds at BetOnline
OVER 1.5 -140
UNDER 1.5 +120

The Bengal defense surrendered more yards than points last year, finishing 11th in TDs allowed (35). It picked up where it left off in Week 1, giving up over 300 passing yards to Andrew Luck and the Colts, but also holding them to two touchdowns and four field-goal attempts.

While the Ravens were top-ten in TDs scored last season (42), eight of those came from the defense and special teams. Joe Flacco and company weren’t great at putting the ball in the paint.

Baltimore’s completely revamped WR corps looked great last week, with Willie Snead, Michael Crabtree, and John Brown all finding the end zone, but I’ll stress again, that was against the Bills. This offense will stall-out in FG-range more than once tonight. Then it’s Justin Tucker time, and I’ve already touched on his greatness.

Author Image

Sascha was a hockey player in his youth. He has now been SBD's lead odds-maker/number cruncher since 2014, writing and editing about everything you can possibly put odds on. He's happiest when those things are baseball, hockey, football, and basketball.