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Thursday Night Football preview: Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Both the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens will look to bounce back to winning ways when the two teams meet at the M&T Bank Stadium on Thursday night.

The Ravens and the Bengals are still hopeful of securing playoff spots this season, but defeats last weekend have given others hope of catching them.

Cincinnati lost 30-27 to the Houston Texans on home soil, while the Ravens lost an AFC North battle to the Cleveland Browns, going down narrowly 33-31.

The Ravens sit top of the AFC North, while the Bengals are last. However, Bengals coach Zac Taylor has led his team to a 5-4 record, and there are still opportunities for them to climb the standings.

What:Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens
Where:M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore
When:8:15 PM ET, Thursday, November 16
How to watch:Amazon Prime
Odds:Cincinnati Bengals +160 ML, Baltimore Ravens -3.5

Will last week's defeats linger?

After a slow start to the season, the Bengals are running out of time if they want to win the AFC North this year.

Taylor's team had hoped to win the division for the third-straight campaign, but an injury to Joe Burrow in pre-season resulted in them enduring a poor start.

The Bengals entered Week 10 two wins behind Baltimore, and with the Ravens losing, they missed a big opportunity to close the gap.

With so much on the line, it could be said that Thursday's contest is a must-win for the Bengals if they want to win the AFC North once again.

The Ravens will have been disappointed with their display last week, especially after they let a substantial lead slip against the Browns.

Baltimore had already beaten the Browns 28-3 in Week 4, but they let their guard down and gave away a very winnable matchup.

It is fair to say that both teams have the ability to go all the way if they stay healthy this season, with the Ravens +900 to win the NFL Championship, while the Bengals are +1800.

Click here for the odds to win the NFL Championship.

Desperate Bengals could be tough to break down

The Bengals won four games in a row before their slip-up against the Texans, but none of those wins were within the division.

They are desperate to improve their position in the table and can do so with successive games against fellow AFC North teams as a home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers follows this week's Ravens showdown.

Including the playoffs, Taylor's team are 15-5 against the spread in their past 20 matches as underdogs, and they have the ability to improve that record this week. 

They are +3.5 point underdogs, while those that fancy them to win can back them at +160 ML.

Click here for all you need to know about the Cincinnati Bengals including records, history, schedule, and results.

Ravens not the complete package

The Ravens have been one of the best teams in the NFL this season, and their 7-3 record backs that up.

One cause for concern is how two of their losses came at home.

While the Ravens have done enough to pick up vital wins, there have been some costly errors along the way. Quarterback Lamar Jackson now has five interceptions for the season, throwing two of those against the Browns last week.

Offensively, the Ravens have room for improvement but defensively they have set the standard all season.

Baltimore has the league's fourth-best completion percentage allowed at 59.8 percent. They lead the league in sacks and quarterback hits, and they are -130 to register over 2.5 sacks on Thursday.

Click here for all you need to know about the Baltimore Ravens including records, history, schedule, and results.

Individual battles will be crucial

A game of this magnitude could be won and lost by one mistake, and both rosters will be pumped to bounce back from last week's poor results.

Burrow has 14 touchdowns to his name this season, but he has been sacked three or more times in five of the last six games.

If he can get the ball away in time, both Tyler Boyd and Ja'Marr Chase will look to profit, with both players surpassing 100 receiving yards last week against the Texans.

Cincinnati has several areas that they need to improve, and stopping Ravens tight end Mark Andrews will be one of them. Andrews has averaged 4.8 receptions and 57.9 yards per game this season.

The Bengals have the third-worst record against tight ends in the NFL this season, and Andrews is -125 to have over 4.5 receptions.

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