Thursday Night Football: Bengals-Ravens betting preview (odds, lines, best bets)

2T5J2CM Baltimore Ravens running back Keaton Mitchell (34) celebrates after scoring on a 40-yard touchdown run in the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

RB Keaton Mitchell under 36.5 rushing yards: The market appears to have overreacted to some very efficient, highly publicized performances from rookie running back Keaton Mitchell. And while it's admittedly uncomfortable to bet an under against a run defense that just allowed Devin Singletary to run for 150 yards, the number here is too high.

• Unsustainable productivity: Mitchell's opportunity is likely to increase, but his efficiency is going to be difficult to maintain. I will gladly bet plus money that he does not average more than 6.0 yards a carry in an increased role.

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Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

GAME OVERVIEW

This Thursday Night Football matchup features the second installment of this AFC North battle, the first of which ended in a Baltimore Ravens 27-24 road win in Week 2.

The Cincinnati Bengals closed as a juiced three-point favorite in Week 2, with the game given a total of 45. However, there has been a shift in the teams' respective ratings through the first 10 weeks — as you would have expected — so the Ravens enter this one as 3.5-point favorites at home, with the total sitting at 46.

There are a lot of important injuries to consider for both teams in this rematch.

Quarterback Joe Burrow is healthy and mobile again after recovering from the calf injury that hampered him during the early part of the season, including in the first run of this fixture. The bad news is that star receiver Tee Higgins is out for the second week in a row (and the third time this season), while the Bengals also lost a bit of extra depth at receiver because Andrei Iosivas is out with a knee injury after playing 28% of the Bengals' offensive snaps last week.

Ja’Marr Chase was a game-time decision heading into the Texans game last week. But while he took to the field and racked up 214 receiving yards, he was clearly limited by the back injury he suffered in Week 9, playing a season-low 84% of offensive snaps.

It has been a short week, but he has not appeared on the injury report and should be back to full health in a surprisingly good matchup. Charlie Jones is questionable with a thumb injury, so with only three definitely active wide receivers on the roster, the Bengals may look to elevate Shedrick Jackson or Stanley Morgan from the practice squad.

Edge defender Sam Hubbard remains out for the defense, but Trey Hendrickson has recovered from an in-game knee injury last week and does not have an injury designation.

Baltimore's injury concerns come mostly on the defensive side of the ball,  though they have one big question mark on the offensive line.

Marlon Humphrey is the star outside cornerback on this roster and has allowed just 0.45 yards per coverage snap this season, but he is doubtful with a calf injury. This means Ja’Marr Chase will face off against Brandon Stephens and Rock Ya-Sin, the same duo that limited Chase to just five catches for 31 yards in the first meeting.

Edge defender Kyle Van Noy and rotational safety Daryl Worley are questionable for the Ravens defense, but left tackle Ronnie Stanley has been ruled out. Patrick Mekari will fill Stanley's role, a job he also did in Week 2.

PFF's Best Bets Tool uses PFF data to uncover the biggest edges in the betting market. Click here to see the best bets for this week.

RB Keaton Mitchell, Baltimore Ravens: Under 36.5 Rushing Yards (+104 Caesars) 

The market appears to have overreacted to some very efficient, highly publicized performances from rookie running back Keaton Mitchell. And while it's admittedly uncomfortable to bet an under against a run defense that just allowed Devin Singletary to run for 150 yards, the number here is too high.

Mitchell has been exceptional with the opportunity he has been afforded, but that opportunity is still severely limited. He played just 13 snaps in the Week 9 win against the Seattle Seahawks, racking up 138 yards on nine carries (15.3 yards per carry) in a game in which the starters were pulled early. He then played just 11 snaps against the Cleveland Browns in Week 10 (Edwards 27, Justice Hill 13), taking his three rushing attempts for more than 11 yards per carry. But once that game got close again in the fourth quarter, Mitchell played just one snap.

His opportunity is likely to increase, but his efficiency is going to be difficult to maintain. I will gladly bet plus money that he does not average more than 6.0 yards a carry in an increased role.

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