The first Monday Night Football game of the 2012 NFL season will feature an AFC North battle between the Cincinnati Bengals at the Baltimore Ravens, on Monday Sept 10th. Since John Harbaugh arrived in Baltimore in 2008, he’s won five of eight against the Bengals. Here is the NFL Point Spreads 2012 Week 1 Monday Night Football Game. NFL sportsbooks have the Ravens as -9 point home favorites over the Bengals with the over/under set at 41.5 points. We recommend you check out the latest NFL Point Spreads heading into the first week of the 2012 NFL season.
Cincinnati needs QB Andy Dalton to repeat his incredible rookie season if they hope to make back to back trips to the postseason. He’ll need his receivers to be at their best also. A.J. Green has established himself as one of the best young receivers in football. Tight end Jermaine Gresham is a big-play target. But the Bengals have revamped everything behind him. Andrew Hawkins takes over as the slot receiver. Brandon Tate is the starter at wide receiver for now, but third-round pick Mohamed Sanu is an intriguing prospect. With defenses figuring to double-team Green, Dalton has to see who can establish themselves as dependable pass-catching options.
Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis is a power runner who does a lot of damage in between the tackles. Now, two of the three starting offensive linemen are hurt. Green-Ellis has been injured as well, which is why he’s only played one preseason game. It wouldn’t be a surprise if it took time for Green-Ellis to get his timing down with this reshuffled offensive line. Green-Ellis, who averaged 3.7 yards per carry last season, won’t provide much explosiveness to the offense. He had no 20-yard rushes among his 181 attempts in 2011. No other running back had more rushes without a 20-yard gain than Green-Ellis last season.
Baltimore will be charged up playing a season-opener on Monday night at home, and now have the added emotion of playing in the wake of Art Modell’s death on Thursday. Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron plans to let QB Joe Flacco take more leadership on the field and let him use more no-huddle. Although the Ravens don’t plan to abandon the run, they will be running a quicker offense. Normally, the Bengals play the Ravens to low-scoring games in which both teams end up scoring in the teens. Last season, offense became more of a factor. The Ravens won those games 31-24 and 24-16.
The Ravens’ defense will need to be deceptive in order to generate a ferocious pass rush this season. The absence of the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Terrell Suggs, for most of the season – if not all out of it – is going to force first-year defensive coordinator Dean Pees to get creative. Though the Ravens tied the New York Giants for third in the NFL with 48 sacks last season, that was accomplished with Suggs registering a career-best 14 sacks (29 percent of the team’s sack total).
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Recent Trends to Consider:
Bengals are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Baltimore.
Bengals are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Baltimore.
Underdog is 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
Cincinnati at Baltimore
When: Monday, September 10, 2012@7:00 PM ET
Pick: Ravens -9
Point-Spreads.com recommends you check out the 2012 NFL Picks before the 2012 NFL Regular season kicks-off.