In November 2021, both the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals followed a blowout loss with a win that easily covered the spread as a favorite.
Broadly, their ATS wins followed a strong trend for teams one game removed from a loss of at least 20 points — those teams have a regular-season cover rate of 55% and ROI of 6% since 2003. But that trend is entirely supported by underdogs, which doesn’t bode well for the Bengals this season after a 21-point loss to the Cleveland Browns in Week 1.
As of Sept. 12 in BetMGM’s NFL odds, the Bengals are a 3.5-point home favorite against the Ravens in Week 2.
Teams one game removed from a 20-point loss (since 2003):
Favorites are 153-151-5 (.503) with an ROI of -2.1%, i.e., if you bet $100 on each of those 309 teams, you’d be down nearly $700.
Underdogs are 348-263-15 (.570) with an ROI of 10.2%.
If you’d like to shove the Bengals further into the wrong end of the trend, home favorites have an ROI of -6.4%.
The numbers are worse in divisional games vs. non-division games, as they are in conference games vs. non-conference games, and against teams that won their previous game — as the Ravens did against the Houston Texans in Week 1— vs. teams that lost their previous game.
There aren’t many historical pieces of silver lining for the Bengals. Among them:
Post-blowout teams are good early in the season. The ROI for all teams in Weeks 2-4 is 8.5%.
Short favorites (fewer than four points) are slightly profitable at 0.7%.
Teams that were favored in the blowout loss — the Bengals were -1 — have an ROI of 13.1%.
The Bengals and Ravens split last year’s season series both outright and against the spread. Including the postseason, Zac Taylor is 5-4 ATS against the Ravens since he arrived in 2019, while John Harbaugh is 13-17-1 ATS against the Bengals.