This Sunday the Cincinnati Bengals are set to host the New England Patriots in what most will expect to be a lopsided matchup between one of the AFC’s best and worst teams. Kickoff is set for 1:00 EST at Paul Brown Stadium and will be televised locally on CBS.
Oddsmakers opened up this game at New England -10, but it has dropped slightly to the Patriots -9. The total opened at 40.5 and only a couple have jumped the mark up to 41.
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Bengals vs Patriots Vegas Odds Preview
New England Patriots (10-3 SU, 7-6 ATS)
The Patriots suffered their second straight loss with a 23-16 defeat at home to the Chiefs as a 3-point favorite. Not only did that loss snap New England’s 21-game home winning streak, it’s put them in a bit of unfamiliar territory.
Usually by Week 15 the Patriots have the AFC East wrapped up, but that’s not the case. New England is just 1-game ahead of Buffalo with three games to play and have to host the Bills next week. Not only that, they are jeopardy of not getting a first round bye. They are just 1-game up on Kansas City and the Chiefs hold the tie-breaker.
If that wasn’t enough bad news, New England is also being accused of cheating, as one of their production crew members was caught videotaping the Bengals sidelines. Patriots claim it wasn’t anything, but it definitely seems awful suspicious that they were caught videotaping the team that was next up on their schedule.
Cincinnati Bengals (1-12 SU, 5-7-1 ATS)
The Bengals enter off a hard fought 27-19 loss at Cleveland, where they came up just short of covering as a 7.5-point dog. For Cincinnati, they had to feel like they should have won the game, as they outgained the Browns 451 to 333 with a 27-17 edge in first downs. Not to mention they won the turnover battle 2-1.
It just so happened their one turnover proved to be extra costly, as Cleveland intercepted Dalton and returned it 61 yards for a score. The Bengals also weren’t great at finishing drives, as they had to settle for four field goals.
The big story with Cincinnati is their draft position. Right now the Bengals own the worst record in the league and would get the No. 1 pick. The only other team with fewer than 3 losses is the Giants, which is a positive given the unlikely scenario that NY would take a QB after using a first round pick this year on Daniel Jones.
This will be the first meeting between these two teams since 2016, which the Patriots won 35-17 as a 7.5-point home favorite. The Bengals did win 13-6 the last time they hosted New England, which was way back in 2013.
Free Pick & Point Spread Predictions: Bengals +10
My early lean here would be to take the points with the Bengals at home. It’s never easy betting against the Patriots,especially coming off a loss, but I just think there’s too much value here with Cincinnati in this one.
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The Bengals could have easily thrown in the towel on this season and just played for the No. 1 pick in the draft. That clearly wasn’t on the agenda, as they decided to go back to veteran quarterback Andy Dalton after benching him in favor of Ryan Finley. Bengals won Dalton’s first game back against the Jets two weeks ago and should have won last week at Cleveland, as they were the better team in that matchup.
Dalton gives this Bengals offense life and defensively this team has been better than you would expect for a team that has a 1-12 record. Cincinnati has only given up more than 27 points twice all season and that was against the 49ers and Ravens.
With the way the Patriots offense is struggling to move the football right now, I think the Bengals’ defense is going to play well in this one. Not to mention there’s a pretty decent chance Cincinnati takes this one personal with the news of New England filming then. This went from just another game to a matchup where I could see the Bengals treating it like their Super Bowl.
As crazy as it might sound, I think there’s an outside shot the Bengals not only cover but win this game outright. Give me Cincinnati +10.