The struggling Cincinnati Bengals (5-6) host the Denver Broncos (5-6) this weekend in an all-AFC matchup. Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM EST on December 2nd at Paul Brown Stadium and the game will be broadcast on CBS.
Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Broncos listed as 3.5-point road favorites. That line has moved by over a point after early betting, as Denver is currently available at -5. The total for this matchup is 44 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 13 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
Bengals vs Broncos Vegas Odds & Game Preview
Denver won their second consecutive game last weekend after a very impressive 24-17 win at home over Pittsburgh. The Broncos managed to survive in spite of a huge performance by WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, who racked up 189 receiving yards and a touchdown on 13 receptions. The key play of the game happened at the very end of the 4th quarter, as the defense made a huge goal-line stand on first and second down before picking off an errant Roethlisberger throw to end the game. QB Case Keenum played fairly well, throwing for almost 200 yards while also adding two touchdowns. RB Philip Lindsay led the way on the ground, rushing for 110 yards and a touchdown. WR Emmanuel Sanders also had a big game, catching seven passes for 86 yards and a touchdown. As a whole, Denver is currently averaging 22.9 points per game (19th overall) on 366.1 yards of total offense.
The Broncos have been slightly above average defensively through their first eleven games, giving up an average of 22.9 points per game (14th overall) on 389.3 yards of total offense.However, they haven’t looked good against the pass, allowing 266.2 yards per game through the air (24th overall).
The Bengals got embarrassed 35-20 by Cleveland at home in Week 12 to drop back below .500 on the season. Cincinnati has now lost five out of their last six games after a red-hot 4-1 start to the year. If that wasn’t bad enough, starting QB Andy Dalton injured his thumb against the Browns and is out for the rest of the season. Backup Jeff Driskell gets the nod here in Week 13 after going 17 of 29 for 155 yards and a touchdown last weekend. The good news for the Bengals is that WR A.J. Green will play on Sunday after being forced to miss the last several games due to a toe injury. Tyler Boyd has played well in his absence, including 7-85-1 performance a week ago. Overall, the offense is currently averaging 25.1 points per game (12th overall) on 333.2 total yards.
Cincinnati has been absolutely atrocious on the other side of the ball so far this season, surrendering a ridiculous 31.5 points per game to opponents (32nd overall) on 439.6 yards of total offense. They have been especially bad against the pass, giving up an embarrassing 292.2 yards per game through the air (31st overall).
Free NFL Betting Prediction: Denver -5
While Denver certainly isn’t a top-tier team on either side of the ball, I am all over the Broncos in this particular matchup. Cincinnati is an absolute disaster right now, and I say that as a lifelong Bengals fan. Dalton is done for the year, Marvin Lewis looks like a dead-man walking, and Hue Jackson is getting taunted on the sidelines by players he used to coach for in Cleveland. There is absolute no shot that Jeff Driskell suddenly comes in and saves this sinking ship. Denver should have a ton of confidence after a huge win over Pittsburgh last weekend. The offense could easily put up big numbers in this spot, as the Bengals have given up 35+ points in four out of their last five games.
Click on the link for more free NFL picks from our experts on staff.
The Broncos are a solid 8-2 ATS over their last ten games in Week 13. It is also worth noting that the road team is 7-1 ATS in the last eight meetings between Denver and Cincinnati. The Bengals are also just 1-4 ATS in their last five home games and 1-5 ATS over their last six games overall.
While some might argue that going on the road might present Keenum and Co. with some challenges, Denver has had a lot of success at Paul Brown Stadium over the past several seasons, going 4-2 ATS overall. I fully expect that trend to continue on Sunday, as Cincinnati is falling apart on both sides of the ball. I’m happily laying the five points in this matchup, as the Broncos should cover with ease.