The streaking Los Angeles Chargers (9-3) host the free-falling Cincinnati Bengals (5-7) this weekend in an all-AFC matchup. Kickoff is set for 4:05 PM EST on December 9th at the StubHub Center and the game will be broadcast on CBS.
Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Chargers listed as 14.5-point home favorites. That line has shifted by half a point after early betting, as Los Angeles is currently available at -14. The total for this matchup is 48 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 14 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
Chargers vs Bengals Vegas Odds & Game Preview
Cincinnati lost their fourth consecutive game last weekend, falling 24-10 at home to Denver. The Bengals couldn’t get anything going on offense for much of the game, as backup QB Jeff Driskel passing for 236 yards and turned the ball over twice. Star WR A.J. Green had a rough outing, re-injuring his toe in the first half. Green was diagnosed with a torn ligament after the game and has been ruled out for the remainder of the season. Cincinnati will now have to rely on Tyler Boyd and John Ross to shoulder the load in the receiving game over the final few weeks of the year. RB Joe Mixon has had a solid year on the ground, rushing for 755 yards and five touchdowns. As a whole, the offense is currently averaging 23.8 points per game (15th overall) on 331.5 total yards.
The Bengals have been awful defensively through their first twelve games, allowing opponents to score a league-worst 30.9 points per game on 433.1 yards of total offense. They have struggled the most against the run, giving up 153.3 yards per game on the ground (32nd overall).
Los Angeles is coming off of a thrilling 33-30 comeback victory over Pittsburgh in Week 13, erasing a 16 point halftime deficit to improve to 9-3 overall. QB Philip Rivers was fantastic, throwing for 299 yards and two touchdowns. The offensive player of the game was clearly WR Keenan Allen, who turned 14 catches into 148 yards and a touchdown. RB Justin Jackson led the way on the ground, rushing for 63 yards and finding the end zone on a beautiful 19-yard rush midway through the 4th quarter. The duo of Jackson and Austin Eckler will likely play key roles again here in Week 14, as Melvin Gordon III has been ruled out due to a knee injury. Overall, Los Angeles is currently scoring 28.3 points per game (6th overall) on 399.4 yards of total offense.
The Chargers have been quite solid on the other side of the ball so far this season, giving up an average of just 20.8 points per game (6th overall) on 334.9 yards of total offense. They have looked good against both the run and the pass, as they currently rank 10th overall in both categories.
Free NFL Betting Prediction: Chargers -14
All signs are pointing to this game being a total blowout, as Los Angeles is really firing on all cylinders right now while Cincinnati has been getting crushed week in and week out since mid-October. In fact, the Bengals have lost their last four games by a combined score of 134-65. Three of those losses have also been by at least 14 points, including a double-digit home loss to the 6-6 Denver Broncos last Sunday. That certainly bodes well for the Chargers in this matchup, as they should be able to beat by Cincinnati by at least that many points – especially since they are missing both Andy Dalton and A.J. Green.
Click on the link for more free NFL picks from our experts on staff.
The Bengals are just 1-4 ATS over their last five games against AFC opponents. They are also only 1-6 ATS in their last seven games overall. Los Angeles is an impressive 4-1 ATS over their last five games overall. They are also 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games in Week 14.
There is no doubt that I’m going to be all over the Chargers in this particular spot, as they should be able to dominate on both sides of the ball here in Week 14. Even without Melvin Gordon III, the offense can put points on the board in a hurry – Rivers and Allen clearly demonstrated that in the second half against Pittsburgh last weekend. The Bengals are a disaster defensively, and now have to face one of the NFL’s better teams without their starting quarterback and #1 wideout. I’ll happily lay the two touchdowns and take the home favorite – give me Los Angeles to cover this big spread with ease.