This Sunday the Cincinnati Bengals (4-0) will host the Seattle Seahawks (2-2) in what has turned out to be a highly anticipated non-conference matchup. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 EST at Paul Brown Stadium and will be televised locally on FOX. Our Week 5 NFL odds show the Bengals listed as a 2.5-point home favorite with the total set at 43 points.
Cincinnati comes into this contest off a 36-21 home win over the Chiefs as a 3.5-point favorite. Not only are the Bengals undefeated at 4-0, but they are 4-0 ATS to start the season. Seattle was able to hold on for a 13-10 win at home against the Lions on Monday Night Football, but failed to cover the spread as a 9.5-point favorite. The Seahawks have managed to climb to 2-2 after their 0-2 start, but are just 1-3 ATS.
Early Lean on Seahawks +2.5
As difficult as it may be to go against the Andy Dalton and the Bengals after their impressive start to the season, my early lean here is on the Seahawks as an underdog. While Seattle came in as a huge public team, the public isn’t going to want to back them catching less than a field goal on the road, especially after their 1-3 start against the spread. They instead will look to back the Bengals, who have covered every game to this point.
For a lot of people this line will look obvious to take the Bengals. Cincinnati has been very good at home and will be catching the Seahawks on short rest, plus Seattle has to travel east for an early start time. Throw in the uncertainty of whether star running back Marshawn Lynch will play and the books have essentially set a line here begging you to take the Bengals. When it looks this obvious, more times than not it’s for good reason.
This game will almost surely be hyped as one of the biggest games of the week and that is where I think the value comes in on the Seahawks. Big time games bring out the worst of Dalton and he going to feel the pressure to perform well in this game. I’ll take my chances that Dalton fails to deliver again in the spotlight and Seattle pulls out the win on the road.
Home teams who are averaging 370+ yards/game and coming off two straight games where they had 375 or more total yards are just 6-23 (21%) ATS over the last 5 seasons when facing an opponent with a strong offense that is averaging 335 to 370 yards/game.
One thing to keep in mind with the Bengals hot start, especially on the offensive side of the ball, is the Ravens are the best defense they have faced and they are a mere 13th in total defense. Despite missing one of their best players in safety Kam Chancellor for the first two games (only two games they have lost), Seattle comes in ranked 4th in total defense (278.8 ypg) and 3rd in scoring defense (17.8 ppg).
Defensively the Bengals are just 19th in the league in total defense (364.8 ypg), which is also concerning given their schedule. The best offense Cincinnati has faced is the Chiefs, who are 14th at 357.8 ypg. Keep in mind the Chiefs outgained the Bengals on the road last week 461 to 445, but had to settle for 7 field goals. They only forced Kansas City to punt once the entire game. If Lynch ends up playing, that’s just an added bonus here for Seattle, as I look for Russell Wilson to work his magic and get Seattle the big road win.
The Bengals are just 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games after scoring more than 30 points, while Seattle is 11-3 ATS in their last 14 road games against a team with a winning road record and 17-8 ATS in their last 25 after a game where they failed to cover the spread. There’s also a strong system in play favoring a fade of Cincinnati. Home teams who are averaging 370+ yards/game and coming off two straight games where they had 375 or more total yards are just 6-23 (21%) ATS over the last 5 seasons when facing an opponent with a strong offense that is averaging 335 to 370 yards/game.