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With the No. 2 playoff seed in the AFC on the line, the Cincinnati Bengals visit the Denver Broncos in a high-stakes Monday Night Football betting matchup.
In a backup quarterback battle between A.J. McCarron and Brock Osweiler, the Broncos are listed as 3.5-point favorites against the Bengals at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Denver has regressed recently but is 8-0 straight up in its last eight home games against Cincinnati.
Cincinnati, which has clinched the AFC North at 11-3 SU and 11-2-1 against the spread, is trusting McCarron to pass effectively against Denver’s NFL-leading defense. The second-time NFL starter might be deprived of a strong rushing game. Second-year RB Jeremy Hill is struggling, while DE Malik Jackson has helped Denver lead the NFL in run defense.
The Bengals are 6-1 SU and 7-0 ATS in their last seven road games, but will not have injured TE Tyler Eifert to draw coverage away from WR A.J. Green and WR Mohammed Sanu.
The Bengals are 4-1 ATS in their last five games as underdogs against the Broncos. Free safety Reggie Nelson leads the NFL in interceptions. Cincinnati has hauled down 19 INT, a poor omen for the inexperienced Osweiler.
Denver, at 10-4 SU and 7-5-2 ATS, has plenty of incentive to win, since it still needs to clinch a playoff berth. Osweiler and the offense have scored zero second-half points in the past three games. However, WR Demaryius Thomas could have a big night catching high-percentage passes.
The Broncos, who are 20-8 SU in their last 28 games, are catching Cincinnati in the second leg of consecutive road games.
The CB combo of Aqib Talib and Chris Harris thrive at limiting opposing WR. With OLB Von Miller creating havoc, the Broncos’ defense is strong enough to reverse Denver’s trend of being 1-4 ATS in their last five games as favorites and 0-3 ATS in their last three games as home favorites.
The total for Monday’s Bengals vs. Broncos betting matchup is set at 39.5 points at the sportsbooks. The total has gone UNDER in six of Cincinnati’s last eight games. The total has gone OVER in four of the last five games of this matchup.
The OddsShark Computer is projecting a 23.4-16.6 Broncos victory.
Bengals vs. Broncos pick: Broncos ATS & SU