The New England Patriots (10-3) find themselves in unfamiliar territory. They don’t often lose two in a row–but New England is currently on a two-game skid, and they’ll be heading to Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati to take on the Bengals (1-12), who have won one game all year.
They’ll be relatively healthy heading into this game, although star wide receivers Julian Edelman and Mohamed Sanu are questionable, but both should play. For Cincinnati, star wideout A.J. Green will be out again, and defensive end Rennel Wren will also be out, while cornerback Darqueze Dennard is questionable with an illness.
Here’s a preview of the game followed by trends, betting line info, and our final prediction.
Tom Brady, at 42-years of age, finally seems to be having an off season. Brady has 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions this year–but even if he’s slowing down slightly, he’s still Tom Brady, and his instincts are still sharp. The Patriots are averaging just over 96 yards rushing a game, but they’ll be facing a Bengals defense that is the worst in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per contest (156.7), so Sony Michel could have a big day.
The secret to the Patriots success has not been a secret: it’s their defense, which has been the stingiest unit in the NFL this year. New England has given up just 11.1 points a game while snagging a league-high 21 interceptions, and they should have a field day against the Bengals, who have been inept on offense all season.
The Bengals are scoring just 15.2 points a game this season, which is the second-lowest total in the NFL. Quarterback Andy Dalton will get his third straight start after being benched earlier this year, and he will likely rely on running back Joe Mixon a great deal in this game. Mixon had a season-high 146 yards last week in Cincinnati’s loss to the Browns, and he remains one of the Bengals few offensive weapons.
On defense, the Bengals are ranked 20th in the league, and have 21 sacks on the season. If they can hassle Brady throughout the game, they could make it interesting.
Trends, Betting Line and Predictions:
The following numbers and trends are all courtesy of Odds Shark.
Spread: Bengals +10
Odds Shark currently have the Patriots winning the game by a projected score of 22-19, with Cincinnati covering the spread and the total score going over 41.5 points.
- New England is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games.
- The total has gone UNDER in 10 of New England’s last 14 games.
- The Patriots are 15-3 SU in their last 18 games.
- New England is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games against Cincinnati.
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Cincinnati’s last 6 games.
- The Bengals are 1-14 SU in their last 15 games.
- The total has gone OVER in 6 of Cincinnati’s last 8 games against New England.
- Cincinnati iz 1-5 SU in their last 6 games at home.
The betting line hasn’t moved all that much. Bovada had the Bengals starting out +10 (-110) and the over/under started at 40.5, and those numbers have shifted slightly to +10.5 (-115) and the over/under 41.5 points. Sports Betting had Cincinnati starting at +10.5 (-110), with the over/under starting at 40 points, and the spread dipped to 9 points midweek before ending up at +10 (-105) and the over/under is now 41.5 points.
Only the Ravens, Texans, and Chiefs–the three teams that beat them–have scored more than 14 points on this Patriots defense all year, and if the 1-12 Bengals light them up Sunday, that would be a shock.
Still, we’re with Odds Shark for the most part here. The Patriots haven’t been great on offense recently, but they should be able to beat the Bengals handily, and their defense should keep Dalton and Mixon in check.
Final Prediction: Patriots 24, Bengals 14