If the Cincinnati Bengals have any business in conversations about AFC powerhouses or want to stake their claim league wide then a win in Foxborough on Sunday afternoon will go along way, kickoff slated for 1PM EST. Both of these clubs had unfortunate appearances in the 2009 NFL playoffs as they were both dumped in the wildcard round. This game should produce some impressive aerial assaults as the likes of Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens, Wes Welker, and Randy Moss will all be featured.
The Bengals enter this season as a legitimate threat to contend for the AFC North crown and believe that anything less then a Superbowl appearance would be a failure. It might be a stretch to say the Bengals have a shot to be in Dallas this coming February but this ball club has the fire power to cause some headaches throughout this season. Carson Palmer now has a viable alternative threat to Chad Ochocinco by the name of Terrell Owens. These two dynamic receivers will look to stretch defenses all season long, which should benefit RB Cedric Benson and his attempt to turn his career around. The Cincinnati defense, coordinated by Mike Zimmer, is an aggressive unit with the likes of USC products LB Rey Maualuga and LB Keith Rivers that will be able to get after the quarterback all season long. The defense was not shy of the quarterback this preseason as they were able to rack up an impressive 15 sacks and 22 hurries. The Cincinnati Bengals will be in playoff talks come this December if they can manage the booming egos of their star wide outs and if Carson Palmer can return to form after a very pedestrian 2009 campaign.
The Pats know all too well about how opening day can break or make a season, it was just two seasons ago that franchise QB Tom Brady went down against their opening tilt with the chiefs in 2008 which effectively ruined any chances they had of defending their AFC supremacy. New England enters this season poised to return to the Superbowl and will all depend on whether head coach Bill Belichick can scheme his inexperienced defense unit into a legitimate starting unit. Wes Welker is expected to return to the Patriots starting line-up after last years season ending injury and should cause headaches Bengals linebackers trying to cover the speedy midfield receiver. The Patriots, who have won 13 of their past 15 home openers, are a perfect 8-0 at Gillette Stadium in home openers.
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Bengals vs Patriots Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
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Bengals vs Patriots Prediction for Week 1:
Spread Prediction (Top Play) – The Patriots enter this season with a very young and inexperienced bunch on defense. I believe we see the Bengals take advantage of this defensive unit and I see this contest as a very close affair. Yes, Bill Belichick can turn the most mundane of defenses into punishing units but I believe there is just too many holes in their scheme right now that I see the Bengals being able to score in this contest and keep up with the Pats attack. Were going to snag the points in this one and see the Bengals keeping it close, enough escaping Gillette Stadium with a week 1 upset. TOP PLAY PREDICTION – BENGALS +4.5
Over/Under Prediction – These teams have combined to go over the total 3 times in their last 5 matches and I believe the trend continues on Sunday. These two offenses are tooled to score and score at will they will. I look for this game to have open airways and could open the doors for a possible shootout. Both teams should get close to 400 total yards offense and I see this game as a 35-31 type of a game in favor of whoever has the ball last. Strongly consider the over in this AFC battle. Cheers! Bet the Over at Sportsbook.com