Chargers Bengals Spread Line and Betting Predictions

The San Diego tradition of slacking off early and then making a rabid comeback to make the playoffs continued this year, with one caveat: with only two weeks left, they are dependent on others to get them to the dance. Sitting at 8-6, the Chargers are a game back of the AFC West leading Kansas City Chiefs. Even if they win out, the Chargers will need the Chiefs to drop a game at home, a place they haven’t lost all season. First thing is first for San Diego though, they need to win their last two games to keep the pressure on KC. Other than their misstep against the Raiders a couple of weeks ago, the Chargers have been playing some excellent football lately, winning 6 of their last 7. Philip Rivers was in the discussion for MVP for much of the season, although now it looks like a two man race between Tom Brady and Michael Vick. Regardless, Rivers has managed to shatter records despite a plague of injuries to his receiving corps. Although it looks like Antonio Gates is done for the season, Rivers may have his full supply of wide receivers available to him for the first time all year. In addition, Ryan Mathews is back in the running game mix, and he and Mike Tolbert provide an exciting mix of power and speed, giving the Chargers offense a balanced and potent attack. The Chargers defense has also been one of the league’s best all season, leaving one to question even further how San Diego have managed to put themselves in such a tricky spot.

The Cincinnati Bengals finally managed their first win in 11 tries last week, edging out Cleveland 19-17. The problem is they are probably better served losing and hoping to get the number one pick in the draft. The good news on that front is that they have to very stiff challenges to round out the season, this week against San Diego, and next week in Baltimore. They will also be without their best wide receiver, as Terrell Owens has been placed on injured reserve. There has also been some verbal sparring between Chad Ochocinco and coach Marvin Lewis, although it is unclear if this will lead to a reduced role for the dramatic receiver on Sunday. Last week, Cedric Benson put up a huge number, rushing for 150 yards, after a couple stinkers. Benson has not shown the same consistency as last season, but with a depleted receiving corps and a shaky Carson Palmer, look for Benson to guide the attack for Cincy this week. Speaking of Palmer, he has not played well this year, and is likely on his way out of Cincinnati at the end of the season. Although he seems to throw for a decent amount of yards every game, his touchdown to interception ratio is a mediocre 21:18, which is not near good enough to get it done in a tough AFC North.

The Chargers have everything to play for in this one, while the Bengals seem content to just play out the string. Rivers seems to have wasted little time reconnecting with Vincent Jackson, and it would seem that the two are in line for another big day Sunday. The Bengals are giving up 222.8 passing yards per game, which is around the middle of the pack. However, the Chargers are 2nd in the league offensively in this category, so one can expect Rivers to throw for at least 250 yards, if not more on Sunday depending on the flow of the game. The Bengals have been similarly average against the run, giving up 120.1 yards on the ground, so expect Norv Turner to ensure both Mathews and Tolbert get a good number of reps. Things will be a lot more difficult for Palmer and Benson, as San Diego is the league’s best defensive team through the air, giving up only 170.4 passing yards per game. They are not much friendlier on the ground, as they are giving up the 2nd fewest rushing yards at 89.4.

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Chargers vs Bengals Spread, Line and Betting Odds:

Spread:

San Diego Chargers -7.5
@ Cincinnati Bengals +7.5

Game Total:

Over (-110)
44
Under (-110)

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Chargers vs Bengals Betting Predictions/Picks for Week 16

Spread Prediction (Top Play): On paper, this is a complete mismatch, and the spread could be even higher if not for the facts that this game is in Cincinnati and that the Bengals won last week. The Chargers are going to be relentless given the importance of this game for them, as they can afford no more mistakes in a season that has already featured too many for them. San Diego is 6-1 ATS in their last 7, and 4-0 when they have been a favorite of 3.5-10 points. Meanwhile, the Bengals are only 6-16 ATS in their last 22 games, and 2-5 in their last 7 as an underdog. Expect the Chargers to romp in this one.

Pick (Top Play): Chargers -7.5

Game Total Prediction: The Bengals defense has been giving up a good deal of points throughout the year, and one has to figure that they will have similar issues against an extremely dangerous offense. The return to form of Vincent Jackson should be a frightening thought for any secondary. While Cincy is unlikely to put up a ton of points against San Diego, they will have to go to the air if the Chargers jump out to a big lead, so you have to figure they will put up at least a few on the scoreboard. As a road favorite, the Under has hit only 6 times in the Chargers’ last 23 games, and the Over is 4-1 in Cincinnati’s last 5 as a home dog of more than 3.5 points. San Diego should pile it on for most of the game, with the Bengals scoring a couple of touchdowns in garbage time to help this game go Over.

Pick: Over 44

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