After one of their more embarrassing defeats in recent memory, the New England Patriots will look to shake it off in a pivotal clash against one the league’s top teams, the Cincinnati Bengals. While many have been quick to boldly state that the Patriots regin is over after last week’s destruction via the Chiefs, let’s hold up just a minute. Tom Brady and Bill Belechick have been counted out before, but there’s a reason they’ll likely go down as one of the top coach-QB duos ever associated with the game of football. They’re not this bad, nowehere near what they showed last week in Kansas City. And truthfully, the Bengals aren’t as great as everyone is making them out to be. These teams are close in quality and look for the Patriots to show it tonight. They’ve had a tough start to their season, with three of their four contests on the road. Now at home, look for Brady and Co. to get it going. New England were 3-point faourites in this game prior to Week 4, but now because of one result they enter as underdogs. That’s puzzling and disrespectful. Look for a hungry Pats team eager to put in a solid performance on Sunday Night Football. For our further thoughts and game analysis, read on below for today’s wager.
Bengals vs. Patriots Betting Odds:
Cincinnati Bengals -1.5 (-110)
@ New England Patriots +1.5 (-110)
Over 46 (-110)
Under 46 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
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Bengals vs. Patriots Pick:
Despite the apparent gap between these two sides, expect a competitive affair and one in which the Patriots look nothing like what they showed in Kansas City last Monday. For starters, the Bengals’ run defense isn’t the best right now. Geno Atkins looks nothing like what he used to be and the unit as a whole is conceding a staggering 4.58 yards per carry. The likes of Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley should be in for big games on the ground. Tom Brady may finally get some time and space in the pocket to challenge the Bengals’ downfield. Look for Belechick to use their advantage in the run game to set up some passing attempts for Brady. He’s been wildly quiet with his downfield attempts thus far in 2014.
As for the Bengals, it’s been a successful start to their 2014 campaign. They enter off of a bye and with a perfect 3-0 record, though I still can’t fully back this group as one of the top teams in the league, or the AFC for that matter. They have been outplayed in two of their three games despite a soft schedule and Andy Dalton’s road history is downright awful. The former TCU product has 34 turnovers in 25 road games and despite perceptions, the Patriots still boast a pretty great defense. Even with last week’s showing, New England’s pass defense has still conceded the least amount of yards. Dalton’s attack is one-dimensional, in that it starts and finishes with throwing to A.J. Green. Look for New England to key on this and take away Green, forcing Dalton to use alternative options. It’s also no secret just how bad Cincinnati has been with their red-zone offense. Too often the Bengals have settled for field goals, opposed to touchdowns. In a game like this, if that happens regularly, they’ll have no shot against a hungry Patriots team.
While many are ready to crown the Bengals, let’s hold up until we see tonight’s showing. The Pats have been bad this year. Brady has been bad this year. But this is a big spot for New England and I’m pretty confident they’ll turn in a great outing. Cincinnati’s offense isn’t prolific enough to beat New England’s defense, while Brady and Co. should be able to get the chains moving against the Bengals’ defense. Brady and Belechick are 17-2 against the spread following a loss, and for the Bengals to be favoured in this spot of desperation for New England seems puzzling. Especially when you consider where the line was just one week ago. It’s a blatant overreaction and I want no part of siding against a motivated Tom Brady and his Patriots. In a big AFC showdown on a nationally televised platform, the Bengals have not covered the spread in their last ten of these contests. They’re not ready to go into Foxboro and beat the Patriots, so we’ll gladly side with New England as home underdogs in tonight’s match-up.
PICK = Patriots +1.5 (-110)