Dalton, Bengals Aim To Stay Perfect As Double-Digit Favorites On MNF
The Cincinnati Bengals have re-established themselves as one of the top teams in the AFC with eight straight wins to open the season. They still have a long way to go to make believers out of those that don’t believe in them. The Bengals have been one of the most consistent regular season teams in the NFL over the past few years but they have struggled when it has mattered the most in the playoffs. Cincinnati can certainly work towards redemption and put themselves in a favorable position to break through in the postseason by clinching one of the top two seeds in the AFC this season. The Bengals are expected to move one step closer to reaching that goal when they host the Houston Texans on Monday night and while they should win that game the biggest question mark is whether or not they can dominate enough to cover as double-digit favorites at home.
Houston Texans @ Cincinnati Bengals
Monday November 16, 2015 – 8:30 PM ET
NFL Betting Line: Cincinnati -10.5
Cincinnati has averaged 28.6 points per game to rank 3rd in the NFL in scoring offense this season and they should feel extremely confident about their chances to stay hot on that side of the football against a Houston defense that ranks 22nd in the NFL with an average of 25.6 points allowed per game this season. The Texans defense has consistently been beaten up both on the ground and through the air despite JJ Watt’s best efforts and they will struggle to contain Andy Dalton and company in this one. Dalton has thrown for 2,226 passing yards with 18 touchdowns compared to just four interceptions this season and while he has looked confident all year a big part of his progression has been the strength of the supporting cast around him. The offensive line has been excellent both in the run game and pass attack while running backs Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill have combined for 855 yards and seven touchdowns. Meanwhile, AJ Green has led all receivers with 73 catches for 702 yards and four touchdowns while tight end Tyler Eifert has already matched a franchise record for touchdowns in a single season by a tight end with nine. Cincinnati’s weapons aren’t just limited to its offense either as the defense has been an aggressive group that continues to make plays and force turnovers. That is bad news for a Houston offense that will be in tough again this week with running back Arian Foster set to miss the rest of the regular season due to injury. The Texans made a mistake by not turning back to Brian Hoyer at quarterback earlier than they did but even he will be in tough against the Bengals’ defense. Look for Cincinnati to dominate early on and not let up as they look to make a statement on Monday Night Football and cover as a double-digit favorite at home.
Pick: Cincinnati -10.5
The Bengals should be able to score enough points to comfortably cover as a doubled-digit favorite but that doesn’t mean they will need to top their season average of 28.6 as long as their defense can step up and shut down the Houston attack. Cincinnati should be able to rough up Hoyer and keep the Texans’ offense in check so look for this to be a lower scoring game that stays under the total.