Cardinals Bengals Betting – Bengals Look To Keep Playoff Hopes Alive Against Surging Cardinals
After losing four of five games from mid-November in to December, the Cincinnati Bengals got a crucial win over the St. Louis Rams to keep pace with the New York Jets in the AFC Wild Card race. Fast-forward to this Sunday and the Bengals will face their second NFC West opponent in as many weeks in the Arizona Cardinals, and with their season finale the following week against the Baltimore Ravens, this game is undoubtedly a must-win to have any shot at the postseason. Cincinnati is favored by four according to the sports betting lines despite the Cardinals’ recent success, and it will be interesting to see how these teams match up.
Arizona Cardinals @ Cincinnati BengalsSaturday December 24, 2011 – 1:00 PM ET
Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
NFL Betting Lines: Cincinnati Bengals – 4.5
The Bengals will play an Arizona team that has won four straight, including victories over a pair of NFC division leaders in the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers, to climb back to the .500 mark. The Cardinals understood when their streak began that they wouldn’t have a shot at competing for a playoff spot, but that hasn’t slowed them down to this point and won’t stop them from attempting to play spoiler against Cincinnati.
Cardinals Bengals Betting Preview: Arizona Cardinals
Two of Arizona’s four straight wins have come in overtime, and the most impressive part has been their ability to close out games strong. Even with quarterback John Skelton under center, the Cardinals have found ways to move the ball on offense, and their defense has not allowed more than 20 points in any of their past four games after allowing them to surpass that mark in six of their first nine games. Running back Beanie Wells is averaging 4.3 yards per carry, and Skelton is making plays with his legs as well while the cut down in turnovers has also been a huge factor.
Cardinals Bengals Betting Preview: Cincinnati Bengals
It is no coincidence that the Bengals’ most recent win came in a game where they ended a streak of five straight games of allowing 100 yards or more on the ground, as defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer was finally able to tighten things up in the front-seven. Cincinnati will need its defense to come up big once again in each of the final two games if they are going to beat out the Jets for the final Wild Card spot, while the offense remains on the shoulder of quarterback Andy Dalton. Dalton threw for just 179 yards and an interception against the Rams, and with the running game struggling to get going, he will need to put up better numbers against a much more talented Cardinals’ team.
Cardinals Bengals Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick
The Cardinals come in to this game playing some of their best football in the last two years, while Cincinnati’s only two wins in the past six weeks have come against teams with a combined six wins this season. The Bengals will lay it all on the line for the chance to remain in position for an AFC Wild Card berth, but even if they manage to come out on top in this one, they will have a hard time covering the sportsbook spread.Cardinals Bengals Betting Pick: Arizona Cardinals