NFL Betting: Bengals Face Another Grow-Up Moment Against The Patriots
The Cincinnati Bengals needed the Green Bay Packers to make several mistakes in order to beat Aaron Rodgers two weeks ago. Will New England make mistakes against the Bengals this week?
New England Patriots @ Cincinnati Bengals – Sunday, October 6
Betting line: Pick ‘em
Why New England Will Win
This is a game that could go either way. It appears poised to be decided in the fourth quarter, with neither side running away from the other. This won’t be a blowout because New England does not yet have the depth and health of a top-tier team. It does, however, possess the veteran experience and savvy of the elite team it has in fact been for the past 12 years in the NFL. Cincinnati might have more raw talent than New England, but the Bengals’ youth and lack of consistency at the highest levels of professional football will probably limit the extent to which they will perform against Bill Belichick’s squad. This is an intriguing online football betting dynamic for all of the above reasons.
In many ways, the central question of this game is this: “Are the Bengals ready to get over the hump?” In other words, can Cincinnati follow up the win over Green Bay with another win over a respected opponent, one that is expected to contend for the Super Bowl? Cincinnati did fall behind Green Bay, 30-14, and it needed the Packers to commit huge mistakes (specifically turnovers) in order to mount a comeback. New England, with Tom Brady not only commanding the offense but throwing short passes a high percentage of the time, is the perfect foil for the Bengals and their defense. Brady’s quick releases should blunt the effectiveness of the Bengals’ pass rush, which is the main strength of their defense. Brady’s accuracy as a passer should enable the Patriots to play this game with few turnovers. Cincinnati is not likely to get help from New England, and if that’s the case, the Bengals’ chances of winning will instantly shrink.
Why Cincinnati Will Win
The Bengals are not as proven as the Patriots, but they are showing signs of becoming the team many pundits (and their own fans) expect them to be. The Bengals have been a poorly-run organization for quite some time, but the team drafted well this past spring and added a lot of high-end talent to its offense. The Bengals, with Giovani Bernard and Tyler Eifert now on their roster, have a very fast running back who can be part of four-wide receiver sets and catch the ball in open hands, plus a strong tight end who can be an effective downfield receiver. Quarterback Andy Dalton still has a ways to go in terms of proving that he’s a top-flight field general in the NFL, but with the talent around him, he has a chance to do better. If he’s on top of his game, Dalton should be able to produce over 30 points against New England’s defense, and if that happens, the Bengals should like their chances, given the Patriots’ injuries to their own receiving corps this season. New England might get Rob Gronkowski back for this game, but one shouldn’t expect the Patriots to enjoy a smooth, comfortable rhythm in their passing game. They are likely to experience some sluggish moments before they find a groove later in the season.
Who Will Win
For all the talent the Bengals possess, they have not demonstrated an ability to manifest that talent on a consistent basis. The Patriots, on the other hand, win no matter what players they put on the field. Take New England, the more trusted team.
NFL Betting Pick: Patriots
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