Bengals/Patriots Defense Sets NFL Pick on the Total

Jordan Sharp

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 5:53 PM UTC

Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2014 5:53 PM UTC

A week after getting dominated by the Chiefs on Monday Night Football, Tom Brady and the Patriots head home to welcome in the undefeated Bengals. The NFL Odds have the Bengals as slight road favorites, with a total of 46. Who should you back with your NFL Picks?

Brady Falling Off?
The Patriots are off to a pretty horrible start considering their amazing previous decade of performance. Last night they weren’t even competitive against the Chiefs in Kansas City, and their normally high-powered offense has turned into a dink and dunk passing game with very little upside. They are struggling to run the football, and right now they have become one of the biggest NFL odds surprises so far this season.

Tom Brady has been one of the main reasons the Patriots have struggles so far this season. Through four games, Brady has only four touchdowns, one per game, and has thrown for less than 250 passing yards in all four games. He threw his first two interceptions of the game last week, and against the Bengals’ defense, even though they are back at home, Cincinnati has an even better overall defense than the Chiefs.

In order to cover and be a good sports pick again, the Patriots are going to have to get their downfield passing game going more. Brady’s yards per attempt right now is sitting at 5.77, which ranks him at 33rd in the NFL. Only Derek Carr has a smaller yards per attempt among quarterbacks who started the season as their team’s starting quarterback. Brady is below Ryan Tannehill, and even some QBs who have already lost their jobs like Chad Henne and Josh McCown. Unless New England can get their passing game going, the Bengals are going to eat them up.


The Sharp Pick
These NFL odds have moved a lot since they opened up late Sunday afternoon. After opening at -2 ½ in favor of the Patriots, the embarrassing loss on Monday night moved the line a full four points up to -2 in favor of the Bengals. However instead of messing around with the spread for this game, with the offensive struggles of the Patriots, the total looks like a much better wager for this game.

The Patriots defense played ok last night until they just could not hold anymore after New England punts, and this week against the Bengals, even though Cincinnati is off of long rest, they could still have some success. On top of that, even though the trends with the Pats point to the over in this game, this is not the same Patriots we have gotten used to covering.

 However for this game, the under looks like a much better play. The Bengals have now cashed the under in their last four games in a row dating back to last season, and the under is 3-1-1 in their last five games as favorites between 0 and -3. Also, the Bengals have been great over the last several seasons after a blowout win. The under is 17-3-1 in their last 21 games following a win of 14 points or more.

The under has also cashed at 14-6-1 for the Bengals in their last 21 games against AFC opponents. At 46 points, the NFL odds are giving us a nice opening. If the Patriots’ defense can play up to their capabilities, and the Bengals come off the bye week well on defense, this is going to be a lower scoring game. There is a chance the Bengals’ offense is a little rusty too, which would add even more value to our NFL picks.

NFL Pick: UNDER 46 at 5Dimes

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