Bet Bengals to Cover vs. Patriots for Week 5 NFL Picks

Jason Lake

Friday, October 3, 2014 1:47 PM GMT

Is this real life? A mountain of money has been bet on the Cincinnati Bengals this week. And it’s happening at the expense of the one-time kings of NFL betting, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

Jason’s record after Week 4: 12-14 ATS, 5-4-1 Totals

Profit: minus-5.6 units

 

We’re running out of clichés and bad puns to describe the downfall of the New England Patriots. That’s okay: Money talks, and virtually all the money is on the Cincinnati Bengals for Sunday night’s game (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC) against the Pats. According to our expanded consensus reports at press time, the Bengals are pulling in 97.23 percent of the action, with an absolutely massive average bet of $1,305. New England’s average bet is $52.

All of this is happening with the Patriots playing at home in Foxborough, where they are actually underdogs for the first time since… well, there was that one game against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos (–2) last year. But before that? Manning again, this time in 2005 with the Indianapolis Colts (–4.5). New England opened as a pick’ em on the Week 5 NFL odds before moving to +1.5 under all this pressure.

NFL Picks: Bengals vs. Patriots Odds Report

 

Gio Location
There’s only one conclusion: Andy Dalton is the new Peyton Manning. Okay, maybe this has to do more with the decline of the Patriots, which we’ve already discussed heavily this year. But let’s pay some attention to the Bengals for a change. Not only are they No. 1 on the DVOA charts with the No. 1-ranked defense, they’re also the league’s top team with a plus-18.9 SRS, and they’re No. 5 on the Elo Ratings at FiveThirtyEight, which take into account last year’s 11-5 finish (10-5-1 ATS).

You have to look closely to find many warts on this team. The Bengals are “only” No. 11 in the league in rushing efficiency; the offensive line is pitching a shutout with zero sacks allowed, but Giovani “Don’t Call Me Gio” Bernard isn’t taking full advantage of the run blocking at just 3.4 yards per carry. Bernard has made up for it somewhat with his 12 catches, though, and Jeremy Hill (5.1 yards per carry) has been an excellent power option to Bernard’s finesse.

Also, while we drool all over Cincinnati’s top-ranked defense, it’s entirely weighted toward stopping the pass – the Bengals are actually the least efficienct team in the league against the run according to DVOA. The right side of the defensive line seems particularly vulnerable with RE Wallace Gilberry, undrafted in 2008, taking over for the departed Michael Johnson (now with Tampa Bay).

 

No, not Ben Vereen
So what can the Patriots do to target these weaknesses? We’re looking at the No. 22-ranked team in rushing efficiency – and that’s with the league’s No. 11-ranked run blocking, so once again, the onus is on RB Stevan Ridley (3.6 yards per carry) to get his act together. Or the Pats could simply go with Shane Vereen (4.4 yards per carry), who’s also New England’s second leading receiver with 14 catches.

It probably wouldn’t work anyway. Brady took to the airwaves Wednesday and said that the Patriots “don’t have the kind of offense that's going to perform at a high level.” That’s not what New England supporters want to hear with the Bengals and their enormous pass rush coming to The Razor fresh off a bye week. Speaking of supporters, even with 97 percent of the money on Cincinnati, our consensus reports show about 40 percent of individual bettors are chosing New England for their NFL picks. Those are some tiny little bets they’re making. We’re going to go in the other direction and open up the vault.

 

The Five Stars
Injuries/Suspensions/Travel/Rest: CIN
Defense/Special Teams: CIN
Coaching: NE
Market Bias: CIN
Betting Line Value: CIN

Betting Verdict: 3-star pick on CIN

Free NFL Pick: Bet 5.5 units on the Bengals –1 (+102) at Pinnacle

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