Bet the Total for a Solid Bengals vs. Patriots NFL Pick

Jason Lake

Friday, October 3, 2014 5:55 PM UTC

Friday, Oct. 3, 2014 5:55 PM UTC

This Sunday's mismatch is a dream scenario for NFL betting enthusiasts. The Bengals have the most efficient defense in the league, while the Patriots offense is broken beyond recognition.

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

Profit: Minus-5.6 units
Let’s not kid anyone here: Of course we’re picking the 'under' in Sunday night’s contest (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC) between the mighty Cincinnati Bengals and the not-so-mighty New England Patriots. The autopsy has already been conducted: New England’s offense died from lack of quarterback protection, combined with the disappearance of QB Tom Brady’s best receivers. Old age may have played a role, too.

The Week 5 NFL lines don’t give us much reason to change our minds, either. Sunday’s game opened with a total of 46, and that’s where it sits as we go to press, with the 'under' getting 58 percent consensus in early NFL betting action. The public still loves the Patriots and the 'over' enough to keep this total nestled snugly in the middle of the scoring spectrum. All we’re missing is lousy weather: Clear skies are expected over The Razor Sunday night with temperatures around 50 degrees Fahrenheit (11° Celsius, 284 Kelvin).


Misty Misdemeanor
Not that lousy weather – or lousy offense – will guarantee a low-scoring game. We saw this Thursday night when the Minnesota Vikings were thrown to the Green Bay Packers. There was a 100 percent chance of rain in the forecast, but it turned out to be a light rain that tapered off to a mist by the second half. And while Minnesota’s offense was predictably anemic (especially with Christian Ponder getting the start), it was so bad that Green Bay scored a defensive touchdown in what turned out to be a 42-10 final (OVER 46.5). Mule muffins~!

Could Brady and the Patriots suffer the same fate? Certainly. It was pretty much the same story last week at Arrowhead against the Kansas City Chiefs, as Brady threw a pick-six to Husain Abdullah that made the score 41-7 in the fourth quarter. The Pats tacked on a garbage-time TD to make the final 41-14 (OVER 45), but the damage had already been done.

We hasten to add that the Patriots defense was ranked No. 1 in efficiency going into Week 4. It fell all the way to No. 10 (No. 2 pass, No. 25 rush) after that performance against the Chiefs. It’s not easy to play defense when you’re on the field for 11 of the first 15 minutes; these poor schmucks were running on empty after all four of New England’s first-half possessions ended in punts. By the way, starting RC Alfonzo Dennard missed that game with a shoulder injury – he’s been putting in limited practices this week.


The Cincinnati Kids
It’s also a bit disconcerting that the Cincinnati offense (No. 5 overall) was ranked higher than Green Bay’s (No. 8) and Kansas City’s (No. 12) going into Week 5. We don’t normally think of Bengals as the kind of team that’s going to drop 40 points on hapless opponents. But they’re getting closer with each passing week: 23 points against Baltimore, 24 points against Atlanta, and 33 points against Tennessee. The Bengals defense has allowed 33 points combined this year. That’s why the 'under' is 3-0 thus far.

But none of this is going to change our NFL picks for this game. It only acts as a friendly reminder not to unload our entire bankroll on one single outcome. We’re habitually betting one unit on our NFL totals anyway; however, as far as totals go, this is about as confident as we get. Sunday’s game might not be a repeat of last year’s 13-6 Bengals victory (under 45.5) at Paul Brown Stadium. It doesn’t have to be.

Free NFL Pick: Bet one unit on Under 46 (–102) at Bookmaker

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