NFL Picks: Back the Undefeated Bengals at Home (-2.5) Against Seahawks on Sunday

Nikki Adams

Wednesday, October 7, 2015 6:36 PM GMT

Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015 6:36 PM GMT

Seattle Seahawks take on the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals in week 5 NFL betting, all while opening as the road underdogs. Will the Seahawks defy the NFL odds?

Seattle Seahawks (2-2 SU, 0-2 away)
On the heels of back-to-back wins at home, the Seattle Seahawks turned around what was a rather dreadful start to their campaign by their standards. An opening loss to the St. Louis Rams on the road was followed by a loss to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau, a highly-anticipated reprisal of last season’s NFC Championship game that the Seahawks won in overtime after coming from behind.

Going into week 5 the Seattle Seahawks are 2-2 SU and 1-3 ATS with a 4-point winning margin. However, they are without a road win to date, which doesn’t augur well from them ahead of a clash with the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals. It doesn’t help either that neither of their home wins were particularly convincing nor at the expense of decent opposition. Beating the hapless Bears 26-0 behind backup Jimmy Clausen 26-0 is hardly a statement-making win. Neither is edging the winless Lions 13-10 amidst some controversial officiating.

Indeed, odds makers are sending the Seahawks into the game as the conspicuous road underdogs, matched at 2.5-to-3-points against the spread. When pre-season markets were released, the Seahawks emerged as the team to beat across sports betting platforms. One would have struggled to find a game on the schedule in which the Seahawks would be justifiable road underdogs, save perhaps at Green Bay.

Fast forward four weeks into the season and the NFL betting outlook dramatically shifts. No longer are the Seahawks the team to beat, but the third favourites behind the Packers and Patriots. Of course, the Seahawks have been to the big game two seasons in a row, winning the ultimate prize in 2013-2014 but losing last season to the Patriots. If there is a team that can turn things around, the thinking is they are that team.

Cincinnati Bengals (4-0 SU, 2-0 home)
The Cincinnati Bengals are loving life right now. Up 4-0 SU and ATS to start the season, with a healthy 11-point winning margin on average they are off to one of the best starts in recent memory. Everybody keeps waiting for them to come back down to earth – after all, the evidence of Andy Dalton self-combusting and dragging the Bengals down with him is aplenty in season’s past.

Could this be the game this finally happens?

It’s not improbable, actually. The Seahawks may not be the best travelling team in the league, but they aren’t dreadful either. Last season, they lost just three of their five outings and went 4-4 ATS with a 6.8-point margin of victory. One has to also consider the Seahawks are desperate to get above .500 in week 5 NFL betting and close the gap on the NFC West-leading Cardinals, who stumbled in week 4 with a loss to the St. Louis Rams.

The only thing is that the Bengals have looked quite solid on both sides of the ball. Much better overall accounting in their games than the Seattle Seahawks. Last week, the Bengals reduced flattened Alex Smith and his O-line, reducing them to seven field goal attempts in the in the 36-21 loss.

Seahawks offense has struggled visibly this season –17th in total offense, 27th in passing and seventh in rushing. Cincinnati are currently first in total offense, fourth in passing offense and seventh in rushing offense.

Russell Wilson has been knocked about quite a bit already – he’s been sacked 18 times, a league high that he shares with Alex Smith, who has only just left Cincy and is probably still pulling the grass out of his hair. (To put it into perspective, that’s four more sacks than Colin Kaepernick, who’s getting a lot of flak for his poor play this season).

Russell Wilson can’t possibly withstand such pressure from week to week. It’ll be a long season for the Seattle Seahawks otherwise. For the immediate, the concern is how the Seahawks protect Russell Wilson in Cincy though. The way things stack up the Bengals look to be the correct favourites at home. What’s more, they’ve seen how Aaron Rodgers and the Packers tore them apart and how the Rams rose to the occasion, two results that put a chink in the Legion of Boom’s armour. Not so formidable perhaps.

 

Betting Analysis
For our money, we’re backing the Bengals as the 2.5-point home chalk, but we won’t be shocked if the Seahawks do turn the NFL odds in their favour. It’s what is expected of proven champions: win any which way.

NFL Picks: Bengals -2.5 (-120) Westgate

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