NFL Picks: Jets vs. Bengals Week 8 Betting Lock

Steve Merril - Steve@prosportsinfo.com

Friday, October 25, 2013 3:16 PM GMT

New York and Cincinnati both come into this game on Sunday off underdog wins. Let's look at the betting odds for this one.

The Jets beat the Patriots 30-27 in overtime as 3.5-point home underdogs while the Bengals won 27-21 at Detroit as 2.5-point road underdogs. Overall, the Jets are 4-3 SU and 5-2 ATS; they won just 6 games a season ago. The Bengals are 5-2 SU and 4-2-1 ATS; they are looking to make the playoffs for the third consecutive season.

The current pointspread on this game has Cincinnati as a 6.5-point home favorite at most sportsbooks. The total is currently between 41 and 41.5 at various shops.

The Jets have alternated wins and losses in every game so far this season. New York comes in off a win so if their seasonal trend continues, the Jets will leave Cincinnati with a loss on Sunday. The Jets have been a surprise this season as there wasn’t a lot of optimism coming into this year. They were a circus of a team in 2012 with no stability at the quarterback position. But the combination of a solid defense and rookie QB Geno Smith has made the Jets a competitive bunch. 

However, there’s a slim margin for error with the Jets. Their four wins have come by 1, 7, 2, and 3 points while two of their three losses have come by 13 points or more. They’ve only beaten one winning team (Patriots last week) and the combined record of the teams they beat in their other three games is just 5-15. In fact, the Jets have played just one winning team all season (Patriots); they’ve actually faced them twice.

This game against the Bengals will be New York’s second winning opponent, and the Jets are in a terrible spot for this challenge. Teams off home underdog wins often struggle in their next game, especially when playing on the road. And they perform even worse when they are coming off a win over a divisional opponent. The Patriots have owned the AFC East for the last decade so a Jets win over New England is a big deal.

New York has strong seasonal defensive numbers, but those numbers have come against a very weak slate of opposing offenses. The Jets are holding opponents to 4.6 yards per play (#3 in the NFL) and 5.9 yards per pass attempt (#4 in the NFL). But as a collective group, their opponents only rank #22 in the league in those categories.

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The Jets’ defense will be facing a strong Cincinnati offense that is averaging 5.5 yards per play (#12) and 7.4 yards per pass attempt (#9). So the numbers clearly show that New York’s defense is taking a major step-up in class in this game against the Bengals.

Cincinnati has won three straight games, including back-to-back games on the road. The Bengals’ offense woke up from their slumber as they’ve scored 27 points in each of their last two games. Cincinnati has put-up 904 yards of total offense in those games with 682 of those yards coming thru the air.

The Bengals’ defense has been solid this season. Cincinnati is allowing just 19.3 points per game while holding opponents to only 334.3 yards of total offense per game. Cincinnati is giving up 5.0 yards per play (#7) and 6.1 yards per pass attempt (#6). Those numbers are strong, and the Jets’ offense will have trouble moving the ball consistently in this game.

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Cincinnati will be playing their only home game in a 5-game stretch so we expect a peak performance in front of the home fans. The Bengals look to be hitting their stride right now, and the Jets are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time off their big home underdog win last week. We’ll lay the points with the Bengals for our NFL picks in this game on Sunday afternoon.

Free Picks: Play BENGALS (-).