NFL Picks: Tough Defenses Will Make Seahawks & Bengals Go 'Under' 43.5

Jason Lake

Saturday, October 10, 2015 9:54 PM UTC

Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015 9:54 PM UTC

Marshawn Lynch is going to miss another game for the Seattle Seahawks. How will that affect our NFL pick for Sunday's total when the 'Hawks visit the Cincinnati Bengals?

Jason's 2015 record as of Oct. 10: 17-9 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 10-14 Total

This is usually about the time of year when I lament the injuries piling up across the NFL, and how important it is to pay close attention to the injury reports when you're making your NFL picks. Then I usually say something about taking those reports with a grain of salt. Well, it's back to the salt mines, folks. All those good things I just said about Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant? He's probably out for Week 5 with a somewhat mysterious knee injury.

Meanwhile, fans of the Seattle Seahawks have a mystery of their own: What's up with RB Marshawn Lynch and his calf/hamstring? Lynch had an MRI earlier this week, but the Seahawks would only say that Lynch has some tissue damage, and he won't be playing this Sunday (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX) against the Cincinnati Bengals. Good times.


Welcome to Sackville
Not that people were expecting much even if Lynch were to play. There's a total of 43 points on the NFL odds board for Sunday's contest, one of the lower totals out there for Week 5, yet our consensus reports at press time show 58 percent of bettors on the UNDER. That's been the preferred play since the total opened at 44 points.

Of course we're in that boat, too. We've been contributing all season long to the wailing and gnashing of teeth surrounding Seattle's offensive line. It was more of the same last week versus the Detroit Lions; QB Russell Wilson got sacked six times, RB Thomas Rawls was held to 48 yards rushing in Lynch's place, and the Seahawks needed some magic to beat Detroit 13-10 (UNDER 43). That's three straight UNDERs for Seattle. Why not keep plucking that chicken?


Andy Is Dandy
Then again, the Bengals have the OVER at 3-1 this year. They've got the No. 2-ranked offense in the league (No. 1 pass, No. 2 rush) at Football Outsiders, behind only the New England Patriots in efficiency. Likewise, Andy Dalton trails only Tom Brady among quarterbacks in both DYAR and DVOA. Wait a second... Patriots... Brady... offensive line issues and a 2-2 SU, 1-3 ATS record after Week 4... Apparently this means Seattle's going to beat the Bengals 43-17 and go on to win Super Bowl 50.

Or maybe I'm just projecting. Anyway, things can change on a dime in the NFL. The Seahawks could get their line in order with a few changes here and there. Lynch could get healthy, and failing that, Rawls could step up like he did in Week 3 against the Chicago Bears (104 yards on 16 carries). For now, though, we're sticking with the UNDER. Cincinnati also happens to have the No. 8-ranked defensive line in both run stuffing and the pass rush. Got recovery water?

NFL Picks: Take UNDER 43.5 at Bovada

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