Cincinnati Ready to Get its Act Together
After building a nice lead in the weakened AFC North, Cincinnati provided a pair of mediocre first half efforts, only to come back and eventually lose in overtime to Miami and Baltimore.
Quarterback Andy Dalton after a good four-game stretch has fallen back again. Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden has to develop the right game plan which enables Dalton to build confidence quickly to help the Bengals off to a start fast.
Those looking at the NFL betting odds are not enamored with the Bengals and dropped them a point to -5.5 from the sportsbooks opening line. While there might be some justification on the surface, the fact is Cleveland is still a very mediocre football team and while quarterback Jason Campbell has been an upgrade over Brandon Weeden, Cincinnati has allowed 15 total points in their past two home games.
With the Bengals having lost two games, wanting payback for an earlier defeat at Cleveland and having no focus conundrum with a bye week coming, Coach Marvin Lewis’ team lays the wood and whacks the Browns by 13.
NFL Pick: Cincinnati -6
Fanatical About Philadelphia
It would appear outrageous for a NFL football handicapper like myself to back a home team as a favorite when they are riding a 0-10 SU and ATS streak playing at home.
The easy thing to do is take Washington and the points in a division game and take your chances. However, I am going to go against conventional handicapping wisdom and evaluate the two teams.
Under Nick Foles, the faster-paced Chip Kelly offense is clicking again. His accuracy has led to 10 touchdowns and no interceptions the last two weeks and this has begun to open up more running lanes for runners LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown, who are running hard again.
Washington has been alternating wins and losses in their past seven games and they are just as likely to find a way to lose as they are to secure a victory.
The Eagles defense still give up a lot of yards (31st); nonetheless, since Denver hung 52 points on them, they are conceding 17.6 points a game in their last six outings. I expect them to end their futility at The Linc and win and cover against the NFL odds against their division rivals.
NFL Pick: Philadelphia -3
Chicago Coach to Learn from Miscue
Marc Trestman violated one the first rules of coaching – Place your team in the best position to win. Trestman had to see Jay Cutler has reinjured his groin to a certain degree and hurt his ankle, which limited his mobility and he suffered to make throws when even the slightest bit off-balance.
Josh McCown was ushered in late and led Chicago down the field to a touchdown and nearly tied the game for the Bears.
Whether McCown could have saved the day for Chicago is up for debate, but almost assuredly the backup gets the call at home against Baltimore.
The Ravens might be the defending Super Bowl champions, yet they hardly look the part. Even at home this past week, they squandered a 17-0 lead before winning in OT over Cincinnati.
Baltimore is 1-4 SU and ATS on the road this year, with no running game and the 30th ranked offense. With underdogs off a division game, facing opponent off two division tilts, they are 11-33 ATS. Let’s back the hungrier home team for our NFL picks.
NFL Pick: Chicago -3