Seahawks vs. Bengals NFL Picks: Back Cincinnati to Improve to 5-0 & Cover ATS

Kevin Stott

Wednesday, October 7, 2015 6:57 PM GMT

The Seahawks are heading into a hornet’s nest in Cincinnati this Sunday, where they will face the undefeated Bengals in a massive inter-conference clash. Who should we back with our NFL picks?

The Seattle Seahawks benefitted from a non-call of a batted ball in their own end zone late against the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football, so now with a 2-2 record, the defending NFC champions have new life moving forward. Let’s take a look at this high-profile showdown from the Buckeye State—the numbers, the Trends, the Injuries and all of the other little things—and try to come up with a logical NFL pick if we can in this marquee game on the NFL schedule in Week 5.

 

Odds Overview
Seattle Seahawks vs. Cincinnati Bengals [Sunday 18:00] (FOX, Directv 706, NFL RedZone, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT): The Cincinnati Bengals (4-0 SU, 4-0 ATS) welcome the defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks (2-2 SU, 1-3 ATS) to Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati next Sunday for this fantastic matchup and probably bigger game for the visiting Seahawks side, even after their lucky outcome against the Detroit Lions on MNF where a batted ball in the Seattle End Zone wasn’t called late, resulting in a called touchback, giving the Seahawks (possession of) the football and the Win and their lucky 2-2 mark. Presently (Tuesday afternoon), the Bengals are solid 3-point favorites in sportsbooks here in Las Vegas, Offshore and Online—with the heavier, -120 vigorish on the Bengals in most sportsbooks—while the Total in this game is pretty much 44 everywhere although William Hill is posting a 43½.

On the Money Line, host and favorite Cincinnati is priced at -150 with Seattle at +130 on the takeback (Pinnacle, 5Dimes). The Cincinnati Bengals Team Total Points for this game is 23½ (Ladbrokes) while the Seattle Seahawks Team Total Points has been set at 20½ (Ladbrokes). First Half Total markets as well as other Props bets for this Week 5 game will be released later in the week, as always. An Alternate Point Spread? Bengals -2½ -125, Seahawks +2½ +105 (5Dimes). The Advanced Line from the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook here in Sin City actually installed the Seahawks as 2½-point favorites last week (Tuesday), so if you grabbed the Bengals +2½, you certainly deserve the envious position you now find yourself in.

 

Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks (87 PF-71 PA) were the recipient of another Monday Night Football gift at CenturyLink Stadium in the Emerald City on Monday, holding off the Detroit Lions late in the 4th Quarter thanks to a lucky non-call/botched rule interpretation/simple screw up up by an official on an obviously batted ball by a Seahawks defender (LB KJ Wright) after a teammate (Kam Chancellor) had tomahawk chopped the football out of the grasp of Detroit WR Calvin Johnson who was heading toward the End Zone for the likely winning score before a Seahawks DB and loyal Legion of Boom member (Earl Thomas) promptly stopped the All Pro’s forward progress with a wonderful tackle, holding Johnson at the spot (near the Goal line going in) and enabling his teammate to make the incredible play. Boom. It was Bad Craziness at both its worst and best, but the bottom line here is that the mistake by the Officiating Crew probably cost the Lions the game—the batted ball ruling would have given them the ball within the Seahawks half-yard line—and left these Seahawks at 2-2 instead of at 1-3 heading into this nightmare spot on the Regular Season schedule. Seattle won the game without the services of RB Marshawn Lynch (Hamstring), and on Monday, he is still Questionable, although if there is a game he needs to make his presence known, it will be here in Cincinnati against the Bengals.

The Seahawks really need Lynch for this one, which we could say is Seattle’s toughest Road game of the season if it hadn’t already played (and lost) to the Packers in Green Bay in Week 2. Here, look for Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (8-12 ATS on Road), new TE Jimmy Graham, WRs Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse and hopefully RBs Lynch (280 rushes, 1,306 yards, 13 TDs in 2014) and Rookie (Central Michigan University) Thomas Rawls (35 rushes, 157 yards) to provide the Offensive punch for the visitors and Head Coach Pete Carroll (55-37-2 ATS). Besides Lynch (Questionable) On the Injury front for Seattle (+650 NFL odds to win Super Bowl, bet365), RB Fred Jackson (Ankle), Demarcus Dobbs (Shoulder), CB Tharold Simon (Toe), S Steven Terrell (Hip), TE Luke Willson (Back), DE Demarcus Dobbs (Shoulder) and DT Brandon Mebane (Groin) are all listed as Questionable. Expect most listed here, including both RBs Lynch and Jackson, to be ready to go for this massive game in Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon.

 

Cincinnati Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals (121 PF-77 PA) have had a wonderful start to the Regular Season and with an Offense which includes Skill Position guys like QB Andy Dalton (20-13-2 ATS at Home), WR AJ Green, WR Marvin Jones, WR Mohamed Sanu, WR Brandon Tate, TE Tyler Eifert, RB Giovani Bernard and RB Jeremy Hill, this team can get the ball up-field very quickly and may possess the deepest and healthiest O in the NFL right now, although the New England Patriots are also at that elite level. And the Bengals (14/1 to win Super Bowl, bet365) have been also playing some pretty good Defense, although their 20th overall Total Yardage ranking (1,459 yards; 364.8 ypg allowed) is well below Seattle’s 4th overall ranking (1,115 yards; 278.8 ypg allowed).

The Seahawks Defense has allowed 17.8 ppg while the Bengals D has given up an average of 19.3 ppg, so this could be a matter of whether or not Bengals QB Dalton can keep the high-octane Cincinnati Offense revving against a Defensive unit as tough as the Legion of Boom. This could be a real classic. And after playing on Monday night, Seattle will be working with one day’s less rest (5 Days) than the Bengals (6 Days) will who’ll enjoy sleeping in their own cozy beds on Saturday night, eating their wife’s home cooking and playing on their own sacred soil (FieldTurf) at Paul Brown Stadium. Injury-wise, Cincinnati DT Marcus Hardison (Knee) and S George Iloka (Ankle) are both listed as Questionable for this contest while WR James Wright (Knee), T Cedric Ogbuehi (Knee), LB Vontaze Burfict (Knee) and LB Sean Porter (Knee) are all on the Injured-Reserve List for the upstart Bengals and extremely humble 13-year Head Coach Marvin Lewis (98-95-9 ATS).

 

Series Numbers, Recent Relevant Trends and Realistic Game Expectations
This could be an absolute classic, with Cincinnati having the edge on Offense and Seattle the edge on Defense with its legendary Legion of Boom which includes DBs Kam Chancellor (FS), Earl Thomas (FS), Dion Bailey (SS), Cary Williams (CB) and Richard Sherman (CB). Maybe this game will be won (or lost) when the Seahawks’ Offense is facing the Bengals’ improved Defense? We shall see, but a couple of things are for sure: The Paul Brown Stadium crowd in Cincinnati will be amped like contestants picked for The Price Is Right and will be like a 12th Man in one of the biggest games in the venue in years. And Seattle (PDT) will be losing 3 hours traveling West to East and playing in Ohio (EDT), so this game will be starting at 10 a.m. Pacific Time (morning) for the defending NFC champs. Good morning, good morning. Would you like a Forearm Shiver with your Coffee? The last time these two teams played, the Bengals won 34-12 at Seattle as 1½-point favorites in 2011, while the last meeting here in the Cincinnati was way back in 2007—Seattle’s second season in the NFC—where Cincinnati also won, 27-24. Trend-wise, the Bengals are 4-1-1 ATS the L6 vs. Seattle but the Bengals are just 1-3 ATS in the L4 vs. the Seahawks here at Paul Brown Stadium for some reason.

Blame it in the NFC. On Monday night, the Seattle OL again looked downright scary against the Lions, giving QB Wilson very little protection and time to look downfield for open receivers, often forcing him into quick and rash decisions. But then again, that‘s the byproduct of trying to make three former DL into OL and then expecting them to all try to learn on the fly in the NFL, playing teams out to get you week-in and week-out because you’re the best (Seattle). Fun stuff. This (OL weakness) could be a season-long problem for the Seahawks and HC Carroll, with the Green Bay Packers (4-0), Atlanta Falcons (4-0) and Carolina Panthers (4-0) possibly being the beneficiaries. If you can’t protect the QB, sooner or later...

The Bengals are an eye-opening 17-5-1 ATS in their L23 at Home and the Over is 16-5-1 in the L22 games here at Paul Brown Stadium and 6-2 ATS over the L8. The Weather forecast from The Weather Channel for Sunday in Cincinnati calls for Sunny conditions, a game-time High temperature of 71°, 0% chance of Precipitation, SSW Winds around 9 mph and 61% Relative Humidity. So, absolutely perfect Fall football weather for the Mideast for mid-October. Expect this loaded Bengals Roster and the site to be the big thing here with Cincinnati (+600 to win AFC, Coral) eager to protect their Home turf here against the NFC champion Seahawks (+333 to win NFC, bet365), please the paying patrons, remain undefeated and keep Hopes of a possible AFC Home-field advantage alive in a conference (AFC) which is also home to the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots (4-0) and the Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos (4-0). This one should three orangey shades of Fun.

Predicted Final Score: Cincinnati Bengals 26 Seattle Seahawks 20

NFL Picks: Cincinnat Bengals -3 at 5Dimes

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