I know what you must be thinking. Why the heck is this guy writing about a game that features two teams that have been “stinking up the joint” all season long. You must think I am from Cincinnati or something.
The truth is, I’m not from Cincinnati, and I’m not from Indianapolis either. I actually don’t really like either team all that much.
I am writing this blog because this game might be our best betting opportunity all weekend long. Both teams have underperformed this season up to this point. There is no denying that statement. These two teams are essentially out of the playoff race for all-intensive purposes. So, when two, potentially unmotivated teams clash against one another- what does that mean?
That is where I come in. This blog is the key to unlocking the doors that contain the information that will help us project what will happen come Sunday afternoon. Many people will see the two team’s hideous records and just overlook this game. If you are in the business of liking money (which I sure hope you are), then I suggest you follow along as I break down this matchup. I will show you what to look for, so you can make some money on the action.
When: Sunday, 10/29 1:00 pm EST
Where: Paul Brown Stadium – Cincinnati, OH
Opening Line: Bengals -9.5 O/U 41
I get it. The Colts are 2-5 and the Bengals are 2-4. Nothing to hang our hats on there. This article isn’t intended to talk about how great these two football organizations are. This page is designed for you to be able to learn the ins and outs of what to expect come kickoff – so you can take advantage financially.
I’m guessing you like to wager on NFL games. I mean, you are here, reading a blog about what to look for in how to bet a particular NFL contest. The reason I picked this game was simply because I saw an opportunity. A chance to make some money on a line that I thought seemed a bit inflated. Follow along as I discuss more.
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen many 2-4 teams coming off a divisional beatdown laying 10.5 points the following week. That is exactly what is shaping up to happen come Sunday. The line that opened up as Bengals being a 9.5 favorite has already swelled to 10.5 points at most online sites. This thing could swell to 11 or more by the time you are drinking your coffee and eating your cereal on Sunday. That is unless of course, the “sharps” come pouncing in.
This is exactly what I presume to be the case for this game. Don’t be surprised if you see the majority of tickets come in on Cincy, but see the bulk of the money come in on Indy.
I am not here to brag about the Colts or talk up how well they have played. I am not saying they are good football team according to NFL standards. What I am saying is 10.5 points seems like an awful lot of points to be laying for a team who averages 9.7 points per game at home!
Here is another item to bring to light about this line. Betting experts have said that the difference between playing at home vs. on the road in the NFL equates to approximately a six or seven point difference in the odds. Using that methodology, that would mean the Bengals would be between a 3.5 and 4.5 point favorite if this game was being played at Lucas Oil Stadium, in front of the Colts fans.
This seems a bit too large for me. I’d venture to guess this would be a fairly even matchup on paper had this game been played in Indianapolis. I that was the case and the Colts were +4.5, I think the sharps would be running to the books to get their wagers in.
To further dive into this Sunday afternoon tilt, let’s take a peek at what the teams like to try and accomplish on the field, and how that may play out this weekend.
Let’s begin with the home team, the one that is the big favorite. The Bengals came out of the gates – well they actually hardly came out at all. They opened the season by laying a couple eggs at home. After getting shutout 20-0 the opening game of the year, the Bengals scored just 9 points in front of their home crowd in Week 2 against the Texans.
Fortunately for Bengals fans, the Cincinnati offense has picked up the pace averaging 22.3 points per game in the four games since. So which Bengals team can we expect to show up this Sunday against the Colts?
If the Bengals don’t move the ball and score points in this game, then shame on them.
Indianapolis ranks dead last in terms of points allowed per game and only the Patriots defense has allowed more yards per game on through the first seven weeks of the season.
The Bengals have shown they can have a formidable passing attack, especially when Andy Dalton decides to not force the issue. The problem is, that hasn’t really been the case. If you take out the game where he threw four touchdown passes against the completely inept Cleveland Browns, Andy has only thrown five touchdowns compared to eight interceptions.
The “Red Rifle” as Dalton is referred to hasn’t been good this season, and that’s being polite. He ranks 28th out of the 32 qualifying starting quarterbacks in total QBR this season.
For this reason, I expect the Bengals to lean on their rushing attack this weekend. Look for Bill Lazor, the offensive coordinator, to get his three-headed backfield of Joe Mixon, Jeremy Hill, and Giovani Bernard going early and often. In a perfect scenario, the Bengals would rush the ball fifty times and let Dalton manage the game.
Whether or not that comes to fruition remains to be seen. Let’s jump over to the other side of the field and check in on what Chuck Pagano and his Colts squad will have planned for Sunday’s matchup.
There isn’t a whole lot of nice things to say about the Colts organization this year. From the way they handled their franchise player Andrew Luck’s injury to the product they put on the field last week. I would be naïve to think the Colts will suddenly turn things around.
Riding the ship against a questionable Bengals team? Now that’s not out of the question. There is a two-sided problem to this equation. Two issues that are pretty glaring ones in terms of trying to win football games:
This combination doesn’t lead to a whole bunch of victories in the National Football League. Enter the 2-5 Indianapolis Colts. Their only two wins came against the Browns and the 49ers- the two teams in the NFL that are yet to win a game.
Add this all up and what do we have? We have a pretty inadequate football team going on the road into a hostile environment.
To make matters worse, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton stirred the pot with his unamusing comments he made in the locker room after the Colts were smacked around last week, 27-0. Throwing teammates under the bus usually means the camaraderie amongst the group is in bad shape and fixing it doesn’t magically happen overnight.
If the offensive line continues to struggle this weekend, it will be close to impossible for the Colts to hang around. The Bengals’ defense is sporting the second-best average in the league in terms of passing yards allowed per game.
A bad offensive line pitted against a hungry, blitzing defense- yikes! After getting a little more acquainted with the Indianapolis Colts’ situation, I am starting to wonder if the 10.5 points they are getting this Sunday is even enough.
When I am betting NFL games, it can be the Sunday or Monday night primetime matchup between two playoff contenders. Or it can be the contest between the bottom feeders of different divisions. The point is- if there is an NFL game, I’m going to look at the line and try to attack it.
That is the case with this Sunday’s bout between the Colts and the Bengals. This isn’t a flashy matchup and probably won’t garner the attention of most fans on Sunday. However, the people who bet sports for a living won’t be passing over this spot.
Which information they use and how they apply that to their bets will be interesting to see. Everyone knows the Colts can’t stop anybody and the Bengals have a fierce and imposing defense.
What I also know is 10.5 seems like an awful lot of points for a team with 2 wins to be laying. Colts were embarrassed at home last week. If they have any pride in the locker room, I would expect the team to show up on Sunday ready to compete.
Whether or not that happens is the beauty of the National Football League. That’s why I’ll be tuned in on Sunday to see whose fat lady will be singing!
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