Cincinnati Bengals (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. Chicago Bears (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
NFL Week 1
Date and Time: Sunday, September 8th, 2014, 1:00 pm EST
Where: Soldier Field, Chicago, Ill..
TV: CBS/DirecTV 705
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Cin +3/CHI -3
Over/Under Total: 41.5
After consecutive years of reaching the AFC playoffs the bar of expectations is set pretty high in 2013 for the Cincinnati Bengals, so they’ll be looking to get off to a fast start when they travel to Soldier Field to take on the Chicago Bears in an NFL regular season opener Sunday on CBS.
With essentially the entire cast of players the Bengals have relied upon the past two seasons back on the sideline, including a top-ranked defensive unit, folks in Cincinnati are expecting the next step this season. Quietly the Bengals have gone about the preseason getting ready, but with an exciting young core of skilled players coming into the prime of their careers, it’s going to get harder and harder to keep quiet for much longer.
Chicago won 10 games last year but it still wasn’t enough to get the Bears over the hump, so Lovie Smith was let go and in comes coaching veteran Marc Trestman. Trestman was hand picked to try and “mentor” QB Jay Cutler, which is a great idea for Bears fans because when Cutler is good the Bears are hard to beat. But when Cutler is bad, the Bears have no chance. Which Cutler shows up under the guidance of Trestman will be worth the admission Sunday, and a great indicator of where the Bears will go in 2013.
If you’re hoping for some exotic betting line movement to give you direction on this game, good luck, because the point spread opened at the standard home-team Bears listed as 3-point favorites and has yet to move at all. A few of the offshore sportsbooks that opened the game back in the summer with the Bears at -4 have come down the hook to -3.5, but for the most part all you’re going to get is the standard 3-points no matter where you wager.
The over/under total opened as high as 45 over the summer, but its dropped like a rock all the way down to 42 or 41.5 at most books.
Offensively there won’t be much from the Bengals that we haven’t seen already. QB Andy Dalton manages the game, uses his tight ends, takes a shot downfield time to time with A.J. Green and lets RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis move the chains. The o-line is solid and healthy … there’s really not much not to like. The Bears defense was one of the top units in the NFL last year, one of the highest scoring defenses too, so this one could be a grudge match come Sunday.
Where the game will likely turn for the Bears is on offense, or more specifically, when the Bears offense is forced to go against a stiff, tough Bengals defense. Cutler was way too dependent on throwing to Brandon Marshall last year, and with Marshall still rehabbing from offseason surgery Cutler’s go-to guy may start the year a little gimpy. Chicago also re-worked four/-fifths of the offensive line, so if that isn’t fixed the Bengals defense will be helping Cutler up off the Soldier Field turf again and again on Sunday.
Most of the strong betting trends favor the Bengals in this matchup. Cincinnati is a solid 11-5 ATS on the road over the past few seasons, and their 5-0 ATS record as a road underdog of 3 points or less could explain why most of the early money is on the Bengals.
Badger's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: This one is going to be a defensive battle, with two of the NFL’s best going at it in what I’m looking at a 21-17 or 20-14 type of game. I'm betting the UNDER here.
Editor's Picks - Each week our in house pro's tackle the week's card and make predictions on the week's games ATS! Best bets, top plays, premium selections, etc. FREE!
Expert NFL Picks - Free premium plays from the "real" expert football handicappers from around the web. Don't fall for second rate picks from ESPN, the NFL Network, Hank Goldberg or the screaming touts on TV.
Underdog of the Week Pick - We forecast the loudest barking dog of the week. Expect a 60% winning percentage with these plays.
Favorite of the Week Play - We examine "the chalk" and determine the safest bet in which who you should lay the points with. Forecasting winning favorites long term isn't easy, but we've had some pretty good luck with it over the years.
Line Movement Plays - We report all the major line moves from the gridiron and forecast whether it's public money or sharp action causing the move. Who will cover the spread this week? Our line move plays!
NFL Consensus Picks - See what the general public is betting on. We use this info to fade the public to the tune of big profits over the course of the season.
Bookies Picks - Each week, we'll post which side the bookies are on. Please note: These are not OUR picks. We're simply reporting the teams the bookies need to cover the spread in order for them to win. Games receiving equal action on both sides will not be factored into these records.
Office Pool Picks - (Coming Soon!) You asked for it and you got it! Each week, we'll post our predictions to win each game straight up so that you can RULE your office pool!
NFL Trends - Don't ever let anybody tell you that the trend is your friend. These picks make great fades which is exactly what we do with them.
Monday Night Football Picks - The ultimate bailout play. Our MNF picks are golden and have hit 62% or better 3 out of the past 4 years. (Last season was a disaster!) Did we mention that their FREE?
2014 NFL Predictions - Badger makes projections on each team's record and whether or not they'll go over or under their posted season win totals at the sportsbooks.
Super Bowl Picks - Everybody here in the Predictem office takes their best preseason shot at predicting the winner Superbowl 49. Pride is on the line here! Oh, and LOOT too!
5Dimes - Bet your NFL football picks at -105 odds every day of the week! 15 team parlays! 20 point teasers! Pleasers and huge point buying opportunities as well!
Bovada - Tired of deposit hassles? Bet on football using your credit card at a sportsbook where your Visa CAN and WILL work for deposits! Offers a 50% sign-up bonus up to $250 FREE!
Sportsbook - Deposit $100, make a $100 bet and get a $100 bet FREE! Your credit card WILL work here!
GTBets - You get to select 2 NFL teams and get a FREE half point every time you bet them! Offers a generous 100% bonus on deposits of $100 to $500! One of the best at accepting credit cards for deposits!
Super Bowl Betting - We explain all the different types of wagers you can making including point spread bets, totals, moneylines and prop bets. No need to go to Vegas! You can bet the big game online!
Weekly Fantasy Football - If you drafted a crappy team or the injury bug has bit you and wrecked your season, we've got something really cool to turn you on to that will change the way you play fantasy sports forever!
Famous Football Quotes - From the inspirational to the greatest touchdown calls of all time. We've got them!
Pro Football Hall of Fame - A full list of NFL players who have been inducted into the NFL HOF.
The Spread - Offers free NFL football predictions, matchups, stats including both offensive and defensive and more!
Fantasy Football Sites - Get recommendations on where to find weekly updated player news, depth charts and legit websites that offer the best stat and record tracking for your fantasy football league.