Cincinnati Bengals (7-4 SU, 6-4-1 ATS) vs. San Diego Chargers (5-6 SU, 6-4-1 ATS)
NFL Week 13
Date and Time: Sunday December 1, 2013 4:25pm EST
Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego CA
TV: CBS Sports
by Tim, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Cin -0/SD +0
Over/Under Total: 48
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The San Diego Chargers are coming off a huge win against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City and will entertain the AFC North Division leaders, the Cincinnati Bengals, losers in two of their last three games but coming off a 41-20 humbling exacted from arch-rival Cleveland. The stage is set and Chargers QB Philip Rivers is oiling up his jaw for a smack talkin’, fast and furious, zip it up, and strap it on meltdown in “The City Also in California!”
San Diego, of course, is a beautiful city in Southern California. The name, ‘San Diego’ has two meanings through translation. The first translation, “Should have kept Drew Brees”, is pretty self-explanatory. The second meaning, “Almost Playoff talent”, refers to San Diego’s gaping holes on their roster keeping them from the upper crust of the NFL pie. San Diego is 6th in total offense but 29th in total defense in 2013. San Diego is 4th overall in passing but mired in 26th position against the pass. The Chargers rush the ball ‘so-so’ reflected by their 17th position in total yards. But the Chargers are number 1 in the NFL in ‘Percentage of Offensive Possessions Ending in Points’! Also in the passing game, San Diego is 2nd in ‘Net Yards Gained per Pass Attempt’…so maybe the smack Rivers throws around IS deservedly delivered? San Diego also does not turn the ball over. The Chargers are 5th in the NFL in protecting the ball which is a Monster stat as teams position themselves for the NFL finish.
The Bengals…well…look good on paper, look horrid in those goofy striped helmets and uniforms, but look bad for the stretch run with so many injuries! The Bengals defense is hobbling badly and their 7th position in total yards allowed is a mirage across a desert steppe on a blistering cloud-free day. The Bengals are retreating in each defensive category as injuries mount so be very careful with the numbers as you may be seeing them in the rearview mirror. On offense (thought to be the catalyst of change in Cincy), the Bengals sit spritely at number 10 in total points, 10th in total yards, 15th in total 1st downs and nothing could be better; right? The Bengals fall desperately to number 18 in the NFL in fumbles lost, 28th in interceptions for Dalton and the gang, and 28th position in total turnovers in the NFL. The Bengals do a switch-a-roo showing up as the 6th best team in passing TD’s, but fall miserably to number 27 in rushing yards per attempt. Cincinnati’s offense is 28th in total turnovers in the league. High-powered, oft injured, and playing on the road are not the ingredients for a successful winning recipe. Let’s look ATS at how these teams have performed.
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The Bengals are a perfect 5-0 Against The Spread at home in 2013. As an away team, the Bengals are 1-4-1 in their last six. As an Underdog, Cincinnati is 2-0-1 Against The Spread but this game is a ‘Straight Up Pick ‘Em”. Against non-divisional opponents, Cincinnati is 4-2-1 ATS and against sub .500 football teams, the Bengals are 2-4 ATS. The OVER is 6-5 for the Bengals in 2013 but only 3-3 if the Bengals are a road team.
The San Diego Chargers are also 6-4-1 Against The Spread in 2013. The Chargers are a pretty comfy 3-1-1 ATS at Qualcomm Stadium (their home). Playing non-divisional opponents, San Diego is 5-2-1 ATS which makes sense because two 9-2 football teams sit in their division (Chiefs and Broncos). Surprisingly, San Diego plays “Up” to their competition sporting a 4-1-1 ATS record when playing teams with a +.500 winning percentage! The Over has happened for the Chargers in 5 out of 11 games this season.
Believe it or not, the choice between these teams looks pretty clear to me! The Chargers at 5-6 actually should be favored in this game! This game will come down to turnovers and Cincinnati turns the ball over MUCH more than San Diego. The Chargers are on a roll after beating the Chiefs last Sunday. The Bengals, meanwhile, have more wheel chairs on their side than an AARP Convention! San Diego wins these games…the Bengals don’t play well on the road; they don’t play well against sub .500 football teams; the Bengal injuries have become catastrophic. The Bengals are a little worse than their record indicates and the Chargers are a little better than their record suggests!
Tim’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: San Diego Chargers +0 (Pick ‘Em)
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