Atlanta Falcons (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS)
NFL Week 2
Date and Time: Sunday, September 14, 1:00pm EST
Where: Paul Brown Stadium - Cincinnati, OH
by Bob, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: ATL +5/CIN -5
Over/Under Total: 48.5
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This is an AFC/NFC week two match-up that I absolutely love! The 1-0 Atlanta Falcons will travel into Paul Brown Stadium to take on the 1-0 Cincinnati Bengals. Both teams are coming off huge wins against division rivals, and both teams also covered their respective spreads this past week…I know this because I wrote about, and picked both winners!!! The Falcons game I did not pick the correct score, but I did tell you the Atlanta Falcons would upset the Saints on a late field goal, and they did just that in overtime. The Bengals had to battle as well, but they ended winning in regulation over the Ravens by a score of 23-16. The line for this games opens with the Falcons as road underdogs by 5 points. The total points for this contest sits at 48.5. Both of these teams won as dogs this past week, and this is a very evenly matched game that I could see going either way.
The Cincinnati Bengals are my favorite to win the AFC North. They a leg up on the rest of the division with a win over the Ravens. Just like I explained last week, the Bengals live and die offensively with wide out AJ Green, and on defense they play very disciplined and hard nosed. Well, against the Baltimore Ravens, AJ Green caught six passes for 131 yards and the go ahead, 77 yard strike from Andy Dalton. From a defensive standpoint, the Bengals were not stellar, but they did a decent enough job to give their offense a chance to win. The run defense was not too bad allowing under 100 yards, but the pass defense through one week is ranked 26th in the NFL after letting Joe Flacco toast them for 329 yards. If the Bengals are going to win this game against the Falcons, let alone cover a 5 point spread, their pass defense must get better. Atlanta can throw the ball…and they throw it a lot! If someone cannot shut down Julio Jones and/or Roddy White, this game could become a shootout really quick, and ask the New Orleans Saints: You do not want to get into a shootout with these Falcons. This is not the 2013 version of Atlanta!
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Just like the Bengals, Atlanta has some area to improve on too. Well, it is the exact same area…pass defense. Atlanta was unable to get any pressure on Drew Brees last week and it made for a long day for the Falcons DBs. Brees went into the Georgia Dome and passed for 333 yards and a few scoring tosses as well. The Falcons did improve in the run defense department, but that is not their concern this coming Sunday, the Bengals are going to throw, throw, throw. Offensively, the Falcons were awesome. There is no other way to put it. Matt Ryan (my fantasy QB) threw for nearly 450 yards and 3 touchdowns without tossing an INT. Unlike the Bengals, who everyone knows every game that AJ Green will be the primary target, the Birds are LOADED at wide receiver. The Falcons are a very hard team to defend due to the fact that they have Julio Jones, Roddy White, Harry Douglas, and now Devin Hester catching passes from Matty Ice. This past Sunday, five different Falcons had over 50 yards receiving, and Julio Jones led the way with 117 yards, while Devin Hester was just one yard away from also eclipsing the 100 yard mark. I love this Falcons offense, but in order to go on the road and beat a team like Cincinnati, they much play defense…MUST!!
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I cannot wait to see this game. I plan on plenty of fireworks and big plays in this one. I already explained the key for both teams will be to slow down the passing attack of the other. On the surface, Atlanta looks like the more dangerous offense, but this Bengals team can score at will too. Like I stated earlier, the Cincinnati Bengals come in as a 5 point home favorite. That is a very odd number to me. I am skeptical, even though they are the home team with the better defense on paper. I am not going to worry about he numbers in Vegas like I do most times. I am calling this game straight from the gut. Take the Falcons plus the five points. I am not saying Atlanta goes into Paul Brown Stadium and wins this game, but I do believe just like last week, it will come down to a late field goal. The final score will be 27-24 someone. Not sure who, but that is my prediction on the score. Regardless of who wins that, Atlanta covers the spread. PICK THE ATLANTA FALCONS +5, ALSO PICK OVER THE POSTED TOTAL OF 48.5 POINTS!