Cincinnati Bengals (7-3-1 SU, 5-5 ATS) at Tampa Bay Bucs (2-9 SU, 4-7 ATS)
NFL Week 13
Date and Time: November 30, 2014, 1:00 PM EST.
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa , FL.
by Wilson, NFL Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Cin -4/Bucs +4
Over/Under Total: 44
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The Cincinnati Bengals run to the playoffs took a huge blow this week when they placed offensive tackle Andre Smith on the IR and out for the rest of the season. To make matters even more difficult for the Bengals is the fact they are approaching their 3rd consecutive road game and it is hard to go undefeated on the road in the NFL. The bonus of course is the facts the Bengals are playing the 2-win Bucs. Cincinnati has won 2 in a row on the road with wins at New Orleans 27-10 and at Houston 22-13. Assuming the Bengals can get the W in Tampa Bay they will be lining themselves up to secure the AFC North. Cincinnati is currently in first place at 7-3-1 while three other teams, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Cleveland linger closely all at 7-4.The Bengals get to close out their regular season with two games against the Steelers, one at Cleveland, and they host the Denver Broncos. Unfortunately, the Bengals were running 5 yards per carry to the right side behind Andre Smith and without him their running game is certainly going to suffer.
Tampa Bay enters this contest 0-5 at home and it will be even more difficult to avoid 0-6 as the Bengals are very much alive in the playoff race. However, Tampa Bay leads this series 4-0 since 2001. The most recent matchup between these two teams was 2010 when the Bucs beat the Bengals 24-21. Both of these teams look comparable on paper except for the Bengals slightly more dominate running game.
The Bucs, as depressing as their season has been, have started to look more like a quality team in recent weeks which may play well into the suddenly changed offensive line of the Bengals due to Smiths injury. But it is the Bucs after all, and well, the Bengals need to take care of business this weekend and get ready for the real contenders in Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Baltimore. The Bengals looked decent in their last two road wins and should have no problem giving the Bucs their 10th loss on the season. With a limited offensive attack and a suspect defense, Tampa Bay will again struggle to win at home.
No doubt the Bengals have the most difficult stretch of games to end the season but they are good enough to handle the grueling schedule. If Bengals QB Andy Dalton can be more consistent and distribute the ball to his playmakers the Bengals will be just fine moving the pigskin down the field. RB Jeremy Hill is averaging 5 yards per carry and helps the Cincinnati offense maintain a balanced attack with the receiving threats of A.J. Green and Mohamed Sanuthese guys dont light up the statistic books but they have the ability to get third down receptions and run after the catch. The Bengals are a blue-collar team who have not always been pretty this season but when they play well they are just as good and grinding as any NFL team.
The trends for this matchup: the Bucs are 2-2 ATS as home underdogs. Tampa is 0-5 ATS at home this season. The Bengals are 5-5 ATS and 2-3 ATS away this season. Tampa Bay is 4-0 in the series as of 2001. The line on this game opened at Cincinnati minus 4, total 44, and money line -199. All the numbers point in one directiontake the Bengals to stay undefeated on this road trip! Tampa Bay has played better but its not good enough. Andy Dalton finds a rhythm and does a great job of getting the ball to the right personnel which in turn find ways to score. The Bucs are playing like they are searching for identity while their opponents have been beating them on both sides of the ball and into the end zone. Clearly the Bengals are the dominate team in this game but they too have been up and down this season so we should not be surprised to see this game close early but then the Bengals will pull away. I like Cincinnati to cover the points. Luck to ya.
Wilson’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread:Bengals minus the points.