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Free Pick: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Atlanta Falcons

by | Last updated Sep 26, 2018 | nfl

Cincinnati Bengals (2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS) vs. Atlanta Falcons (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS)
NFL Football Week 4
When: Sunday, September 30th
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Atlanta, GA
By: Bob Clark, NFL Football Handicapper, Predictem.com

Spread: CIN +6/ ATL -6
Total: 51.5


This Sunday, the Cincinnati Bengals will travel to Atlanta to take on what once was considered to be one of the favorites in the NFC South as well as the NFC…The Atlanta Falcons. The Bengals come in at 2-1 on the young season while the Falcons sit at 1-2 and in desperate need of a win to get themselves back to .500 in 2018. The early at many of sportsbooks have the Atlanta Falcons as six point home favorite and the total points are set at 51.5 combined. The very early action among the betting public actually likes the Falcons to cover this one at home. Nearly 60% of the bettors have put their cold hard cash on the Birds while just around 40% likes the Bengals in this one. As for the total points of 51.5, the public is in favor of the over with again, nearly 60% of the public action leaning that way. This is going to be a highly competitive game and it should be a fun to pop a cold one to and watch.


If any teams thought they did not have a chance to beat Atlanta this season, well that sure as hell has changed over the last few weeks. It seems like God decided that there is no way in hell that he wants Atlanta to be the first team to win the Super Bowl in their home stadium so he put a stop to that thought rather quick. After just three games, Atlanta’s defense has been destroyed by injury. In week one, they lost Pro Bowl safety, Keanu Neal to a season ending injury. In week two the Birds lost Pro Bowl linebacker, Deon Jones, for at least nine weeks, and then this past Sunday against the Saints, the leader of the defense, Ricardo Allen, tore his achilles tendon and will also miss the remainder of the season. Not only did the Falcons endure those three losses, second year defensive end, Tak McKinley missed Sunday’s game and is still listed as “day to day.” According to head coach. Dan Quinn, there is no need to sign a new safety to the team for a starter. He has no interest in bringing in anyone other than just a sub to add to their depth. He is convinced that the guys they currently have on the roster is good enough to get the job done. Good luck with that Dan. Not only are the Falcons hurt on defense, but they still are without starting running back, Devonte Freeman, and guard, Ben Garland. Although those are big losses, the offense has been rolling for two weeks…it is the defense that the Falcons need to be concerned with.


Yes, they can. Will they? Hell if I know. Over the course of the last decade, the Cincinnati Bengals IN MY OPINION, have been one of the most bi-polar teams in the NFL, along with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers. You never know what to expect from not only Andy Dalton, but the entire team as a whole. I have wondered over the last three or four years how head coach, Marvin Lewis, still had a job. The Bengals are very talented on both sides of the ball but it also appeared to me that they lacked discipline, especially in the big moments. To win in Atlanta this weekend it will take an amazing effort on both sides of the ball. Atlanta is banged up on defense like I said earlier, but the Bengals have some issues of their own. Running back, Joe Mixon, is out two to four weeks with a knee injury and there are now rumblings that stud wide out, AJ Green, could miss this Sunday’s game. This report has not yet been confirmed nor denied, but that is what I am hearing. If the Bengals are forced to play without Mixon AND Green, it will be a tough task to keep up with the Falcons offense, regardless of how busted up the Birds D is. Again, CAN the Cincinnati Bengals get the road upset or at least cover? Absolutely. But it will not be easy against a Falcons team with their backs against the wall.


In order for Cincinnati to have a shot on Sunday, they MUST slow down the Falcons offense…Plain and simple. If Atlanta scores like they have the last two weeks, there is absolutely no way the Bengals can keep up. Not only do the Bengals need to slow down Atlanta’s offense, but they need to sustain long drives. For about the 100th time this article, the Falcons defense is a mess. They are still very talented yet they have zero depth right now. If the Bengals can keep drives alive and keep the Falcons defense on the field for chunks at a time, they could wear them down and possibly, just possibly hang with them in a semi shootout. Cincinnati needs to make sure this game on Sunday does not reach the 30s. They can win a 24-23 or 27-24 type game. If the Falcons get rolling and score in the mid 30s, then Cincy is done for.


The Falcons key is simple. Score. If Atlanta can score at the same rate they have in weeks two and three, this Bengals team is not built to hang with them, they just are not. Along with scoring and scoring more, the Falcons do need to give their own defense a rest during the game. Yes, we all love the 60 and 70 yard TD passes to Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones (I am pretending Julio scores touchdowns by the way), but they do need to get the running game going as well and milk some clock. I think the Falcons find themselves in a Catch 22 because their strength is big plays yet their weakness is lack of depth on defense. This can be a tricky one this weekend but I will just say that the Falcons need maybe two defensive stops a half and they are good to go on Sunday.


The Falcons are pretty heavily favored and I think rightfully so. I was wrong last week thinking they could cover against the Saints, however, with the idiotic NFL overtime rules, we lost that bet because of a coin toss. If Atlanta had received, we cover that game easily. Anyhow, this Sunday I see Atlanta out for blood. The defense has something to prove while the offense just keeps on rolling. I think this game stays close for a half or so but in the end Atlanta opens things up and pulls away. I like the Atlanta Falcons to win this game 33-24 over the Cincinnati Bengals. This will give Atlanta a 2-2 record and the cover at home.


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