Cincinnati Bengals (4-2 SU, 3-2-1 ATS) vs. Detroit Lions (4-2 SU, 4-2 ATS)
NFL Week 7
Date and Time: Sunday, October 20th, 2013, 1:00 pm EST
Where: Ford Field, Detroit, Mich.
TV: CBS/DirecTV 708
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Cin. +3/DET -3
Over/Under Total: 47
Without a real marquee matchup to highlight the NFLs week seven action
this Sunday, perhaps the best game to tune in to watch will take place
at Ford Field in Detroit where the 4-2 Cincinnati Bengals
travel to the Motor City to take on the 4-2 Detroit Lions in an early game
Both teams are coming off of wins last week too, the Bengals off a really hard-fought but key, 27-24, overtime win on the road at Buffalo, while the Lions enter fresh off an impressive, 31-17, victory over the Browns on the road in Cleveland.
The Bengals might be worried that the Bills, with a former practice player Thaddeus Lewis playing QB, scored 14 points in the final quarter to push them into OT. But as a whole, the Bengals controlled the game (42 minutes of possession), got a solid performance out of Andy Dalton (337 yards, 3 TD) and wore out the Bills for their second straight win and fourth win in their last five games.
Detroit is also playing solid football of late too, winning three of their last four games and scoring over 32 points a game in those three wins. However, it should be noted that those three wins came against Washington, Chicago and Cleveland, not exactly juggernauts, so the Lions will have to step up their game this week to keep the Bengals and their strong defense on ice.
If this game is considered by anybody to be thee game of the week, you couldnt tell by looking at the board and watching the line movement for Sundays tilt. Las Vegas and the rest of the oddsmakers tossed a bone out on Sunday by setting the opening point spread with the Lions as your standard 3-point home favorite, but with a large majority of the early action falling on Detroit the number has yet to move at all really. In fact, at a few sportsbooks the number has gone in the opposite direction, dropping to minus -2.5 at a few books even though most of the action has been on Detroit.
The over/under total hasnt moved much at all either, opening at most books at 47 where it continues to sit currently, although there are a few books that have moved it to 47.5 to take the push off the board.
Offensively these teams are sort of opposites. The Lions and Matthew Stafford like to throw the ball, and despite missing Robotron Calvin Johnson for the past few weeks, havent skipped a beat in racking up 284 passing yards a game and 27 points per contest, both 6th in the NFL. But with Cincinnati and their top-10 defense coming to town, a unit that is ranked 9th in the league in passing yards allowed (216 ypg), its going to have to come against a whole different animal on Sunday.
What will also be worth watching is to see how the Bengals choose to attack the Lions defense. While the Bengals and Dalton prefer a balanced approach (exactly 16th in both pass and run), the fact that the Lions are one of the worst run defense sin the NFL (allowing 125 ypg 29th) could mean another 40-plus carry day for running backs BenJarvis Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard, just like they did last week in Buffalo.
Since this AFC-NFC matchup only meets once every four years, it means a little less that Cincinnati is currently riding a four-game win streak on the Lions. The last time out in Cincy in 2009 ended in a 23-13 victory for the Bengals, who are actually 6-1 SU against Detroit going back to 1986, and 5-2 ATS including a perfect 4-0 SU and ATS record in the games played in Detroit.
It is worth noting though that Cincinnati is just 0-3-1 ATS in their last four road games, so their recent history is much less impressive.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Let me start by telling you that this game has zero betting value. Short of flipping a coin, my pick is the Bengals.