Cincinnati Bengals vs. Green Bay Packers Preview and Pick – Point Spread

Cincinnati Bengals (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. Green Bay Packers (1-0 SU,
1-0 ATS), 1:00 p.m. EST, Sunday, September 20, 2009, Lambeau Field,
Green Bay, Wis., TV: CBS

by Badger of

Point Spread: Bengals +9/Green Bay -9
Over/Under: 42

The Cincinnati Bengals take their Hard Knocks show on the road this
week to historic Lambeau Field where they will face the Green Bay
Packers in week two NFL action on CBS.

The Bengals were one play away from winning their opener over the
Denver Broncos last week when a tipped pass found its way into the
hands of receiver Brandon Stokley for an improbable 87-yard touchdown
pass and a 12-7 Broncos victory with 11 seconds left in the game.
Even though the Bengals didnt play all that great to begin with,
scoring their go-ahead touchdown and only points of the game just 27
seconds earlier, it was still a disheartening loss and a hard pill to
swallow no doubt.

The Packers also played a less than exceptional game in their opener,
but they ended up on the other end of the come-from-behind scenario
when quarterback Aaron Rodgers hit Greg Jennings with a 50-yard TD
strike with just over a minute to play in the 4th quarter to give the
Packers a 21-15 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday Night Football.

Oddmakers opened the game with Green Bay as 9-point favorites and the number has held throughout the entire week of betting action at the
window, although you may be able to find the Packers listed as 10-
point favorites at a few offshore sportsbooks.

The over/under total opened at 43 and has dropped a little depending
on where you wager. A few books in Las Vegas list the total at 42.5,
while the Mirage has the number all the way down to 41.5 currently.
But a large majority of the books across the Internet still list the
total at 42.

The Bengals did a decent job on offense in their opener versus the
Broncos, as Carson Palmer threw for 247 yards and running back Cedric
nearly had a 100-yard rushing day (76 yds. with a TD), but
they continue to shoot themselves in the foot at times. Palmer threw
two killer interceptions and they also fell victim to three sacks and
four penalties at crucial times to kill drives. All of this came
against a revamped Broncos defense that 29th in the NFL on defense a
year before, so take it for what its worth.

The Packers offense also shot themselves in the foot a lot in their
opener, but their mistakes didnt cost them the game luckily. The
Packers rebuilt offensive line (three new starters) allowed the Bears
to pressure Rodgers all game long, resulting in four sacks and
numerous hurries and knockdowns that caused execution problems. The
Pack only had 251 yards of total offense in the Bears game, well
below the expectations the team had coming out of preseason where the
No. 1 unit scored touchdowns on 9 of their 13 possessions.

Defensively both teams are in transition.

The Packers fared well in their first game with their new 3-4 scheme under Dom Capers. They did give up some yards (352 total), but they
brought zone blitzes and enough pressure from all angles that it
forced Bears QB Jay Cutler to throw four interceptions and take two

The Bengals defense is in transition due to new personnel. New safety
Roy Williams led the team in tackles (9) last weekend, followed by
rookie linebacker Rey Maualuga (6), while new gap-stopping tackle
Tank Johnson finished with two tackles. They did stuff the power
running game of the Broncos holding them to just 75 yards, but they
were taking advantage of through the air for 227 yards by Kyle Orton,
although 87 of that came on the last play. Either way, they will have
to tighten up the pass defense if they hope to have any chance
against the Packers at Lambeau.

These teams havent met during the regular season since 2005, a 21-14
victory for the Bengals at home in Cincinnati. Green Bay covered the
point spread in that game though as 9.5-point underdogs, and are a
solid 4-0-1 ATS against the Bengals dating back to 1986.

The over/under record in those same five games is 2-3, so its hard
to build a meaningful trend off of that data.

Badgers Pick: On paper this looks like an easy one for the Packers
at home, but I think it will be a lot harder than most expect. Palmer
is a veteran QB who should be able to make a few plays against the
Packers. Rodgers and the Packers win this one in a shootout, but they
wont cover the spread. Take the Bengals plus the 9 points, and if
youre looking for more take the over of 42 as well.