Cincinnati Bengals vs. Los Angeles Rams Pick 10/27/19
Cincinnati Bengals (0-7 SU, 2-5 ATS) vs. Los Angeles Rams (4-3 SU, 5-2 ATS)
NFL Week 8
Date/Time: Sunday, October 27, 2019 at 1PM EDT
Where: Wembley Stadium, London, England
Point Spread: CIN +13.5/LAR -13.5 (Opened at -10.5)
Over/Under Total: 48.5
The Cincinnati Bengals take on the Los Angeles Rams at Wembley Stadium in London on Sunday in week eight action. The last time these teams played in 2015, the Bengals won by 24. Different results are expected this week, especially after the Rams appeared to right the ship on Sunday with a dominant 37-10 road-win over the Falcons to stop a three-game losing streak. They look to build on the momentum, albeit in a tough overseas road assignment. But at 0-7, the Bengals might be easy-pickings. On Sunday, it looked like they would get a sniff at their first win of the season, leading 10-9 going into the fourth quarter. But it all fell apart, and only a last-minute garbage-touchdown allowed them to lose just 27-17 to the Bills.
Are the Rams Back?
Sunday’s dominant road-win over the Falcons was promising. And facing another team mired in struggle this week could give way to some of the same things we saw last week—Goff having a good day, the big-name receivers getting their touches, some nice runs, and a retooled defense showing its teeth. But let’s face it, Atlanta is a pretty dysfunctional football product right now. And while Cincy is not likely to be a ton better, one should hesitate before proclaiming the return of the powerful version of the Rams.
There are still things to take away from the win for the Rams. At home, Atlanta’s pass-attack is still formidable, and Matt Ryan only managed 159 yards aerially with no scores and a pick by Cory Littleton, who also had a sack. Dexter Fowler had three sacks, with Aaron Donald getting one and helping stuff the run. The secondary, which has been victimized, seemed to immediately escalate with the arrival of Jalen Ramsey, as acquiring one of the league’s best corners will start paying off more moving forward.
Daylight for the Bengals?
In the Bengals’ seven losses, they’ve only been destroyed twice. Four others ended up being close games, and the other, last week’s game, actually saw Cincy leading most of the game. In this game, the bottom-line speaks loudest, and 0-7 is a damning indictment. A 2-5 mark against the spread doesn’t inspire confidence. But maybe now we start seeing some better value on a team that perhaps isn’t as hopeless as their W-L mark would suggest.
With three picks on Sunday, Andy Dalton is struggling, and the shine is off. It’s not just him, however, as the offensive line and an offense devoid of star-power shares a ton of the blame. Still, it’s a bit disturbing how new head coach Zac Taylor’s supposed QB-friendly offense isn’t really hitting any high notes. Not having AJ Green in there hurts, as does the loss of John Ross. It wasn’t an offense that could afford to lose people. With Joe Mixon and Gio Bernard gaining a combined 2 yards on Sunday on 14 carries, it says a lot about the state of the line and their run-game. And if they aren’t able to take advantage of the Rams’ defense, it’s going to be a problem.
Careful Not to Overlook the Cincy Defense
With the Rams’ offense more prone to get a bit stuck, maybe a selectively-scrappy Bengals defense can put its imprint on the game. They are absolutely putrid against the run. It’s really a shame how bad they are, but maybe that won’t hurt them so bad against a Rams’ ground-game that is a shadow of its former self. Against the Jags on the road last week, Cincy was tough for most of the game, and even with Jacksonville scoring 27, one of those scores was on defense. With the Bengals’ offense flailing away and all the turnovers, the defense has only allowed an opponent to score more than in the twenties just once this season.
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Why the Rams Might Romp
After taking a beating the previous week on the road in a game they were leading going into the fourth and now having to go to London is a big ask for the Bengals. At 0-7, that trans-Atlantic plane trip can’t be terribly energizing. You’re not in the mood at this point to spread the word of American football or be a goodwill ambassador. On top of that, they’re playing a Rams team that will have a bye the next week, looking to really do something good to keep putting that three-game skid further in the rearview.
While Todd Gurley and his lack of production is a bit of a mystery, this would seem to be as good a game as any to get him untracked. Opposing running backs are having huge stat-padding days against the Bengals this season. Cincinnati also has some injuries compromising their play up-front, both in the run-stop and pass-rushing category. And while the pass defense is the best part of the Cincinnati “D,” the variety and sheer firepower of the LA aerial offense should give the Bengals problems.
Take the Underdog
The Rams, despite all their issues, have actually been pretty solid at the betting window at 5-2 ATS, which is surprising. The Bengals may very well be scrappy and also benefit from playing with a certain looseness that comes from having no pressure and expectations at this point. And funky things can go down in London, where sometimes teams don’t fire the way they’re supposed to. The Rams have shown some vulnerability and inconsistency this season, and Goff doesn’t play as well on the road. If you made the Bengals a +13.5 underdog in their seven games this season, they’d be 5-2 ATS. If you made the LAR a -13.5 favorite in all of their games this season, they’d have only covered two of seven.
Loot’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Cincinnati Bengals at +13.5.
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