Cincinnati Bengals (5-8 SU, 7-6 ATS) vs. Minnesota Vikings (10-3 SU, 9-4 ATS)
NFL Week 15
Date/Time: Sunday, December 17th, 2017 1:00 PM ET
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium Minneapolis, MN
by Keith, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: CIN +10.5/MIN -10.5
Over/Under Total: 42
The Minnesota Vikings will host the Cincinnati Bengals in an AFC North versus NFC North clash set to take place at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The game will take place on Sunday, December 17th, 2017 with a kick-off time of 1:00 PM ET. The affair will be aired on FOX for regional audiences. These two teams have not met since 2013 in Cincinnati when the Bengals welcomed the Vikings to Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals would run wild and demolish Minnesota 42-14. Overall, the two teams have split the last four meetings between each party dating back to 1998. In these aforementioned affairs, the chalk covered as the favorite has gone 4-0 ATS in these respective cross-conference meetings.
From the get-go, we have seen the public take a fondness to the Vikings. In both forums and analytical data, the Purple People Eaters have been getting all of the attention. We cant really blame such a position as the Vikings are arguably the most complete team in the NFL and without question the best the NFC has to offer. Minnesota has also been a cash cow this season as their against the spread record is nearly as prolific as their straight-up docket. However, with each win the Vikings pick up the more likely those numbers will begin to inflate as their stock rises. It was for this reason we saw Minnesota capsize in its most recent endeavor at the Carolina Panthers. As a 2.5-point road favorite, the Vikes would lose to Carolina by a score of 31-24. Considering Minnesotas defense is known as a stingy unit, it is quite the event that Cam Newton and company were able to hang over 30 points on this outfit.
Offensively, the Vikings certainly do not have a lack of talent in their skill positions. Some have declared that the Vikings have the best duo of wide receivers in the league, complemented by a deep back field of bell-cows at running back. The story surrounding all of this is their quarterback Case Keenum. Keenums play has been nothing short of spectacular and also provides a fair quantity of feel-good sentiment to it, as well. Such emotion often encourages takers to bet with their heart. This is a big no-no when handicapping an event.
What does not feel good is the fact that Cincinnati enters on a two-game losing streak. Most recently, the Bengals were smacked at home against the Chicago Bears on Sunday when they fell 33-7. Overall, Cincinnati is 2-4 SU in their previous six outings. However, Cincy is 4-2 against the spread over this span. This indicates that this team has been quite undervalued given their performance portfolio. It is also worth mentioning that the Bengals were also up against some premium opposition. The Bengals were tasked with facing Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, and Tennessee over this six-game span. All three of these teams are candidates for the post-season. Against Pittsburgh and Tennessee, the Bengals lost be a combined seven points. This team has demonstrated a knack for playing up to high-quality opponents whilst falling prey to teams they are supposed to beat. With respect to this narrative, Cincinnati is primed to step up here against arguably the best team in the NFL.
Situational betting is a huge tool for any handicapper. We look for scenarios where one team will garner a lot of attention whilst the other will cultivate many to hit the fade switch. We do so because it opens the door to a value bet. This contest typifies that scenario. With a low Over/Under of 42, it is not conducive to be laying double-digit points. Some can argue that Minnesota could simply blow out Cincinnati to answer that query. However, Cincinnati has a blueprint to score on this Minnesota defense albeit Carolina provided it for Cincinnati from last weeks outcome. The Bengals have one of the best receivers in the NFL in AJ Green. If the Bengals find an avenue to get him going, Cincy can come in well under this number. Given the fact they are coming in off the radar, we like their chances to do so and catch Minnesota by surprise.
KEITHs Pick to Cover the Point Spread: CINCINNATI +10.5 - Where are you betting this game? Bet it for FREE by taking advantage of a 50% welcome bonus offered to new players at Bovada Sportsbook