Cincinnati Bengals (7-2) 6-3 ATS, 4-5 O/U at Oakland Raiders (2-7) 4-5 ATS, 3-6 O/U, NFL Week 11, Sunday November 22, 2009 4:15 p.m. EST TV: FOX
by Wilson of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Cincinnati -9.5/Oakland +9.5
The Cincinnati Bengals are the real deal! The Bengals are coming off of a statement win last weekend over the defending superbowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers 18-12. It was quite the defensive battle. But this time it was Pittsburgh who was back on their heels again losing to the Bengals. Cincinnati swept the Steelers for the first time since 1998 and now the Bengals have a two game lead in the AFC North.
The Bengals showed up to Heinz Field last Sunday to send a message to the rest of the NFL. Pittsburgh players even agreed that the Bengals are the best team in the AFC. It was the third time in team history that they won a game without scoring an offensive touchdown. Bengals QB Carson Palmer looked as cool and confident as he did back in his USC days. Palmer was 18 of 30 for 178 yards but he did not have a touchdown. The only touchdown of the game came on a Bernard Scott 96-yard kickoff return that gave the Bengals a 6-3 lead after a missed two-point conversion. The Steelers allowed a kickoff return for a TD for the seventh straight game.
Cincinnatis defense deserves the game ball. The Bengals defense applied constant pressure on Pitts Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger was forced to hurry passes, sacked, and rushed out of the pocket the entire game. The Bengals defense looked like the Steelers defense of old as they shut down the run and attacked the QB. It was a change of roles for both teams as the Steelers were dogged at their own game on their own field by the Bengals.
The Oakland Raiders are coming off of a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs 16-10. It was a battle of two pretty bad teams and the Chiefs just happened to be a tiny bit better than the Raiders. What can we say about the Raiders QB JaMarcus Russell? He was benched again this week in favor of Bruce Gradkowski who had 2 interceptions on 5 of 9 passing for 49 yards. Russell left the game 8 of 23 for 64 yards and no touchdowns. In fact, the lowly Raiders have not scored more than 1 touchdown in 8 games!
Oakland comes into this game averaging 9.8 points per game. The Raiders allow 24.1 point per game to their opponents. The Bengals are averaging 22 points per contest and giving up 16 to the opposition.
Cincinnati is 4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS, and 2-2 O/U on the road this season. The Raiders are 1-4 SU, 2-3 ATS, and 2-3 O/U at home this year. The teams have split the last two meetings with each team winning on their home field.
The Bengals come into this game on fire after knocking out the Steelers, and they have won 4 of their last 5 games. The Raiders are hoping for a miracle at this point, and they are losers of 4 out of their last 5 contest.
Most offshore casinos opened this line at Oakland +9.5 with a total of 36. Cincinnati is clearly the stronger team in this matchup as they are playing great defense and finally finishing football games. In the past years the Bengals probably lose most of the close games but not this season. The Bengals have turned the corner and they look very much like a team who could make a playoff run.
Note: Bungles RB Cedric Benson is likely to miss this game due to injury.
Wilsons Pick: Good teams win, bad teams cover. Cincinnati 21, Oakland 17. Luck to ya.