Cincinnati Bengals (4-2 SU, 5-1 ATS) at Seattle Seahawks (2-4 SU, 3-2-1 ATS),4:15 p.m. EST, NFL Week 8,Sunday, October 30th, 2011,Qwest Field(Field Turf),Seattle, Washington, TV: CBS Regional
By Jeff Hochman, Pro Handicapper, JH-Sportsline
Point Spread:CIN -3/Sea +3
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The surprisingly good Cincinnati Bengals take to the road in Seattle for a week eight match-up with the Seahawks. Two weeks ago, the Bengals defeated the Colts 27-17 as 5-point home chalk and now sit at 5-1 ATS this season. Andy Dalton was good on 25 of his 32 pass attempts for 264 yards and one touchdown. For the season the rookie has a QB rating of 84.3 with seven touchdowns and five interceptions. What’s even more impressive is that Cincinnati is 5-1 in the stats this season. The only game in which the Bengals were out-gained was the 30-20 win over Jacksonville. So even when they don’t play well the Bengals are finding ways to win. That’s the mark of a solid team.
The Seattle Seahawks lost 6-3 to the Browns as 3-pointroadunderdogs this past Sunday. Seattle was out-gained by a whopping 163 yards but only lost by 3 points. They were very lucky to push that point spread. Charlie Whitehurst was 12-of-30 for 97 yards and 1 interception in his first start of the season. He did not look comfortable in the pocket but maybe another week of practice will help. Tarvaris Jackson could be ready to return from injury this week so check his status on Sunday morning.
Looking inside the numbers and it favors the road team in a big way. The Bengals will bring in the better offense, defense, and special teams. They actually lead the NFL in total defense and pass defense. It sure looks to me that the Bengals are blitzing a lot more than last season. Teams have beencaughtway off-guard as they were used to the defensive scheme that the Bengals employed for last season. Same scheme, just moreaggressionand attitude.
Bernard Scott takes over for starter Cedric Benson, who has been suspended one game for violating the NFL conduct policy. Scott hasn’t started in two years and has been relegated to a couple of series per game this season. He has the talent to get the job and could break out against a Seahawks’ run defense that gives up 105 yards per game. They clamp down much better at Qwest Field only giving up 80 yards per game on the ground. Andy Dalton is in contention for rookie of the year honers and has A.J. Green and Jermaine Gresham as exciting young targets. The Bengals D will take a hit if MLB RayMaualugacan’t play. He has been all over the field for Cincinnati and is a big reason why their defense is tops in the league.
For Seattle, it is obvious that they need Tarvaris Jackson back at quarterback. In the last game against Cleveland, the Seahawkshad a tough time scoring, but with Jackson back in the lineup they will be much more effective. With Jackson in the lineup, this is a completely different offense. The Seahawks have one of the best home field advantages in the NFL, and play very tough on the defensive side at Qwest. The Bengals have a very good team, but this could be a classic trap game for them. You know the Seahawks will play much better at home after lookingpatheticon offense last week.
The last time these two teams played each other was on 9/23/07. Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck found Nate Burleson for 22-yard score with 1 minute remaining as Seahawks win the game featuring 7 lead changes. The Seahawks are 9-4-2 ATS in their last 15 home games against a team with a winning road record, 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game, and 4-0 ATS in their last four games as a home underdog. Pete Carroll will have this team fired up for sure!
Seattle is 13-6 ATS at home over the last three seasons. The total has gone OVER in 5 of Cincinnati’s last 6 games. The total has gone OVER in 6 of Seattle’s last 8 games at home.
Jeff’s Pick to Cover the PointSpread:Seattle Seahawks +3 & Over 37.5.
This looks like a classic sucker bet as we have a 4-2 team taking on a 2-4 team and the line is just 3 points. The Seahawks should be more focused on scoring points, and whichever QB starts they will be better than last week’s abysmal3-point effort. Not to mention Seattle is a completely different team at Qwest Field.
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