Detroit Lions vs. Cincinnati Bengals Preview and Pick – Point Spread

Detroit Lions (2-9 2-8-1 ATS) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (8-3 6-5 ATS) Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH, NFL Week 13, 1 PM EST Sunday December 6, 2009 on FOX
by Jason Green at

Point Spread: Lions +13 / Bengals -13
Over/Under: 42

This Sunday afternoon the Cincinnati Bengals host the Detroit Lions. The Bengals are in 1st place in the AFC North and are playing well and the Lions, well, they are the Lions. Detroit has only won 2 games this season and they are in line for another high draft pick. They did win a couple of weeks back against the Browns, but they have yet to win on the road this season (0-5). The Bengals lead the AFC North by 2 games and they have already swept the Ravens and the Steelers in the division. They may need to win this game to keep their lead in their division, as their next 2 games are killer facing the Vikings and Chargers.

This season the Bengals are 4-1 at home and the Lions are 0-5 on the road.

In their last game the Bengals beat the Cleveland Browns 16-7 while the Lions were crushed by the Green Bay Packers 34-12.

In their win over Cleveland the Bengals dominated the game on the ground out-gaining the Browns 210 yards to 58 yards. Even though the Browns had more passing yards (111 to 96) the Bengals did not have to pass the ball since they moved the ball, with ease, on the ground. In the game the Bengals had a time of possession of 38:11 to the Browns 21:49. However, the Bengals played a sloppy game being penalized 10 times for 75 yards. The Bengals were favored by 12.5 points so they did not cover the spread and the posted total of 39.5 points was not surpassed.

To say the Lions were dominated by the Packers on Thanksgiving would be an understatement. The Packers had more rushing yards (80-73) and killed the Lions in the passing game out-gaining them 342 yards to 199 yards. Matthew Stafford has had an up and, mostly, down season and Turkey Day was one of his down days throwing 4 picks and overall the Lions had 5 turnovers. The Packers should have thanked the Lions after the game. The one thing the Lions did was holding the Packers to only 3 yards per rush. The Lions were underdogs by 11.5 points so they were nowhere near covering the spread and the posted total of 48.5 was not reached.

Browns’ RB Cedric Benson has had a great season, but has missed the last 2 games with a hip injury. He is expected to play in this game and he will have a big game against Browns’ defense that ranks dead last in the league.

Speaking of Big games, Carson Palmer will tear up the Lions’ weak secondary that is giving up an average of 281.4 passing yards per game, which is, by far, the worst in the league.

Fantasy owners that have the Bengals’ WR’s Chad Ochocinco and Laveranues Coles will rack up big points in this game since they will both pick up big yards against a Lions secondary where mediocre would be a MAJOR improvement.

The Bengals have the league’s 17th ranked offense so they should have a field day against the Lions, who have not been able to stop anybody this season.

Stopping the run is important and the Lions must do that in this game like they did last week holding the Packers to only 3 yards per carry. However, Cincinnati has a much better rushing offense than Green Bay does so don’t count on that to happen.

The one chance the Lions have rests on the shoulders of rookie Matthew Stafford. While the Bengals have been legit at defending the run this season their secondary has given up an average of 215.7 passing yards per game. Overall, the Bengals have the league’s 6th ranked defense.

Lions’ WR Calvin Johnson will have a big game against a suspect Bengals’ secondary, but Stafford has to get him the ball.

It would really help Stafford out if RB Kevin Smith can pick up some yards on the ground, but that will not happen since he is only averaging 3.4 yards per carry and the Bengals’ D is only allowing an average of 81.9 rushing yards per game.

Jason’s Pick: To say this match up is a good one for the Lions is like saying Detroit made solid draft picks when GM Matt Millen was at the helm. Benson, Palmer, and Ochocinco will all put up good numbers in this game, as the Bengals will easily win this game and cover the fat spread.