Green Bay Packers (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (1-1 SU, 1-0-1 ATS)
NFL Week 3
Date and Time: Sunday, September 22, 1:00pm ET
Where: Paul Brown Stadium
by Evergreen, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: GB -1.5/CIN +1.5
Over/Under Total: 48.5
It feels like there have been a lot of great matchups through just two
weeks on the NFL schedule as many teams that made the playoffs in 2012 have
squared off. We get another look at that type of game when the Green
Bay Packers take on the Cincinnati Bengals this Sunday. The Pack
got in a groove last week and throttled the Redskins to improve to 1-1 while
the Bengals downed the Steelers on Monday Night Football. Both teams dropped
close contests to good teams in Week 1 so while each look like they are
on track to get back to the playoffs this year, the loser this weekend will
be an uncomfortable 1-2.
The online betting sites opened this game with the Packers as a narrow one point favorite. There has been a good amount of action on this game and the Bengals are now more commonly listed as two point dogs with some three point lines out there as well and the over/under for the game is 48 and a half.
So much for naysaying the Pack after a Week 1 loss in San Fran as Aaron Rodgers went all Madden last week and threw for 480 yards and 4 touchdowns against Washington last week. Green Bay looked like the offense we knew it could be and the final score really didnt tell the whole story as the Packers led 38-7 in the third quarter before coasting to a 38-20 win. The defense has been giving up a lot of yards through the air, 359 on average, but it seems like Clay Matthews and the defense is looking for a sack or turnover here and there to give the offense the leg up it needs to push ahead. Dont expect the secondary play to get much better this week as Casey Hayward, Jarrett Bush and Morgan Burnett are all listed as questionable with hamstring injuries. Its called stretching, guys.
Cincinnati dropped a tough one in Week 1 as well as a 21-10 third quarter lead turned into a 24-21 loss at Chicago but they bounced back well in defeating the Steelers on Monday Night. The 20-10 score wasnt all that impressive but the Bengals limited Pittsburgh to just 278 total yards and controlled the ball for eleven minutes more than the Steelers. This Bengal team reminds me of the late 90s Tampa Bay teams that scratched out just enough points while controlling the clock and relied on that stout defense. Cincy enters the week inside the top-10 in rushing and total yards allowed while giving up just 17 points per game but Green Bay is certainly a step up from Chicago and Pittsburgh. The defense can hold Rodgers back a bit but the offense will likely need four touchdowns to win this one.
Everyone knows what Green Bay is bringing to this game. While James Starks broke out for over 100 rushing yards last week, Rodgers and the wideouts are this offense and they will air it out as usual come Sunday. James Jones dominated last week with 178 receiving yards so it looks like the three headed receiving monster in well intact and they may need another big day as the Bengals are only giving up 62.5 yards on the ground so far and Eddie Lacy will miss the contest with a concussion. The Packers defense has done a great job in keeping Kaepernick and Griffin from using their legs but it came at the expense of giving up a lot through the air and the pass rush has only netted three sacks so far. Any Dalton is much less mobile so maybe the front seven for Green Bay can lend a little more help to the ailing secondary.
Speaking of Dalton, the young signal caller is managing the offense well and while the big plays are not coming often, there are playmakers to spread the ball to. A.J. Green is the obvious first choice and he leads the team with 15 catches and 203 yards with two scores. Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert are a formidable duo at tight end and should see some success as the Packers continue to struggle in covering the middle of the field. Giovani Bernard had a coming out party with two scores Monday Night and he rounds out what can be a top-notch offense but we will see what they can do when the pressure is on to put up a lot of points.
You can save the statistical analysis about teams coming off Monday Night games and home dogs as the offenses in todays NFL blow away most historical figures. If Green Bay can keep Cincinnati under 24, this one probably looks like a cakewalk as the Packers seem destined to score 30 against any defense on any field. Dalton should be able to stress the Packer secondary and Green should have a big day but I dont see the Bengals pushing past that 30 point threshold which basically eliminates them from winning this game on paper. Ball control is important except when playing Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay gets a win in this one, covers the smallish spread and pushes the over as that defense is far from shutting anyone down. Green Bay 31 Cincinnati 23
Evergreens Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting the Green Bay Packers heavy!