Houston Texans (3-5 SU, 3-5 ATS) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (8-0 SU, 7-0-1 ATS)
NFL Week 10
Date/Time: Monday, November 16, 2015, 8:30 pm EST
Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
TV: ESPN, DirecTV 206
by Badger, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: HOU +10.5/CIN -10.5
Over/Under Total: 47
One of the NFLs remaining undefeated teams will put their unblemished record on the line in front of a national audience on ESPN, when the Cincinnati Bengals host the Houston Texans inside Paul Brown Stadium on this weeks Monday Night Football.
The Bengals remained perfect for the season in another national telecast last week, dropping their in-state rival Cleveland Browns with a big second half on the NFL Networks Thursday Night Football, 31-10. Tight end Tyler Eifert continues to rack up touchdowns, Andy Dalton and the offense have been taking great care of the football and the Bengals defense has tightened up in the red zone and the end result has been one of the franchises best starts ever at 8-0.
Houston enters this weeks game on Monday Night Football fresh off of a long 15 day layoff, having won their last time out on November 1st with a, 20-6, victory over Tennessee going into their bye last week. With the extra week to heal and game plan, there should be no excuses for the Texans as they try and hand the Bengals their first loss in front of the country on MNF.
It took about 10 weeks for oddsmakers at the sportsbooks to give the Bengals their due respect, but for the second straight week Cincinnati will open the week as double-digit favorites in a game since the Bengals opened as 10.5-point favorites late on Sunday. Despite most of the early steam coming in on the Bengals (currently about 60% -40% in favor of Cinn.), the line has yet to move off of the original minus -10.5 that it opened at to start.
The over/under total opened at 47 and has also not moved much at all in the early stages of wagering this week.
You probably wouldnt guess that this game will feature two of the NFLs top 10 offenses, but thats what viewers will be watching on Monday. Dalton and the Bengals are currently 6th in total yards amassing 391 ypg, but its their 28.6 points per game average that is currently the 3rd highest total in the league. The Texans, despite not having a stable situation at quarterback, are 9th in total yards (369 ypg) with an even more surprising 282 of those yards coming in the passing game behind a QB rotation between Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett. DeAndre Hopkins has been the biggest recipient of all of that Texans passing, but with little to no running game now that Arian Foster is out for the season (87.9 ypg 29th) and issues along the offensive line, the Texans will have to try and keep the Bengals pass rush off of Hoyer all game. Especially if starting left tackle Duane Brown isnt cleared this week after leaving the Texans last game against Tennessee with a concussion.
Historically, the Texans have had the Bengals number in head-to-head matchups. Houston had won five straight meetings with Cincinnati from 2008 to 2013 before the Bengals finally broke the string in last years game, 22-13. Not only were the Texans beating them on the field through the years, but Houston is also 6-1 ATS against Cincinnati from 2005 until last years Bengals win in Houston as 3-point underdogs on the road.
There are several betting trends that bettors should know for this one. First, the Texans just dont like the national spotlight of Monday Night Football, since they are 0-7 ATS in the last seven games in primetime. The over also has some strong trends, going 4-1 in Houstons last 5 MNF games, and the over is also 7-3 in Cincinnatis last 10 home games overall. However, its the under that is actually 5-2 in the last seven head-to-heads between these two.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: With 15 days to prepare for this one, it wouldnt surprise me to see the Texans come out of the gate strong in this game. But I still think the Bengals are a second half team and will get close to a backdoor cover in the end. Im taking the Bengals minus the points.
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