LA Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals Pick ATS 12/5/21

by | Dec 3, 2021 | nfl

Los Angeles Chargers (6-5 SU, 5-6 ATS) at Cincinnati Bengals (7-4, 6-5), 12/5/21
When: 1 pm ET Sunday, Dec. 5
Where: Paul Brown Stadium
TV: Fox
Point Spread: LAC +3/Cin -3
Total: 50.5
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It’s a match-up of two very good young quarterbacks and a possible preview of an upcoming AFC playoff bout when the Bengals host the Chargers Sunday afternoon at Paul Brown Stadium. If the post-season started today, both these teams would be in, but there are some elbows to be thrown yet in a very crowded AFC playoff scrum.

The Bengals are favored by the standard home-field advantage for this one. Who do we like for our free NFL betting pick?

NFL Betting Lines

The Week 13 NFL betting odds opened Cincinnati as a two-point home favorite over the Chargers, with an over/under of somewhere around 49.5. Early betting action then bumped the Bengals to -3, and that total to 50.5.

Chargers-Bengals NFL Betting Preview

Following a 4-1 start to this season, Los Angeles is just 2-4 SU, 1-5 ATS its last six times out, after falling at Denver last Sunday 28-13. The Chargers, playing as 2.5-point favorites, gave up the first 14 points of the game and trailed 14-7 at the half. They then gave up the first 14 points of the second half, the last seven on a game-clinching pick-6, on their way toward a rather sorry defeat.

Los Angeles actually out-gained the Broncos 357-302 but got out-rushed 147-72 and lost the turnover battle 2-1, resulting in a -10 points differential.

So while the Chargers have out-gained four of their last five foes, they’ve also been out-rushed three of their last four times out.

At 6-5 overall, Los Angeles trails division-leading Kansas City by one game in the AFC West and owns the No. 7 spot in the AFC playoff standings, a tie-breaker ahead of Denver and Las Vegas.

Cincinnati, meanwhile, is 4-2 both SU and ATS its last six times out after pounding Pittsburgh last week 41-10. The Bengals drove the opening possession of the game 75 yards to a touchdown, scored on their first four drives, then added a pick-6 late to lead 31-3 at the half. Cincinnati then scored the first 10 points out of the locker room and breezed to the victory and the easy cover at -3.5.

The Bengals out-gained the Steelers 370-301, out-rushed Pittsburgh 198-51, dominated time of possession by a 35:25 split, and won the turnover battle 3-1.

All in all, a pretty good performance.

A few weeks ago, Cincinnati looked bad in losing back-to-back games to the Jets and Cleveland, but it’s won its last two by a combined score of 73-23.

At 7-4 overall, the Bengals trail division-leading Baltimore by one game in the AFC North, although they also already own a win over the Ravens, with one meeting yet to go. Cincinnati also owns the No. 5 spot in the AFC playoff standings by tie-breaker over Buffalo.

These two teams just met back in Week 1 of last season. A 16-13 Chargers win also in Cincinnati. Tyrod Taylor quarterbacked Los Angeles that day before Justin Herbert took over.

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Common Opponents

These two teams have played five common opponents so far this season. Cincinnati played Baltimore, Cleveland, Las Vegas, Minnesota, and Pittsburgh to a 5-1 record both SU and ATS and +14 yards per game, while Los Angeles played those five foes to 3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS, and +23 YPG.

NFL Betting Trends

Home teams are just 86-90 SU, 75-101 ATS in the NFL this season. But we keep thinking that the latter figure will trend back toward normal sometime soon.

Favorites are 106-72 SU but just 78-100 ATS in the NFL this season.

Totals Report

The Under is 7-4 in Chargers games this season, even though LA games are averaging 51 total points. The Under is 6-5 in Bengals games this season, which are averaging 49 points. The Under is 100-79 in the NFL this season.

Free NFL Betting Pick

Cincinnati is out-rushing opponents this season by 18 YPG; Los Angeles, thanks to the worst run defense in the League, is getting out-rushed by 42 YPG. And in the NFL, the teams that win the ground battles cover the spread about 65 percent of the time. Also, over their two recent losses, RB Joe Mixon got just 37 total touches. But over the last two weeks, he’s got 62 touches, and the Bengals won and covered both games easily. We’re hoping for more of the same Sunday because we like Cincinnati here.

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Ben Burns Sports Handicapper

Ben Burns was 5-1 in the Wildcard Rd, a perfect 2-0 with his 'sides.' Don't touch the Sunday afternoon game between the Rams and the Bucs until you've checked in with him first!