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Bengals at Colts: Odds, expert picks, analysis, predictions for NFL Week 1

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It appears to be a close matchup between the Bengals and Colts, but the experts are clearly leaning toward one team over the other.

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the first week of the 2018 NFL season, and for a population of NFL fans, that means it’s also time to start betting on football again. The Bengals are starting off the season with a game that is expected to be fairly close, according to the oddsmakers.

Odds

The Bengals are currently three-points underdogs against the Colts as of Friday night, according to Bovada. The line has expanded in favor of the Colts who started out as 1.5-points favorite.

Most home teams start with a three point advantage, so the odds makers must see this as a more even match up than initially anticipated. The Colts will of course have Andrew Luck back at quarterback for the first time in over a year, but the Bengals have a fully healthy arsenal at the offensive skill positions for the first time in quite awhile. It seems like people are still waiting to see what to expect from these teams this season after bad years for each in 2017.

Here are some trends for both teams:

  • Cincinnati is 6-2 against the spread in its last eight games
  • Cincinnati is 7-3 against the spread in its last 10 games on the road
  • Cincinnati is 4-11 straight up in its last 15 games on the road
  • Cincinnati is 3-6 against the spread in its last nine games when playing Indianapolis
  • Cincinnati is 3-9 straight up in its last 12 games when playing Indianapolis
  • Cincinnati is 1-4 against the spread in its last five games when playing on the road against Indianapolis
  • Cincinnati is 0-5 straight up in its last five games when playing on the road against Indianapolis
  • The total has gone under in five of Cincinnati’s last five games when playing on the road against Indianapolis
  • Indianapolis is 2-4 against the spread in its last six games
  • Indianapolis is 1-6 straight up in its last seven games
  • The total has gone under in five of Indianapolis’s last five games
  • Indianapolis is 1-4 straight up in its last five games at home
  • The total has gone under in 5 of Indianapolis’s last five games at home
  • Indianapolis is 6-3 against the spread in its last nine games when playing Cincinnati
  • Indianapolis is 9-3 straight up in its last 12 games when playing Cincinnati
  • Indianapolis is 4-1 against the spread in its last five games when playing at home against Cincinnati
  • Indianapolis is 5-0 straight up in its last five games when playing at home against Cincinnati
  • The total has gone under in five of Indianapolis’s last five games when playing at home against Cincinnati

Picks

  • All eight of CBS Sports’ experts went with the Bengals
  • ESPN’s experts were split as 10 of the five chose the Bengals
  • Fox Sports is projecting a 22.9-19.8 victory for Cincinnati
  • All of SB Nations experts went with the Bengals
  • NFL Pick Watch, which takes into account picks from all across the internet, has 70 percent of picks going in favor of Cincinnati over the Colts as of Friday night,

This is a tricky game for gamblers and pickers alike. These teams have undergone plenty of change from last season. It is a matter of how much of that change will have a positive impact early on in the season. This one could come right down to the wire.