There really is no sugar coating it. The oddsmakers and experts don’t have much faith in the Bengals without Joe Burrow leading the offense. It is hard to blame them considering the team only managed two wins even with the rookie, so now that we will be watching Ryan Finley or Brandon Allen start on Sunday, it is understandable that this team isn’t being viewed in the best light.
The Bengals are currently six-point underdogs against the Giants at home, according to Bovada. It is hard to expect the Bengals to be any sort of favorite in these final six games if this is the way the oddsmakers view a matchup with New York. Cincinnati opened as 2.5-point favorites, but the Burrow news really sank that ship quickly. There are some questions over whether Finley or Allen will get the start, but the big thing is we know neither will be able to do what Burrow was doing.
- Cincinnati are 6-3 against the spread in their last nine games.
- The total has gone over in four of Cincinnati’s last five games.
- Cincinnati are 1-5 straight up in their last six games.
- The total has gone over in five of Cincinnati’s last six games at home.
- Cincinnati are 6-0 straight up in their last six games when playing at home against the Giants.
- Cincinnati are 1-4 straight up in their last five games this season.
- Cincinnati are 1-4 against the Spread in their last five games against an opponent in the NFC.
- Cincinnati are 14-6 against the spread in their last 20 games against an opponent in the NFC East.
- The total has gone over in seven of Cincinnati’s last 10 games played in November.
- The Giants are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven games.
- The Giants are 5-15 straight up in their last 20 games.
- The Giants are 8-0 against the spread in their last eight games on the road.
- The Giants are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games this season.
- The Giants are 1-6 straight up in their last seven games against an opponent in the AFC.
- The total has gone under in seven of the Giants’ last eight games against an opponent in the AFC North.
- Only one of ESPN’s 10 experts took the Bengals
- CBS Sports all went with the Giants in Cincinnati
- NFL Pick Watch, which takes into account picks from across the web, only has Cincinnati receiving three percent of the picks going into Week 12.
We are seeing the lack of Burrow come into play right away with the Week 12 picks. He at least gave this team some hope. Even looking at the before and after in Washington paints the picture pretty clearly. When he went out, the score was 9-7 early in the third. Following that the Bengals struggled to even pick up first downs on offense. Burrow was at least consistently moving the ball. It is going to be a long six games.
The Giants may not be some juggernaut coming into Cincinnati this week, but they might as well be. We are going to find out early what kind of game it will be for the Bengals. Are they going to lay down and try to get through these last few games as quickly as possible, or are they going to try and put up a fight?
Even if they choose the latter, they will still need plenty of things to go right to pull off this upset at home. What is the formula for that upset? I’m glad you asked. First, the Bengals defense not only has to create multiple turnovers, they need to take one back for a touchdown. This offense just isn’t going to be a threat of scoring no matter where they start on the field any more. Second thing, the field position battle has to be won. The less an offense led by either Ryan Finley or Brandon Allen has to drive 80 or 70 yards the better. Third, the offense has to get creative. Cincinnati has to hit on a few big plays that at least flip field position, and the easiest way to do that is to reach into the bag of tricks.
The most important key for a Bengals upset is this defense keeping the Giants under 20 points. It is just so hard to see this Cincinnati offense getting well into the 20’s. The Bengals have held opponents to 20 or under three times this season, and they will have to pull it off again at any point this season to get their third win of the year.
Ultimately, this list is just too long of things that HAVE to happen. The Giants have done a decent enough job of getting the most out of this offense that doesn’t have the benefit of leaning on Saquon Barkley. Daniel Jones’ mobility may also give him practically infinite time in the pocket against a nonexistent pass rush outside of Carl Lawson. Not to mention New York’s defense has quietly been a very solid unit this season.
Giants 27 Bengals 13