It won’t quite be the matchup of promising young quarterbacks like many were hoping for at the beginning of the season with Joe Burrow out, but these Bengals proved on Monday night that they still have some fight left in them for Deshaun Watson and the Texans. Will it be enough to get some confidence from the oddsmakers and experts this week?
The Bengals are currently seven-point underdogs against the Texans in Houston, according to Bovada. Despite the Bengals upset on Monday, it seems the oddsmakers are banking more on that being a fluke of a performance. Usually the home team is spotted at least three points for homefield advantage, so the seven-point spread tells a tale. It is worth noting that the current spread shrank quite a bit from the Bengals opening as 8.5-point underdogs, though.
- Cincinnati is 2-4 against the spread in their last six games.
- The total has gone under in four of Cincinnati’s last five games.
- Cincinnati is 1-5 straight up in their last six games.
- Cincinnati is 2-8 against the spread in their last 10 games against Houston.
- Cincinnati is 1-8 straight up in their last nine games against Houston.
- Cincinnati is 0-5 straight up in their last five games on the road.
- The total has gone under in four of Cincinnati’s last five games when playing on the road against Houston.
- Cincinnati is 1-4 straight up in their last five games this season.
- The total has gone over in five of Cincinnati’s last six games against an opponent in the AFC.
- Cincinnati is 5-1 against the spread in their last six games against an opponent in the AFC South.
- Houston is 5-10 against the spread in their last 15 games.
- The total has gone under in five of Houston’s last six games.
- Houston is 4-11 straight up in their last 15 games.
- The total has gone under in six of Houston’s last seven games at home.
- Houston is 4-10 straight up in their last 14 games this season.
- Houston is 3-8 straight up in their last 11 games against an opponent in the AFC.
- Houston is 2-4 against the spread in their last six games against an opponent in the AFC North.
- Houston is 4-10 against the spread in their last 14 games played on a Sunday.
- Eight of ESPN’s nine experts went with the Texans (One didn’t pick for this game)
- CBS Sports doesn’t have a single expert siding with the Bengals
- NFL Pick Watch, which takes into account picks from across the web, currently has Cincinnati receiving 12 percent of the picks this week.
It is slightly surprising to see the experts be so unanimous with this game considering it is so late in the season. It seems like this would be a good game to potentially make up some ground with if you are behind. It seems like the thought may be this team had a magical game on Monday Night Football, but that magic has come to an end, even against another struggling team.
This game reminds me a ton of the Bengals last game of the season last year against the Browns. There was no doubt that Cleveland was the more talented team, but they were in the midst of finishing off a very disappointing season. That seems to be where the Texas are. The news about Houston’s head coaching search is already being broadcasted across the national media, change is coming and this team is just stuck in limbo waiting.
The Texans have the edge in talent because of Watson alone compared to Ryan Finley, but the Bengals defense has been playing pretty inspired since Burrow went down. Last week was the first time they were consistently able to setup their offense with short fields early to be able to play with a lead. They will have to repeat that to have a chance this week, though. The one thing they have going for them is that Watson’s surrounding cast isn’t as talented as the Steelers’ was.
It may come down to how well Giovani Bernard can take advantage of a poor run defense in Houston. He had a big game where he scored twice in the first half last week, and that would go a long way in securing another upset for Cincinnati this week.
Unlike the experts, I don’t think the clock has struck midnight quite yet on Cincinnati. They aren’t playing a team that is going to be ready for how hard this 3-10-1 team is going to want to win this game.
Bengals 20, Texans 17