The Cincinnati Bengals climbed back into the thick of the AFC North race with a pair of wins prior to their bye and they can make further inroads with a matchup against the division-leading Pittsburgh Steelers in their first game back. Cincy has flourished offensively since Marvin Lewis changed offensive coordinators after the first two games and A.J. Green has benefitted the most.
After not scoring a touchdown in their first two games, Lewis relieved Ken Zampese of his duties with Bill Lazor taking over. Andy Dalton and Green have looked like different players since the switch. In their game before the off-week, the Bengals produced 388 yards against a stingy Buffalo defense with Dalton throwing for 328 yards and connecting with Green seven times for 189 yards. There were some ball security issues with Green, but he is the playmaker on offense and that didn’t affect the game plan.
Green has 22 receptions for 363 yards in the past three games and is a prominent figure in the offense. That role may increase with the loss of Tyler Eifort for the year. Overlooked by what’s happened with the offense is the play of the Bengals defense, which has been solid all season. They rank second in total yards, passing yards and points allowed per game and the group will have to come up big if the Bengals are to snap a four-game losing streak to their division rival.
2017 Record: 2-3
2017 ATS Record: 3-2
2017 Over/Under Total Record: 1-4
Current Super Bowl Odds: +5000
Current Odds to Win AFC: +2800
Current Odds to Win AFC North: +600
Current NFL Odds: Bengals +5.5
Over/Under Total: 41
Week 6: BYE
Week 5: Bengals 20, Bills 16
ATS Result: Bengals -3
Over/Under Total Result: Under 39
Green nearly helped give it away, but in the end the Bengals got their biggest playmaker involved to get their second straight win and third straight ATS. Dalton found his favorite target for 189 yards, including a 77-yard touchdown and another long pass play to set up a score. The defense also shut down the Bills and has been underrated all season leading the under to a 4-1 record.
Week 4: Bengals 31, Browns 7
ATS Result: Bengals -3
Over/Under Total Result: Under 41.5
The offense has found another gear since the coaching change and Dalton looks like a different player. He was masterful against Cleveland leading the Bengals to an easy cover on the 3-point line. As well as the offense played, the defense was even better and has been overlooked. The group allowed just over 200 yards of offense and pitched a shutout until late in the fourth, cashing the under for the third time.
Week 3: Packers 27, Bengals 24 (OT)
ATS Result: Bengals +7
Over/Under Total Result: Over 47.5
This one is going to leave a mark. The Bengals allowed Rodgers to maneuver 75 yards in the final minutes for the game-tying touchdown. Then they went three-and-out on the first overtime possession, giving the ball back to the Pack. Rodgers connected on a 72-yard bomb to set up the game-winning field goal. Cincy covered the 7-point spread, but it was little consolation after letting one get away.
Week 2: Texans 13, Bengals 9
ATS Result: Texans +5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 38
The offense sputtered again, failing to get its first touchdown of the season and settling for three Randy Bullock field goals. The Bengals did complete a pass in the endzone, but Tyler Eifert stepped out of bounds before reestablishing position and was the first to touch the ball. The score was nullified and the Bengals settled for three. Cincy did enough defensively, but without any help from the offense, the under cashed for a second straight game.
Week 1: Ravens 20, Bengals 0
ATS Result: Ravens +2.5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 41.5
With the weapons the Bengals have on offense and the career path of Dalton, we should chalk up the opener to just a poor outing against an excellent defensive team. Houston is strong defensively as well, but you can expect Cincy to make adjustments for a cleaner outing by Dalton. The odds of winning decrease with every turnover and the Bengals gave it up five times. That’s not good. But there’s a strong chance it doesn’t happen again.
Preseason Record: 1-3
ATS Record: 2-2
Over/Under Record: 1-3
It was a strange last season for the Bengals with many players missing out on the postseason for the first time in their careers. It wouldn’t be a stretch to think this team can regain its winning ways and return to relevance, but there are several question marks surrounding the roster. And opening against the Ravens isn’t the worst they could ask for. Cincy has won five straight at home over the Bengals going 4-1 ATS in that span, and the Bengals are 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS in their last seven overall with their division rival.
Week 1: Bengals vs. Ravens, Sunday, September 10, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 2: Bengals vs. Texans, Thursday, September 14, 8:25 p.m. ET – NFL
Week 3: Bengals at Packers, Sunday, September 24, 4:25 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 4: Bengals at Browns, Sunday, October 1, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 5: Bengals vs. Bills, Sunday, October 8, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 6: Bye Week
Week 7: Bengals at Steelers, Sunday, October 22, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 8: Bengals vs. Colts, Sunday, October 29, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 9: Bengals at Jaguars, Sunday, November 5, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 10: Bengals at Titans, Sunday, November 12, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 11: Bengals at Broncos, Sunday, November 19, 4:25 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 12: Bengals vs. Browns, Sunday, November 26, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 13: Bengals vs. Steelers, Monday, December 4, 8:30 p.m. ET – ESPN
Week 14: Bengals vs. Bears, Sunday, December 10, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 15: Bengals at Vikings, Sunday, December 17, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 16: Bengals vs. Lions,, Sunday, December 24, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 17: Bengals at Ravens, Sunday, December 31, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
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