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If you’re still on the fence about who to bet for the Week 16 finale, Covers enlists the help of expert NFL bloggers to make a pitch for their favorite team. Mickey Mentzer of Bengals blog Cincy Jungle and Kirk Davis of Broncos blog Bronco Planet, strap on the pads and butt heads over which team will cover the spread on Monday Night Football.
WHY THE BENGALS WILL COVER
Mickey Mentzer writes for Cincy Jungle. You can follow them on Facebook and on Twitter @CincyJungle.
Limiting Scoring Opportunities
Cincinnati has the number one scoring defense in the league. Denver boasts a great defense themselves, but Cincinnati has allowed fewer points than any other team. The Bengals defense tightens up when their back is against the goal line and has been able to limit opposing teams scoring opportunities.
Fearsome Front Four
Cincinnati’s front four allows the Bengals to generate pressure without blitzing. Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap are both having incredible years even though both guys often face double teams. Dunlap has 10.5 sacks and Atkins has 10. The pressure the front brings forces opposing quarterbacks to hurry through their leads and this can create mistakes.
Two-headed Rushing Attack
The Bengals have two running backs that can shoulder the load for this team. Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard will probably have a ton of opportunities on Monday night as the Bengals will probably limit what they allow A.J. McCarron to do. The Bengals running game will chew up clock and tire out the Denver defense.
WHY THE BRONCOS WILL COVER
Kirk Davis writes for Bronco Planet. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter @broncoplanet.
The better young gunslinger
They say Home Field is worth a Field Goal. As 3.5 point favorites, it really comes down to which young quarterback is better–Brock Osweiler or A.J. McCarron. Both teams are having trouble running the ball and both can stop the run. That leaves the quarterbacks as the intangible element and I believe Osweiler has the edge due to playing time.
Situation of need
The Broncos need this win more than the Bengals. Cincinnati is already in the playoffs and the Broncos need to stay ahead of Kansas City for the division. The Broncos lead the series between these two, 19-9 overall and 12-2 when they host the Bengals. Denver has won four out of the last 5 contests.
A stout defense
The Broncos defense is ranked No. 1 in everything. Okay not quite, but almost everything. They certainly aren’t the four-win San Francisco 49ers (last week’s victims of the Bengals) and will take advantage of Cincy’s inexperienced quarterback. Von Miller is tied for the 3rd-most Forced Fumbles (16) in the NFL since he entered the league in 2011 and the Broncos have 47 Sacks from 14 different players to tie for 1st in the NFL.