Patriots (+1, 46)
Coming off one of the most embarrassing defeats during the Bill
Belichick regime, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots hope
to get back on track when they host the undefeated Cincinnati
Bengals on Sunday night. It’s the second prime-time matchup in
seven days for the Patriots, who appeared ill-equipped to deal
with the bright lights in a 41-14 drubbing at Kansas City. New
England has lost back-to-back games only four times since 2003,
the most recent coming in September 2012.
Brady is averaging under 200 yards passing and was picked off
twice in the debacle against the Chiefs, leading to whispers
that age may have caught up to the 37-year-old quarterback, who
acknowledged: “I don’t think we’ve played well for a long
time.” Meanwhile, the Bengals are well rested following their
bye week and have surrendered only three touchdowns while
permitting a league-best 11.0 points per game. Cincinnati beat
the visiting Patriots 13-6 last season, snapping Brady’s streak
of throwing a touchdown pass in 52 consecutive games.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: Bengals
-1. O/U: 46
LINE HISTORY: Line initially opened with the
Patriots -3, but bettors hammered the Bengals after New
England’s last performance. Patriots are now +1. The opening
total of 46 has yet to shift.
INJURY REPORT: Bengals
– WR Marvin Jones (Ques-Foot), LB Vontaze
Burfict (Ques-Concussion), G Kevin Zeitler (Ques-Calf)
Patriots – CB Alfonzo
Dennard (Ques-Shoulder), CB Brandon Browner
(Eligible-Suspension), WR Aaron Dobson
WEATHER: Foxborough will have clear skies, but
will be cold for the game with temperatures around 48°. There
will be light winds of 6 mph.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Bengals (-5.25) –
Patriots (-1) + Home Field (-3) = Bengals -1.25
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “Battle of two teams
appeared headed in opposite directions. A closer however
look finds the undefeated Bengals have actually been out gained
in two of their three games this season. The Patriots
suffered an embarrassing loss Monday night at Kansas City and
will need to rebound here to save face. Unless the
offense comes around that could be a big hurdle.” Covers Expert Marc Lawrence
WHAT BOOKS SAY: “Amazing, that this line
was Patriots -3 last Monday, but after their performance versus
the Chiefs, we reopened Tuesday morning at pick. At pick,
we got flooded with Bengals money and went to Bengals -1 and
eventually to -1.5, a number we dealt most of the week and up
until Saturday morning. This morning, we booked sharp
action on the Pats +1.5, forcing us down to Bengals -1.
With over 65 percent of the action on the Bengals, I see
us eventually getting back to -1.5 on them, but we have to
respect the sharp money that bet the Pat’s. As for the
total, we 46 and we’ve booked good two way action and haven’t
moved off our opener.” Peter Childs of Sportsbook.ag
ABOUT THE BENGALS (3-0 SU, 3-0 ATS, 0-3 O/U):
Quarterback Andy Dalton has been criticized for failing to win
a playoff game, but his 33 victories since 2011 rank second in
the league – behind only Brady – and he has a pair of dangerous
weapons in wideout A.J. Green and dual-threat running back
Giovani Bernard. Green missed nearly all of Week 2 due to a
turf-toe injury but has two 100-yard games and is coming off a
pair of 11-touchdown seasons in which he hauled in 98 and 97
passes. Bernard is tied with Green for the team lead with 12
receptions while rushing for three scores and has a capable
backup in powerful rookie Jeremy Hill, who is averaging 5.1
yards per carry. Carlos Dunlap has three of seven sacks for
Cincinnati, which has six interceptions in the first three
ABOUT THE PATRIOTS (2-2 SU, 1-3 ATS, 2-2 O/U):
Brady, who has already been sacked nine times behind a
struggling offensive line and is completing a career-worst 59.1
percent of his passes, was yanked during the dismal effort in
Kansas City. “I don’t think in any phase of the game we’re
playing the way we need to play in order to compete at a high
level week in and week out,” Brady said. The running game lacks
consistency while Julian Edelman has 26 catches to lead a
receiving corps that lacks a playmaker with tight end Rob
Gronkowski still not in top form less than a full year from
undergoing ACL surgery. New England made major moves to revamp
its defense in the offseason, including the signing of
cornerback Darrelle Revis, but was gashed for 207 yards rushing
by the Chiefs.
*Bengals are 20-8-1 ATS in their last 29 games overall.
*Patriots are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
*Under is 4-0 in Bengals last 4 games overall.
*Over is 5-1 in Patriots last 6 home games.
COVERS CONSENSUS: 59.07% of Covers users are
taking the Bengals -1 with 58.03 percent on the over.