Bengals-Falcons Betting Preview: How to Handle This Rising Over/Under
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Giovani Bernard, Tevin Coleman
Betting odds: Cincinnati Bengals at Atlanta Falcons
- Spread: Falcons -3.5
- Over/Under: 53.5
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: CBS
>> All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets
Betting market: After opening at -5.5, this spread stayed relatively still most of the week. It made only one minor move to -5 until Thursday, when Bengals money brought it all the way down to -3.5.
The total has also caught some eyes, as 81% of bets and 94% of dollars are on the over. The total has risen from 48, as a result. — Mark Gallant
Trends to know: Since Andy Dalton entered the league in 2011, no quarterback has been more profitable as an underdog in the regular season. The Bengals are 30-17-2 against the spread (+12.67 units) when getting points with the Red Rifle starting. — John Ewing
Dalton has started a game with a total of 50 or more only three times, with his highest over/under of 51 coming in 2014 against the Saints at the Superdome. The under is 3-0 in those games, going under the total by an average of 14.7 points. — Evan Abrams
Injury watch: Julio Jones (calf) is once again expected to play despite missing an early week practice, but Devonta Freeman (knee) might still be a week away from returning.
The larger issue for the Falcons is the state of their defense. Starting safety Ricardo Allen (Achilles) joined Keanu Neal (knee) and Deion Jones (foot) on Injured Reserve.
Defensive end Takkarist McKinley (groin), defensive end Derrick Shelby (groin), cornerback Justin Bethel (knee), cornerback Damontae Kazee (groin), cornerback Brian Poole (thumb/toe) and linebacker Foyesade Oluokun (ankle) aren’t guaranteed to suit up, either.
Meanwhile, A.J. Green (groin) and Giovani Bernard (thigh) are expected to resume their roles as the Bengals’ featured weapons after both were limited in practice on Wednesday, but left tackle Cordy Glenn (knee) and center Billy Price (ankle) could join Joe Mixon (knee) on the sideline.
The defense lost defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow (knee, IR) for the season and will have to survive one more week without linebacker Vontaze Burfict (suspension).
The status of cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (groin/back) needs to be monitored ahead of his matchup against Jones & Co.
The good news is that defensive end Michael Johnson (knee), linebacker Preston Brown (ankle) and cornerback Darqueze Dennard (calf) are tentatively expected to play.
DFS edge: The only number you need to know in this game is 29. That’s the amount of receptions Christian McCaffrey (14) and Alvin Kamara (15) have had in the past two weeks against this Falcons defense.
Giovani Bernard is still $6,300 on DraftKings and is projected to be one of the chalkiest players on the slate. Eating those elevated ownership levels is probably still worth it. — Joe Holka
Bet to watch: 6-Point Teaser: Bengals +9.5 / Over 47.5
The Falcons hadn’t figured out how to play defense without Jones and Neal — and now they’ll have to make do without Allen, as well.
Joe already touched on the insane RB catch numbers the Falcons have allowed the past two weeks. Expect that to continue with the elusive Bernard being the beneficiary.
This Cincinnati offense has shown the ability to put up points in the early going, as Dalton has thrived behind a rebuilt O-line.
The Falcons and their cadre of weapons will get theirs, but Atlanta’s defensive woes won’t allow it to pull away. — Scott T. Miller
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.