Bengals-Panthers Betting Preview: Is Cincinnati For Real?


Chuck Cook, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Cam Newton

Sep 21, 2018, 04:00 AM EDT

Betting odds: Cincinnati Bengals at Carolina Panthers

  • Spread: Panthers -3
  • Over/Under: 43.5
  • 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: Betting tickets suggest balanced action with exactly 50% of bets on each team, but our money percentages reveal that 69% of dollars wagered have taken the Panthers at the time of writing (see live data here).

According to Sports Insights’ Bet Signals, sharp action has yet to hit this game, indicating that Carolina money is likely steady recreational action as opposed to professional money. — PJ Walsh

Trend to Know: According to our Bet Labs data, Andy Dalton is 30-16-2 against the spread as an underdog (regular season only).

A $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $1,367 wagering on Dalton, making him the most profitable underdog quarterback over that span.John Ewing

The Panthers lost to the Falcons in Week 2. In Cam Newton’s career, he is 15-6-1 ATS (+8.5 units) when he plays at home off a straight-up loss.

The only QB in the NFL since Cam was drafted in 2010 who is more profitable in this spot? Drew Brees in the Superdome (19-9 ATS). — Evan Abrams

Injury watch: The Panthers are expected to be without multiple starters on both sides of the ball. Cornerback Donte Jackson (groin) and safety Da’Norris Searcy (concussion) have joined right guard Trai Turner (concussion), wide receiver Curtis Samuel (heart procedure) and tight end Greg Olsen (foot) on the sideline all week.

Note: Info as of 6 p.m. ET Thursday. See our Injury Dashboard for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff. — Ian Hartitz

DFS edge: A.J. Green could be everything we wanted to see from Julio Jones last week and more against James Bradberry.

The Panthers’ “shut-down corner” ranked 77th among 85 qualified full-time defensive backs in 2017, and this matchup is the second-best WR/CB advantage of the week, per Pro Football Focus. — Joe Holka

Bet to watch: Bengals +3

The most important stat in betting is yards per play. It’s the best indicator of how a team is performing; it’s immune from fluke plays, turnovers and garbage time scores.

Right now, the Bengals are top 10 in yards per play on offense and defense. In Week 1 they beat a Colts team on the road that is a bit better than people expected, especially on defense. Then they dominated the Ravens in Week 2.

Cincinnati’s rush D is especially good, allowing just 3.2 ypp. You can’t say that’s a fluke when this D-line has consistently been great the past few years.

Meanwhile, the Panthers’ defense was exposed last week by Matt Ryan, especially in the secondary, where Carolina starts a rookie in Donte Jackson and a 37-year-old safety in Mike Adams.

Offensively, Carolina ran up some numbers last week, but Cam threw the ball 45 times while trying to come back against a defense missing its middle linebacker and starting safety.

He will have to do that again this week because Christian McCaffrey won’t be able to expose the Bengals’ front seven the same way he did against the Falcons. — Chad Millman


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.

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