Saints-Bengals Betting Preview: Finding Value With This High Over/Under
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18).
Betting odds: New Orleans Saints at Cincinnati Bengals
- Spread: Saints -5.5
- Over/Under: 54
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: FOX
>> All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets
Betting market: Following a huge win over the Rams, the Saints have garnered 76% of bet tickets. Though initial sharp action on the Bengals moved Cincy from +4 to +3.5, the market quickly shifted its attention to New Orleans.
Trends to know: New Orleans is a road favorite in Cincinnati against a Bengals team coming off a bye week. Advantage Cincy, right? No.
Last week, the Saints knocked off the Rams, taking out the last undefeated team in the NFL. A common betting theory is to fade teams coming off big, monumental wins.
Since 2003, teams in November or later that knocked off an undefeated team the previous week, are 14-7-1 ATS (66.7%), covering the spread by five points per game, including 9-4-1 ATS when playing their next game on the road. — Evan Abrams
After barely surviving against the Bucs at home two weeks ago, the Bengals have had a bye week at home to prepare for the Saints.
Since 2003, only two teams have been over .500 coming off a bye week as a home dog of more than a field goal:
- 2007 Carolina Panthers (+7) vs. Colts and Peyton Manning; lost straight up and ATS
- 2005 Cincinnati Bengals (+3.5) vs. Colts and Peyton Manning; lost SU and ATS — Abrams
Biggest mismatch: Alvin Kamara vs. Bengals Tacklers
The Bengals enter Week 10 ranked as the third-worst tackling team in football according to Pro Football Focus’ grades — not ideal with the slippery Kamara coming to town.
Kamara has built an impressive resume highlighted by 25 touchdowns on only 363 career touches, or one every 14.5 touches, and he’s done it largely by exposing poor tackling.
As a rookie, Kamara led the league in Elusive Rating, an advanced PFF metric which measures miss tackles forced and yards after contact gained on those missed tackles.
He’s at it again this season, with the third-most missed tackles forced among running backs in the passing game and a silly 12 touchdowns through eight games. — Chris Raybon
Which team is healthier: Saints
The Saints effectively replaced Cam Meredith (knee, IR) with Dez Bryant. The only other key player expected to be sidelined for New Orleans is defensive end Marcus Davenport (toe).
The Bengals, on the other hand, are dealing with a plethora of injuries on both sides of the ball. John Ross (groin) is expected to return to the lineup, but A.J. Green (toe) and tight end Tyler Kroft (foot) are expected to be sidelined.
The defense could be without linebackers Nick Vigil (knee) and Vontaze Burfict (hip) in addition to slot corner Darqueze Dennard (shoulder).
DFS edge: The Saints haven’t asked stud cornerback Marshon Lattimore to shadow in consecutive weeks after the team added Eli Apple before the trade deadline. The Saints’ 29th-ranked pass defense isn’t exactly a unit to fear, but they have allowed fewer than 23 points against every team other than the Rams, Falcons and Bucs.
Still, Tyler Boyd is set up about as well as possible, as he’s positioned to run the majority of his routes against slot corner P.J. Williams, who is PFF’s No. 108 graded cornerback.
Bets to watch: Bengals +6
This one popped out to me in neon lights when I first saw the number posted. All the red flags are there:
- The Bengals, a good defense, off a bye.
- The Bengals, off a bye, playing at home.
- The Saints, fresh off of beating the Rams, being the new public darlings.
- The Saints, off a dominant win, being in a natural let-down spot.
It’s so hard to make a decision that relies on Dalton over Brees, but take into consideration that bookmakers were pummeled last week by the public.
They are going to over-inflate lines in favor of dogs because they know fans are flush with cash and confident that the favored teams are going to win. — Chad Millman
The Bengals offense will struggle to live up to its No. 4 ranking in rate of explosive passing plays without Green, who is responsible for 40% of the team’s air yards and ranks fourth in the league with 12 receptions of 20 or more yards.
New Orleans’ defense ranks No. 3 in DVOA vs. the run and can force Cincinnati into being one-dimensional, short-passing team.
On the other side of the ball, we know the Saints can score, but they rank second in the league with a 52% run rate since Mark Ingram’s return and could chew up a lot of clock in the process. The under is 3-1 in Saints road games this season. — Chris Raybon
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.