Patriots vs. Bengals Betting Odds & Pick: How to Factor in New England’s Video Scandal
Winslow Townson-USA Today Sports. Pictured: Tom Brady.
- Our experts preview the Week 15 NFL matchup between the New England Patriots and Cincinnati Bengals.
- Find betting odds, our experts' pick for the AFC showdown and much more below.
- You'll also find analysis of the biggest mismatch and Sean Koerner's projected spread.
Patriots at Bengals Picks, Predictions & Betting Odds
- Odds: Patriots -9
- Over/Under: 41.5
- Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: CBS
Odds as of Thursday evening and via DraftKings, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
The Patriots had an eventful week with another videotaping scandal stealing the attention away from their home loss to Kansas City.
Now they head to Cincinnati to face the lowly Bengals on Sunday, and the public expects the Pats to handle business with more than 85% of betting tickets backing the road favorites. Should you back Tom Brady running up the score on the Bengals?
Our experts preview the game, featuring their picks and analysis of the biggest matchups.
Patriots-Bengals Injury Report
Which team is healthier? Patriots
Julian Edelman was nursing a shoulder injury, but you can also add a knee issue to that list. He missed practice on Wednesday, but he did manage a limited session on Thursday. Also of note is offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn, who missed practice on Thursday due to an eye injury. Wynn grades out as one of their best pass-blockers.
Per usual, A.J. Green (ankle) won’t play. Additionally, the Bengals placed Auden Tate (knee) on injured reserve earlier in the week. On the bright side, John Ross (foot) returned to full practice on Thursday. Cincy will roll out Tyler Boyd, Ross and Alex Erickson in 3-WR sets. — Justin Bailey
Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.
Patriots Pass Defense vs. Bengals Pass Offense
The 1-12 Bengals are a mess all over the field, but they’re particularly inept at moving the ball through the air, ranking No. 32 in pass success rate (per Sharp Football Stats).
Andy Dalton is better than backup Ryan Finley, so his return to the starting lineup has been a relative boon for the offense, but Dalton still has a basement-level 6.2 adjusted yards per attempt (AY/A) — just below Sam Darnold (6.4) and just above Mitchell Trubisky (6.1).
With Dalton, the Bengals have only been slightly better, ranking No. 28 in pass success rate. Whether Dalton is leading this team or not, it has been bad in the passing game.
And you probably don’t need me to tell you that the Patriots have the league’s best pass defense by a variety of metrics: They are No. 1 in opponent pass success rate and Pro Football Focus coverage grade.
They have held opposing passers to a league-low 4.0 AY/A, which is significantly ahead of the No. 2 49ers (5.5) and No. 3 Bills (5.8).
With their shutdown trio of cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore, Jason McCourty and Jonathan Jones, the Pats are the second-best pass defense against No. 1 wide receivers and the top defense against all other receivers (per Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric).
And with safety Devin McCourty, who has an elite 90.1 PFF coverage grade, the Pats are No. 5 in pass defense DVOA against tight ends.
Against this secondary, wide receivers Tyler Boyd, John Ross and Alex Erickson and tight ends Tyler Eifert and C.J. Uzomah are drastically outclassed. — Matthew Freedman
Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds
- Projected Spread: Patriots -9.5
- Projected Total: 41
It should come as no surprise that the Patriots are receiving 85% of the action, yet they’re down to -9 after opening at -10. Sharps are absolutely behind this line movement, and I would assume it’s because they were able to get the Bengals at a cheap price with Dalton as the starter.
Let’s set the record straight: The Bengals are a very bad football team, but they’re not as bad as their record indicates. Their Pythagorean expected record is 3.1-9.9 despite letting rookie Ryan Finley — arguably one of the worst quarterbacks to start a game this season — start three games.
I’m also betting the scandal involving the Patriots allegedly having a video crew record Cincinnati’s sideline last week disrupted their game planning enough to be a minor factor. I’m leaning Bengals +9.5 as a result. — Sean Koerner
Freedman: Patriots -9
In the history of the Bet Labs database (since 2003), the Patriots are 160-101-8 ATS (20.3% ROI).
Bill Belichick usually gets the job done. On average, the outcome for a Pats game is a cover of +3.74 points. That’s a massive margin.
And Belichick is even less generous against poor opponents. When facing teams that failed to make the playoffs in the previous season, the Patriots are 112-58-5 ATS (28.7% ROI). On average, they have scored 4.90 points more than their non-playoff opponents.
Even with Dalton back in the starting lineup, I have no respect for the 1-12 Bengals.
Under the Belichick regime, the Pats have been a “no mercy” franchise against overmatched opponents. And given that they are coming off of back-to-back losses, I expect them to take out their anger on the tanking Bengals.
Coming off a loss, the Pats are 39-15-0 ATS (43.2% ROI).
Matthew Freedman is 508-383-21 (57%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.