Monday Night Football, NFL Picks: Broncos at Bengals

Cincinnati is hosting Denver in the final Monday Night Football game of the 2014 NFL season! We’ve got a few betting angles to consider along with trends and our ATS prediction


Week 16 has been an early Christmas gift for NFL underdog bettors but it hasn’t stopped the betting public from piling onto the Bronco bus at -3.5 points as they look to sew up one of the top two seeds in the AFC. The total for this game is currently sitting at 47 or 47.5, down from 48.

WEEK 16 MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

From Week 10 of the 2012 season up until Week 3, 2014, CIN’s Andy Dalton was 13-1 ATS in regular season home games. Since then, Dalton is 1-4 ATS at home with all five opponents scoring at least 23 points. The cumulative record still looks impressive (14-5 ATS, 74-percent) but recent form highlights the team’s inefficiency on defense and the visitors who put up points were a real mix bag of talent: CAR, BAL, JAX, CLE and PGH
 
Each team other than the Ravens scored more than its season average and Baltimore, whose 24 points fell shy by just two points of their average, were the one team the Bengals beat ATS.
 
Cinci’s offense fared well in three of those five games but the two most recent, the Bengals were limited to a total of just seven second-half points. Access this information with the following SDQL Text: Andy Dalton:PY > 50 and H and (season , week) >= (2012 , 10) and REG

 

PASS-FIRST OPPONENTS

The Bengals have struggled this season against pass-first offenses going 2-6 ATS. Denver is 10th in the league with 37 pass attempts per game, down from 42 last season when they were second in the league (42). Check the free betting database site with SDQL text: oA(passes) > 35 and season >= 2014 and team = Bengals

 

Of note, the Bengals are 1-2 ATS at home this year vs. teams who averaged 27-plus rush attempts per game (DEN is 27.9) and Cinci gave up 24-24-42 points in those games. Denver started the season wanting to run the football more and they’ve run into some injuries this season to Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman but CJ Anderson has stepped it up. Anderson has gained more than 95 all-purpose yards in five of the past six matchups. The Broncos have dealt with injuries to their receivers and TE lately and the O-line has also been banged up but look at some of run-stop units they’ve had to face:

SD: 14th against the run

BUF: Top 3 defense overall and front seven ranks top five against the run and pass

KC: Overall defensive strength is against the rush but they’ve got a good pass rush unit as well

MIA: Top 10 defense with an aggressive pass rush

STL: Quietly a top 10 unit with a defensive front seven that ranks high in run stop and pass rush

And those are just the past five-straight weeks for Denver. Overall, the Broncos offense has faced the fourth toughest group of defenders in the league this season. Only the Chiefs, Chargers and Raiders have faced more difficult competition.

PRIMETIME PICKS

The Bengals have limited their past five opponents to just 15.6 points per game, highlighted by a 30-0 shutout win last week in Cleveland. Bad news Bengal fans – these are not the Browns and Johnny Manziel is nowhere near the building. Peyton Manning is 10-5 ATS on Monday Night Football and none of the recent wins were by fewer than four points. Dalton, on the other hand has struggled to a 2-6 ATS record under the lights and his two primetime shots this season have done nothing to heighten our expectations.

Pick: Take the Broncos

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