2014 NFL Week 5 - Bengals vs. Patriots Betting Odds Preview

Line: Bengals -1

This Sunday Night contest features the first time in many years that the New England Patriots are home underdogs even though the last time the Bengals won a game in New England Ronald Regan was still in office and the New York Mets had just won the World Series. The Bengals are coming off of their bye week so they will be either well rusted or a little rusty. They were playing lights out football prior to the week off so they hope to be able to quickly regain their momentum. The Patriots are coming off of a 41-14 beating at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs. This brought the overall season record to 2-2 and makes this game even more crucial to their overall success.

The Patriots have struggled on offense for the vast majority of the season. At the height of their offensive dominance they had a star wide receiver on the outside in Randy Moss and a dominant slot receiver in Wes Welker. After Moss moved on they kept Welker and replaced the wide receivers with frequent double tight end sets featuring Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Gronkowski has suffered multiple injuries over the past 2 seasons and is up to playing about 70% of the snaps on offense but is nowhere near as fast and has difficulty getting open, Welker moved onto play with Peyton Manning in Denver and Hernandez will likely spend the rest of his life in jail as a result of murder charges. So the offense needs to be retooled and the team has not really done that. Shane Vereen and Steven Ridley possess the skills of a great running back when you combine all of their skills but neither is an every down back. Manning only had 4 wide receivers dressed for Sunday’s game and only Julian Edelman has proven himself to be reliable although former Carolina Panther wide receiver Brandon LaFell had a big game Sunday with 6 catches for 199 yards and a touchdown. The defense has been strong with the exception of last week so it remains to be seen if it was just one bad game or a sign of things to come.

The Bengals really didn’t want to have a bye week so early considering they had gotten off to a sizzling start by beating the Ravens in week one, the Falcons in week 2, and demolishing the Titans 33-7 in week 3. The teams offense has been dominant thus far as they are 7th in the NFL with 384 total yards a game ranking 11th in passing and 15th in rushing. Second year running back Giovanni Bernard will look to be more involved against the Patriots run defense. Quarterback Andy Dalton isn’t a “dink and dunk “ quarterback as evidenced by him leading the league with 8.9 yards averaged per completion. Mohammed Sanu and star wide receiver A.J Green should be in line for a big day against a Patriot secondary that was exploited by the Chiefs.

Pick: Patriots +1

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