Line: Bengals -12

The 3-5 Houston Texans travel to Cincinnati to take on the 8-0 Bengals in this week’s Monday night matchup. The Texans had a bye last week but are coming off an impressive 20-6 victory over the Tennessee Titans in week 8. The Bengals destroyed the Cleveland browns last week 31-10 to remain undefeated through the first half of the season. Even though they have a sub .500 record, the Texans are only a half-game back of the first-place Indianapolis Colts in the weak AFC South.

Andy Dalton is playing like a legitimate MVP candidate this season and had another great game last week against Cleveland. He completed 21 of 27 passes for 234 yards and 3 touchdowns without committing a turnover. His passer rating was 139.8 for the game which was never in doubt. His favorite target was Tyler Eifert who caught 5 passes for 53 yards and 3 touchdowns. Eifert is having a monster season with 37 receptions for 434 yards and 9 touchdowns which leads all tight ends. Marvin Jones also had a nice day with 5 catches for 78 yards. They were able to run the ball effectively as they gained 152 yards on 37 rushes. They were led by Giovanni Bernard who had 13 carries for 72 yards. Defensively, they shut the browns out in the second half and only allowed 69 rushing yards for the entire game. They also had 3 sacks and 5 tackles for losses.

Houston played great on both sides of the ball in their victory over the Texans. Offensively, Brian Hoyer led the way by completing 23 of 35 passes for 235 yards and 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. His favorite target was Deandre Hopkins who had 8 receptions for 94 yards and a touchdown. The only negative for the offense was the running game which only produced 56 yards on 23 carries. Defensively, they were able to limit the Titans offense to only 2 field goals and forced 3 turnovers which included 2 fumble recoveries and an interception. They also were able to force 7 sacks which resulted in a loss of 46 yards. Whitney Mercilus and J.J. Watt each had a monster day as they combined for 6 sacks and 5 tackles for losses. Linebacker Jadeveon Clowney’s status is doubtful for this game after

While the Bengals do not have any players on the injury report, the Texans have several players who are questionable for this game including receiver Nate Washington and linebacker Benardrick Mckinney. Even with their great defensive game last week against Tennessee, Houston has given up an average of 29 points per game over their last 5 games. The Texans are 3-5 against the spread this year including 1-3 on the road. The Bengals are 7-0-1 against the spread this year including 3-0-1 at home. Cincinnati is heavily favored in this game but they are home and have won their last 5 game by an average of 11.5 points.

Pick: Bengals -12

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