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Bengals vs. Colts - 1/4/15 NFL Wild Card Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Cincinnati Bengals (10-5-1) at Indianapolis Colts (11-5)
Date & Time Sunday January 4, 2015, 1:05 PM (EST)
The Line
The Line: Indianapolis Colts -4 -- Over/Under: 49
TV Channel
CBS
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NFL | Cincinnati Bengals (10-5-1) at Indianapolis Colts (11-5)
USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals and Indianapolis Colts play in the AFC wild card game Sunday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Cincinnati Bengals have won five of their last seven games and made the playoffs for the fourth straight season. Andy Dalton is completing 64.1 percent of his passes for 19 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. Dalton has four touchdowns and four picks in his last three games, and the Bengals have 35 passing plays of 20 or more yards. A.J. Green and Mohamed Sanu have combined for more than 1,800 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns while Jermaine Gresham has a touchdown in three straight games. Green is questionable for this game with a concussion. The Bengals ground game is averaging 4.4 yards per carry, as Jeremy Hill leads the way with 1,124 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. Defensively, the Cincinnati Bengals are allowing 21.5 points, 359.3 yards, and they’ve forced 20 sacks and 26 turnovers. Vincent Rey leads the Bengals with 121 tackles and Carlos Dunlap has eight sacks.

The Indianapolis Colts have won five of their last six games and make the playoffs for the third straight year. Andrew Luck is completing 61.7 percent of his passes for 40 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Luck has four touchdowns and three picks in his last three games, and the Colts have 78 passing plays of 20 or more yards. T.Y. Hilton and Reggie Wayne have combined for more than 2,100 receiving yards and nine touchdowns while Coby Fleener has nine receptions in his last two games. The Colts ground game is averaging 3.9 yards per carry, as Trent Richardson leads the way with 519 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, the Indianapolis Colts are allowing 23.1 points, 342.7 yards, and they’ve forced 41 sacks and 26 turnovers. D'Qwell Jackson leads Indy with 140 tackles and Mike Adams has 11 pass deflections.

The Bengals are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 playoff games and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a S.U. loss. The Colts are 20-6-1 ATS in their last 27 home games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 playoff games. The Bengals are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 meetings in Indianapolis and the favorite is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 meetings. 

The Cincinnati Bengals are hungry for a playoff win after coming up short time and time again. This is where I think they get it. While the Colts may be the better team, they've been way too inconsistent for my taste and have come out flat many times down the stretch. Meanwhile, this may be one of the more talented Bengals teams we've seen and they're starting to jell a bit, especially on defense. I'm taking the points, but I think Cincy wins this outright. 

Pick:
Cincinnati Bengals +4

Randy Chambers has been with Sports Chat Place since 2014 and covers everything from the NFL to WNBA and tennis. Nobody works harder in this business in terms of content produced and amount of sports covered. Formerly a lead college football writer with Bleacher Report and has had his work featured at Fox Sports, CBS Sports and various other outlets.

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