Cincinnati Bengals (0-0) at Indianapolis Colts (0-0)
|Date & Time||Sunday September 9, 2018, 1:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Indianapolis Colts -3 -- Over/Under: 46
The Cincinnati Bengals and Indianapolis Colts meet Sunday in NFL action at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Cincinnati Bengals are in a do-or-die season, as they brought back Marvin Lewis despite missing the playoffs each of the last two years with a talented roster. The Cincinnati Bengals have split their last six regular season openers. The Bengals offense is the same cast of characters with Andy Dalton, Joe Mixon, Tyler Eifert, A.J. Green, and the health of wide receiver John Ross could help take this unit to the next level. Everybody and their brother knows Dalton is hit or miss and often makes mistakes are the worst possible time, but there’s more talent around him this season than possibly ever in his career. Time to step up. Defensively, there’s no reason why the Bengals don’t have an above-average unit, especially with the addition of linebacker Preston Brown. A defensive line tandem of Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins is one of the best in the league, and Dre Kirkpatrick has shown flashes of being a consistent and pretty underrated cornerback. It’s time for the Bengals to do their business or get off the pot. The Cincinnati Bengals have lost four of their last six regular season road games.
The Indianapolis Colts have a new head coach in Frank Reich and hope they can end this three-year playoff drought. The Indianapolis Colts have lost each of their last four regular season openers. The return of Andrew Luck is massive, as he has had issues in big games and does turn the ball over more than you’d like, but there’s no denying he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the league when healthy and dramatically increases the Colts chances of winning. While that’s the good news, the Colts do have three new starters along their offensive line, a running game that’s questionable at best and no proven outside playmaker to be paired with T.Y. Hilton. Defensively, the Colts were 28th last year in total yards allowed, and there’s not a single player on this side of the ball who you can point to and say he’s capable of changing the culture. Denico Autry is a nice addition to the defensive line and rookie linebacker Darius Leonard has serious upside. Still, the Colts lack playmakers on both sides of the ball and Luck can only do so much. The Indianapolis Colts have lost four of their last five regular season home games.
The Bengals are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 road games, 5-0 ATS in their last 5 vs. AFC and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall. The Colts are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games on fieldturf and 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games in Week 1. The Bengals are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Indianapolis, the home team is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings and the favorite is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
I'm not sure how I feel about laying points with a subpar Colts squad that is throwing Luck into the fire for the first time in over a year. And while the Bengals have been a solid covering team recently, their history of crapping the bed out of nowhere can't be forgotten. Whether it's Dalton falling on his face, the defense making boneheaded plays or Marvin Lewis simply being Marvin Lewis, the Bengals find ways to lose games they shouldn't. I don't love either side here, but the Colts are 5-2 ATS in their last seven home games when favored by at least three points and the place should be jumping now that their franchise QB is back on the field. I just don't trust the Bengals to consistently play good football, even if they're one of the more talented rosters, so I fade this team often.