The Denver Broncos visit the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football. Cincinnati will have one of the biggest regular season games in the 12-year tenure of Marvin Lewis the head coach.
Cincinnati is 9-4-1 SU and 7-6-1 ATS. The Bengals can clinch a spot in the playoffs with a win over Denver. The Broncos are 11-3 SU and 7-7 ATS and have clinched the AFC West.
Not only is the game important from a playoff standpoint for Cincinnati, but it gives them the opportunity to defeat one of the powers in the NFL.
Denver is banged up heading into this matchup. The Broncos injury report of last week included 14 players, including Peyton Manning who is nursing an injured thigh.
Cincinnati has been strong at home as an underdog of 3 or more points since Lewis took over 12 seasons ago. The Bengals are 14-14-1 straight up and 16-13 record against the spread according to Bovada and topbet.
Still, Cincinnati has to prove to the football public since they have yet to win a postseason game in close to 24 years.
A week 16 win will not change that, but defeating Denver would give the Bengals confidence and a trip to the postseason.
According to betonline and sportsbook.com, Denver is favored by 3 points with the point total sitting on 48.
Denver is 14-3 SU and 12-5 ATS when favored by a field goal or more when Manning starts.
Manning is 8-0 SU and 6-2 ATS in his career versus Cincinnati.
Cincinnati is 5-1 ATS this season as the underdog.
Denver is 6-6 ATS this season as the favorite.
The last three games Denver has played have cashed on the UNDER.
Though fighting the flu and dealing with his thigh injury, Manning nevertheless had 233 yards passing on 14 of 20 and one touchdown last week over San Diego.
While the arm strength of Manning looked a bit questionable last week against San Diego, he was not hurt by it.
Andy Dalton the Cincinnati quarterback will be tested since the Denver defense is tough against the run and will make Dalton beat them passing.
The Broncos secondary is very strong and Dalton will have to hit third down opportunities if the Bengals hope to win.
The Bengals defense will be tested. Cincinnati’s defense is weak against the run, but if they stop the run, will Manning make them over commit and pay the price deep against the pass.
Denver should utilize the rush against a Cincinnati defense weak against the run. Cincinnati is 0-2 SU in its past two home games, but is 4-1 SU in its past five games overall.
The UNDER is a solid play as is taking the Broncos to cover.