Do Bengals Have a Routine Assignment Staying Unbeaten?
By Charles Jay
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We have heard enough stories about how the Cincinnati Bengals sometimes look invincible in the regular season but then fold like a cheap accordion in the playoffs. One of the teams that has treated them to an early post-season exit in recent years is the Houston Texans, who beat them in 2011 and 2012. We’re no saying this is payback, but the Bengals are certainly eager to renew acquaintances on Monday night, as they attempt to remain unbeaten at Paul Brown Stadium. Game time is 8:30 PM ET on ESPN, and BetAnySports customers who are watching the game can keep the action going even after the opening kickoff by placing wagers in real-time through the facilities of Live Betting Extra.
Texans vs Bengals – BETANYSPORTS NFL Betting Line:
In the Monday night football betting odds posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, the Bengals are the double-digit favorites:
- Cincinnati Bengals -11
- Houston Texans +11
- Over 47 points -110
- Under 47 points -110
The 8-0 Bengals have had ten days of “rest” since they last played against the Cleveland Browns and Johnny Manziel, while the Texans are coming out of the bye week after scoring a 20-6 victory over a Tennessee Titans team that had to turn to Zach Mettenberger at quarterback. They were absolutely shameful three weeks ago as they fell behind 41-0 to the Miami Dolphins at the half, on the way to a 44-26 defeat.
Everybody knows how much talent the Texans have, but they are underachieving, and some of that is going to naturally fall at the feet of head coach Bill O’Brien, who made quite an appearance on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” with his “F-bombs” and showed a lot of indecision with his management of the quarterback position. Originally he had given the job to Brian Hoyer, but then did an about-face and switched to Ryan Mallett, who has since been released for missing a team flight. Hoyer has actually done a credible job, with 13 touchdown passes and only three interceptions.
What a lot of people probably didn’t expect was an All-Pro year out of Andy Dalton, because he was the guy who was considered a limitation on what Cincinnati could do. They don’t feel that way now. Dalton is at 8.6 yards an attempt, which at the very least indicates that he is putting his receivers in a position to get past the chains when they catch the ball. The 18-4 ratio of touchdowns to interceptions is a great improvement upon what he has done in the past, and he’s only been sacked eleven times.
His top receiver, as most BetAnySports patrons know, is AJ Green, who has hauled in 50 passes. Houston has capable cornerbacks to handle the task of dealing with Green, so this could be an interesting battle out there, as Johnathan Joseph and/or rookie Kevin Johnson try to keep him under wraps. But Dalton has his own superb tight end in Tyler Eifert, who has caught nine of his scoring passes.
The running game has the potential to be absolute dynamite. Giovanni Bernard, who could accurately be referred to as the “lightning” part of the duo, has certainly done his part, with a sizzling 5.6-yard average. He has gotten more carries than expected because Jeremy Hill, the “thunder” of the combo, if you will, has not gotten completely untracked. Hill has scored five touchdowns, but is only averaging 3.3 yards a carry. To put this in perspective, last year he posted an average of 5.1. So you could say there is something of an upside there. The Houston defensive line, which features JJ Watt but has otherwise been disappointing, has to step in order to keep this game tight.
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