Cincinnati Bengals vs. Houston Texans
Two AFC teams thinking playoffs collide as the Cincinnati Bengals host the Houston Texans on Sunday. The Texans are -1 point favorites over the Bengals with an over/under point total set at 37.5.
The Cincinnati Bengals are in third place in the AFC North but even so they are in decent Wild Card positioning with a 6-4 record in the conference. The Bengals are 3-2 at home and lost last week at Pittsburgh but even so they have had a surprisingly strong year. Andy Dalton has completed 59.2 percent of his passes for 2,644 yards with 17 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Cedric Benson has rushed for 792 yards and five touchdowns as he’s averaging 3.9 yards per carry. A.J. Green has 50 catches for 832 yards and seven touchdowns, Jermaine Gresham has 40 catches, and Jerome Simpson has 36 catches. Defensively the Bengals have 31 sacks, 13 fumble recoveries, and six interceptions with a minus one turnover ratio while they allow 306.7 yards and 20.8 points per game. Reggie Nelson and Thomas Howard have 66 tackles each and Rey Maualuga has 65 tackles. With Dalton and Green being rookies and leading the offense the Bengals have leaned heavily on their defense this season.
The Houston Texans lead the AFC South and have won six games in a row. Houston has dealt with a series of injuries all season long but they continue to overcome them and have the top record in the AFC. With Matt Schaub gone for the year and Andre Johnson out again for this one the Texans will need to hold it together once again. T.J. Yates has taken over at QB where he has completed 50 percent of his passes with a touchdown and no interceptions. Arian Foster has made up for the game she missed earlier as he has rushed for 916 yards and eight touchdowns while Ben Tate has rushed for 753 yards. Owen Daniels has 44 catches, Foster has 41, and Jacoby Jones has 22. Defensively Houston has 35 sacks, eight fumble recoveries, and 17 interceptions with a plus 12 turnover ratio and they are allowing 274.1 yards and 15.8 points. Brian Cushing has 82 tackles, Glover Quin has 58 tackles, and Connor Barwin has 8.5 sacks. The Houston defense have been the difference makers for the Texans this year.
Cincinnati is 4-1-1 against the spread following a game which they didn’t cover, 0-3-1 against the spread in their last four against the AFC, and 0-3-1 against the spread following a loss of more than 14 points. Houston is 4-0-1 against the spread following a win, 3-0-1 against the spread following a cover, and 3-8 against the spread in their last 11 games as an underdog.
The total in this one is set at 37.5 and while it seems aggressively low, it probably isn’t low enough for these two defenses.