Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#263 Cincinnati Bengals vs.
#264 Detroit Lions
Sunday, October 17, 2021 at 1:00pm EDT
Ford Field, Detroit
Written by Blake V.

Cincinnati is rarely favored to win a game, much less on the road. However, the Bengals find themselves in that situation on Sunday afternoon, where they are slight favorites to beat lowly Detroit. The Lions are winless through five weeks of the season, but four of those losses have come by single digits.

Burrow expected to play through throat injury

Cincinnati is off to a promising start in 2021, going 3-2 in its first five games. The Bengals opened the year with a 27-24 win over Minnesota in overtime before losing to Chicago by a field goal in Week 2. They responded with consecutive wins against Pittsburgh and Jacksonville. Cincinnati’s game against Green Bay turned out to be one of the wildest games of the season, as it took the Packers four tries to finally connect on a game-winning field goal. The Bengals had two chances to win the game themselves, but kicker Evan McPherson missed on both tries. Cincinnati has been able to overcome an offense that ranks No. 25 in the NFL, averaging just 333.8 yards per game.

Second-year quarterback Joe Burrow has completed 71.7% of his passes for 1,269 yards and 11 touchdowns, but he has also thrown six interceptions and been sacked 14 times. He went to the hospital after being poked in the throat last week, but he is fully expected to start this game. Rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase has been outstanding, catching 23 passes for 456 yards and five touchdowns. Wideout Tyler Boyd has added 27 grabs for 283 yards and a score. The rushing attack is led by Joe Mixon, who has 93 carries for 386 yards and three touchdowns. They will be facing a Detroit defense that is No. 22, allowing 381.8 yards per outing.

Lions unable to close deal against Minnesota

Detroit comes into this game on the heels of another frustrating loss. Outside of a 41-33 loss against San Francisco to open the year and a 35-17 loss at Green Bay in Week 2, the Lions have had several chances to win games this season. They led Baltimore 17-16 late in the fourth quarter in Week 3, but Lamar Jackson led the Ravens into field goal territory where Justin Tucker connected on the longest field goal in league history. Detroit was once again in position to win late last week, taking a 17-16 lead at Minnesota with 37 seconds remaining. The Vikings went from their own 18-yard line into Detroit territory in the final half-minute, where kicker Greg Joseph drilled a 54-yarder to win the game.

The Lions rank No. 24 offensively, averaging 339.6 yards per game. Quarterback Jared Goff has completed 66.8% of his attempts for 1,303 yards and seven touchdowns. He has thrown three interceptions and been sacked 14 times, but only one of those interceptions has come in his last three games. Running backs Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift have carried the load. Williams has rushed for 244 yards, averaging 4.4 yards per carry. Swift has added 190 rushing yards and tops the team in receiving yards (252). Tight end T.J. Hockenson has caught 24 passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns. They are going up against a Cincinnati defense that is No. 12, allowing 351.6 yards per game.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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When Detroit scans its remaining schedule, this is certainly going to be one of the games they circle. The Lions have come close to pulling off several wins this year, but they have fallen just short. Their defense has been playing great over the last three weeks, holding Lamar Jackson and the Ravens under 20 points. Cincinnati has been winning close games, which makes 3.5 points very valuable. This has been a weird week for the Bengals, as Burrow has been dealing with his throat injury. They are also coming off an emotional loss to Green Bay, so I want to fade them in this spot.

Prediction: Detroit +3.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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If I am going to take Detroit to cover, I am also going to be on the under. The Lions have gone under in their last four games, as their defense has stepped up. Cincinnati is a decent offensive team, but it is not one of the league’s best. Burrow has been dealing with an injury this week, so a slow start from him would not be surprising. The Lions are not good offensively, as Goff has failed to eclipse 300 yards in each of his last four games. They are going to keep the ball in the hands of their running backs, which is going to lead to a ticking clock.

Prediction: Under 47

Written By Blake Von Hagen , "Blake V."

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Blake is also an avid sports being expert and you would not be disappointed in following him on a daily basis. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. 
Follow on Twitter @Blake_Vonhagen