Indianapolis Colts (2-5; 3-4 ATS; 5-2 O/U) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (2-4; 3-3 ATS; 2-4 O/U)
NFL: Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 1:00pm EST
Line: Cincinnati -10
The Cincinnati Bengals will look to return to the win column when they host the Indianapolis Colts in an AFC battle Sunday afternoon from Paul Brown Stadium. The Colts are coming off a 27-0 home loss to the Jaguars, and the Bengals were handled 27-14 by the Steelers last weekend. These clubs last met in the 2015 season in a game the Colts won by a 26-10 score.
Colts Blanked by Jaguars
The Indianapolis Colts had no answer for the Jacksonville Jaguars in their abysmal 27-0 home loss last week. Jacoby Brissett was subpar, completing 22 of 37 passes for 200 yards with no touchdowns. The 23-year old quarterback has not been able to lead the Colts offense to any consistent production, notching 1409 passing yards with a 3:3 TD to INT ratio in six games. Andrew Luck continues to sit out with his shoulder injury and will not be back soon. Colts star receiver T.Y. Hilton was quiet last week, making only two catches for 27 yards. The 27-year old wide receiver has managed two huge performances this season, however, it will be tough for him to consistently put up big numbers until Luck returns. Hilton has tallied 512 receiving yards on the season. Frank Gore managed 34 rushing yards in the loss and leads the Colts with 322 rushing yards. The Colts offense is struggling without Luck and also possess a subpar running game.
The Colts defense was awful in the loss to the Jaguars last week, surrendering 518 total yards which included 330 passing yards, and they allowed Jacksonville to go 8 for 14 on third downs. Rookie safety Malik Hooker went down with a knee injury and is out for the season. The Colts have now lost two straight and sit in last place in the AFC South.
Dalton Struggles in Loss to Steelers
The Cincinnati Bengals reverted back to their early season offensive woes in their 29-14 road loss to the Steelers last week. Andy Dalton struggled, completing 17 of 30 passes for 140 yards with two touchdowns against two interceptions. The 29-year old quarterback is having an inconsistent season, registering 1360 passing yards with a 9:8 TD to INT ratio. Star receiver A.J. Green was also kept quiet, making three catches for 41 yards. Overall, the seventh-year receiver is having a solid season, ranking second in the NFL with 545 receiving yards. The Bengals did not have any success on the ground, recording only 71 yards as a team with Joe Mixon picking up 48 yards. The rookie running back is off to a decent start to his career, rushing for 235 yards. The Bengals offense was very lethargic last week, very similar to their effort in week one and two. They rank near the bottom of the NFL in many offensive categories.
The Bengals defense had a difficult time defending the Steelers last week, surrendering 420 total yards which included 152 rushing yards. They did come up clutch in the red zone however the Steelers were able to march into field goal range with ease. The Bengals pass defense has been their greatest defensive strength this season. They had their two-game winning streak snapped in the loss last week, and sit in third place in the AFC North.
The Indianapolis Colts are:
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games.
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against AFC opponents.
The Cincinnati Bengals are:
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games against a team with a losing road record.
- 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games against a team with a losing record.
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in week eight.
I am taking the Bengals in this contest. The Colts do not excel in any area offensively and defensively, and this is an ideal matchup for the Bengals to get back on track. The Bengals will be facing the worst defense in the NFL that is allowing an average of 31.7 points per game. The Colts pass defense is awful, allowing an average of 300 passing yards per game, so I expect the tandem of Dalton to Green to have a huge game. Furthermore, the Bengals defense has been solid, conceding an average of only 177 passing yards per game, so I can’t see the Colts generating a whole lot of offense.
Pick: Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals should break out offensively against the worst-ranked defense in the entire NFL. I expect A.J. Green to have his way down field, and the Bengals should pour on the points, plus the over is 4-0 in the Colts last four games due to their weak defense. The Colts won’t need to score many points to allow the over to hit as I expect a big game from the Bengals offense, and the over is 4-0 in the Colts last four games in Cincinnati.