Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#311 New England Patriots -9 vs.
#312 Cincinnati Bengals 40
Sunday, December 15, 2019 at 1:00pm EST
Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati
Written by Nick Raffoul

Stats

Back

Teams
Logo
W/L
ATS
O/U
PPG
OPPG
#311 New England
#312 Cincinnati
10-3
1-12
7-6
5-7-1
4-9
4-8-1
25
15
12
24

More

This article covers a past game!

View upcoming games.

The New England Patriots will travel to Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday afternoon for their Week 15 contest against the lowly Cincinnati Bengals.

With the Bills right on their heels, the Patriots find themselves in a precarious position heading into the final three weeks of the regular season. At 10-3, New England is virtually a lock to make the playoffs but they took a step back in the race for the No. 2-seed in the AFC last week. Thanks to their loss to the Chiefs, Kansas City now owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over New England. If the two teams end the season with the season record, the Patriots will be forced to play in the AFC Wild Card game. Meanwhile, the Bengals have a firm grip on the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft with a 1-12 record through the first 14 weeks. Can the Bengals do the impossible and pull off an upset over a Patriots team that has underwhelmed in recent weeks?

It’s been a weird week for the Patriots, who were caught videotaping the Bengals sideline last week. It’s interesting to wonder why the 10-3 Patriots would need an edge to win against a 1-12 football team. While Belicheck ultimately denied involvement in last week’s scandal, he has left a trail of suspicion hanging over arguably the NFL’s greatest dynasty. According to Pro Football Talk, the video focused on the Bengals sideline for eight minutes. Paul Dehner J.r of The Athletic reported that the video gives “a direct view of the sideline as players run on and off the field and coaches make signals for plays.” It’s just another distraction for the Patriots, who are set up for a bit of a trap game this week in Cincinnati. New England needs to win out to clinch the No. 2 seed with the only real obstacle coming next week in a divisional battle against the Buffalo Bills, who took the Patriots to the brink in a 16-10 Week 4 loss.

It feels like the Bengals have been tanking since the opening week and that’s good news considering the incoming quarterback class. Andy Dalton recently led the Bengals to their first win of the season but his time has passed in Cincinnati. With the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Cincinnati will get its shot at a franchise quarterback or a generational edge rusher (Chase Young). LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is the midst of a record-setting season and is shaping up to be the clear-cut No. 1 quarterback in the draft. Burrow is projected to be the top pick but keep an eye on Young, whose stock has been steadily rising over the past year. It wouldn’t be the first time that a team opted for a defensive player over a dynamic offensive talent (Mario Williams, Reggie Bush in 2006) with the first overall pick.

Edelman finds himself on injury report after Chiefs loss

The Patriots came up short against a potential AFC playoff team for the second straight time last week, losing at home 23-16 versus the Kansas City Chiefs. Tom Brady threw for only 169 yards with one touchdown and one interception while Julian Edelman caught eight balls for 95 yards and a score. New England’s recent struggles on offense continued against the Chiefs, as the Patriots totaled just 278 yards of total offense and went 2-for-12 on third down.

Edelman was seen limping on the sidelines during the fourth quarter and was promptly held out of practice this week for “load management purposes”. Losing their top receiving target would be a major blow for an offense that has averaged just 19.0 points per game over their past five contests while going 2-3 during that span. Brady has also been victimized by dropped passes in 2019. His normally-reliable receiving corps have dropped the second-most passes in the league (20) this season and Edelman leads the NFL in dropped passes with eight.

As for Spygate 2.0, Roger Goodell won’t rush to any conclusions until the Patriots probe is complete, according to ESPN. New England remains one game ahead of the Buffalo Bills in the AFC East with an impending matchup against them coming up next week.

Mixon trending up for hapless Bengals

Running back Joe Mixon put his best foot forward following a brief benching on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. The 2017 second-round pick was pulled from the contest after he was flagged from an unnecessary roughness penalty midway through the first quarter.

Upon re-entering the game, Mixon responded by running for 146 yards and a touchdown while catching three balls for 40 yards in a 27-19 loss. Andy Dalton threw for 262 yards and an interception while Cincinnati’s defense gave up 451 yards of total offense on the day.

Like many of his teammates, it has been a tough year for Mixon, who is averaging only 3.8 yards per carry this season. However, he’s been trending up in recent weeks. The Bengals’ running back is creeping up on the 1,000-yard mark with 789 yards for the season and he’s scored all three of his touchdowns over the last four weeks.

The Bengals got some encouraging news this week when 2019 first-round pick Jonah Williams was cleared to practice. Williams has spent the entire season on the PUP list while recovering from a shoulder injury but should give the Bengals’ offensive line a boost once he returns to the field.

Meanwhile, injured wide receiver AJ Green did not practice on Wednesday and remains day-to-day, per head coach Zac Taylor. After spending eight weeks on IR, John Ross also landed back on the injury report with a foot injury.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

This game just has a weird feel to it, especially with the Patriots admitting to taping the Bengals sidelines last week. It would be a little suspicious to see New England come out and [predictably] dominate the Bengals, though that’s what just about every football fan in America expects to happen. There’s one problem though: the Patriots offense has averaged just 19.0 points per game over their last five games. Edelman landed on the injury report and they are suddenly thin at wide receiver, which has made life tougher on Brady in the pocket. If the Bengals can stumble into a couple of scores, they should be able to cover the spread in this matchup with the playoff-bound Pats on Sunday.

Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals +9.5

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:

Rating:

These two teams have gone over the projected total in six of their last eight meetings and that trend has a good chance of continuing here. This game is only pegged for 41.5 points, which seems like a modest total. The Bengals have scored less than 10 points just one time this season and they’ve moved the ball better with Dalton back under center over the past two weeks. Meanwhile, the Bengals defense ranks 28th in weighted defense and 30th in DVOA. Take this game to go over the projected total on Sunday.

Prediction: Over 41.5
Loading...

Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.