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Cincinnati Bengals vs. Los Angeles Chargers Prediction,
Preview,
and Odds - 12-9-2018

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Game Snapshot with Current Line

#125 Cincinnati
Bengals 48
#126 Los Angeles
Chargers -14

Sunday, December 9, 2018 at 4:05pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

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Cincinnati takes on the LA Chargers on Sunday afternoon from the StubHub Center at 4pmET. The Bengals have lost four straight and six of seven games. The Chargers have won two straight and are coming off a 33-30 come-from-behind road win over Pittsburgh.

Time to move on

Last week, Jeff Driskel threw for 236 yards with one TD and a pick (lost fumble) in Cincinnati’s 24-10 home loss to Denver. With Andy Dalton (thumb) out for the season, the Bengals can take a long look at the 6-4, 233-pound quarterback from Louisiana Tech who has been used this season in some wildcat situations and does have two rushing touchdowns. He also had 239 yards passing coming into the Broncos game.

Cincinnati also lost star WR A.J. Green in that game in a non-contact injury, which is usually not a good thing. Green suffered a torn ligament in his left toe and is out for the season. The Bengals also allowed 218 yards on the ground against Denver, including 157 and two TDs from rookie Phillip Lindsay.

This season has gone South quickly after the Bengals were 5-3, leading the AFC North after edging Tampa Bay, 37-34 on Oct. 28. Injuries have been a key part to hamper a struggling defense but the Bengals lack of offensive production hasn’t helped. Running back Joe Mixon has been one of the few bright spots on offense this season with 755 yards on the ground and five scores along with 33 receptions for 256 yards.

On the season, Cincinnati is averaging 331.5 yards per game (26th), 236.5 passing yards (18th) and 95 rushing yards (28th). They allow 433.1 yards per game (32nd), 279.8 passing yards (31st) and 153.3 rushing yards (32nd).

What a comeback!

The Chargers were down, 23-7 at the half to Pittsburgh and the percentages said that this game was over. That’s because the Steelers had NEVER blown a 16-point lead at home. But Philip Rivers and company chipped at the lead, which began with a 10-yard TD from Rivers to Keenan Allen with 1:43 left in the third quarter and a two-point conversion. That was followed by a 73-yard punt return for a touchdown from Desmond King early in the fourth quarter to put the Chargers up 23-21. The Steelers would tie the game with 4:10 left but Rivers drove the Chargers down the field and after several attempts due to penalties, Michael Bagley nailed a 29-yard field go for the winner.

Rivers threw for 299 yards and two TDs, while running back Justin Jackson led the way with 63 yards. Allen had a fantastic game with 14 catches for 148 yards and a score.

Los Angeles can clinch a playoff berth with a win here at home. They may have to win it without star running back Melvin Gordon, who has a Grade 2 MCL sprain and missed last week against Pittsburgh. He’s considered questionable and the Chargers would miss his presence, as he’s rushed for 802 yards and nine TDs along with 44 catches for 453 yards and four TDs. Austin Eckeler (430 yds. rushing, 376 receiving) and Jackson can carry the load temporarily.

Rivers is having another banner season with 3,418 yards with 28 TDs and six picks, while Allen has 83 catches for 996 yards and five scores.

On the season, the Chargers average 399.4 yards per game of total offense (5th), 274.2 passing yards (8th) and 125.2 rushing yards (10th). Defensively, they are allowing 334.9 yards per game (8th), 230.9 yards per game in the air (10th) and 104 on the ground (11th).

Updated on Dec 9 at 3:05am EST

Update prepared by our editoral staff

Public Money / Line Movements

The Chargers have gone from -14.5 to -15 while getting 63% of the tickets. Some Sharp money may be helping out this line a bit.

Injury / Weather Report

No Weather Issues Are Expected

Cincinnati’s Impact Injury Report

LB Vontaze Burfict (31 Tackles), OT Cordy Glenn (10 Starts), and DB Dre Kirkpatrick (37 Tackles) are all out.

Los Angeles Impact Injury Report

DT Brandon Mebane (32 Tackles) is Doubtful

RB Melvin Gordon (802 Yards, Nine TD) is out.

The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

That’s a lot of points to lay but the Bengals are bad right now. The Chargers took care of bad teams lately, crushing Arizona by 35 and Oakland, 20-6 on the road. Cincinnati can’t stop anybody and they lost their best playmaker on offense in Green. The Chargers are playing for the playoffs and AFC West, while the Bengals are basically playing for pride and jobs. They lost to Denver at home by 14 so there’s a really good chance they lose by 20+ on the road to a slightly better team in the Chargers.

Prediction: LA Chargers -14

Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

Cincinnati allowed 35 points to Cleveland at home and 51 to New Orleans at home. They’ve gone over in four of five games and have not held a team under 24 points in their last seven games. The Chargers have gone over in two straight and allowed 30 in their last game. Sure, that was the Steelers but the Bengals still have some weapons in Mixon, John Ross, Gio Bernard and Tyler Boyd. The Bengals have gone over in five of their last six road games.

Prediction: Over 47.5

Benjamin Hayes

Ben has been a sports writer for over 30 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for over 25 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13!

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