The Cincinnati Bengals will head on the road to battle the Carolina Panthers in an inter-conference battle Sunday afternoon from Bank of America Stadium. The Bengals recorded a 34-23 home win over the Ravens last week, and the Panthers dropped a 31-24 road decision to the Falcons in their previous action. This marks the first meeting between these two teams since the 2014 season in a game that ended in a 37-37 tie.
Dalton Shines in Bengals Second Straight Win
The Cincinnati Bengals will aim for their third straight win in this one after Andy Dalton fuelled a 34-23 home win against the Ravens last week. Dalton was stellar, collecting 265 passing yards with four touchdowns. The 30-year old QB has been outstanding through two games, throwing for 508 yards with a dazzling 6:1 TD to INT ratio. The Bengals win came at a cost as RB Joe Mixon injured his knee and will miss 2-4 weeks. Veteran RB Giovani Bernard will see a majority of the action in Mixon’s absence. Both A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd are enjoying a strong start. Green has notched 161 receiving yards, and Boyd has 117 receiving yards which included 91 yards last week. The Bengals offense is off to a promising start, scoring 34 points in both games against the Colts and a strong Ravens defense.
The Cincinnati defense did allow 425 total yards last week, including 376 passing yards from Joe Flacco. They will need to tighten up defensively this week. The Bengals rush defense has been outstanding through two games, ranking fourth in the NFL. Defensive tackle Geno Atkins has already made three sacks this season, and the Bengals have six sacks as a team through two games. Dre Kirkpatrick is questionable for this one with a leg injury, and Vontaze Burfict is still serving a four-game suspension. The Bengals have allowed an average of 23 points through two games, placing them 17th overall.
Panthers Come Up Short in Valiant Effort from Newton
The Carolina Panthers will be on the prowl for their second win of the season after falling 31-24 to rival Atlanta last week. Cam Newton was tremendous, accumulating 335 passing yards with three TD’s, and he added 42 rushing yards. The 29-year old dual-threat QB has played well through two games, recording 496 passing yards with a 3:1 TD to INT ratio, and he has rushed for 100 yards. Watch for Christian McCaffrey in this one as he is very active in the Panthers offense. He rushed for 37 yards against Atlanta, and he also made 14 catches for 102 yards. The 22-year old running back has now tallied 87 rushing yards, and he leads his team with 147 receiving yards. Devin Funchess recorded 77 receiving yards against Atlanta last week, and he has 118 yards through two games. Greg Olson is dealing with a foot injury and he will be out of action for over one month. The Panthers running game has been their biggest strength offensively, and they are averaging 20 points through two games.
The Carolina defense had no answer for Matt Ryan and the Falcons high octane offense last week, squandering 442 total yards. The Panthers secondary did look vulnerable at times against Atlanta after a terrific performance against Dallas in their season opener. They will be challenged by a strong Bengals passing game in this one. Carolina is allowing an average of 19.5 points, placing them eighth in the NFL.
The Carolina Panthers are:
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games.
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up loss.
- 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 30 points in their previous game.
The Cincinnati Bengals are:
- 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games against the Panthers.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I am taking the Panthers with this small spread on their home field. The Bengals pass defense has been shaky, allowing an average of 332 passing yards in two games. Cam Newton just accumulated 335 passing yards with three TD’s against Atlanta, and I expect him to have a strong game. Furthermore, the Panthers pass defense has been sharp, ranking seventh in the NFL through two games, giving me confidence they can contain Andy Dalton and A.J Green. In addition, the Bengals defense has yet to be challenged by a strong running game, and Christian McCaffrey is averaging a solid 4.8 yards per carry this season, and Cam Newton is averaging 5.6 yards per rush.
Prediction: Carolina Panthers -3
Full-Game Total Pick
I am opting with the over in this contest. The Bengals have been involved in two high-scoring battles this season, and they managed 34 points in both games. While I don’t expect 34 points from Cincinnati, they should do their fair share of damage against a Panthers defense that was shaky at times against Atlanta, plus the over is 4-0 in their last four games following a straight up win. The Bengals will be without Vontaze Burfict again this week which will effect their defense, plus Carolina was able to notch 439 total yards against Atlanta last week. The over is 7-2-1 in the Panthers last 10 home games against a team with a winning road record, and I expect the over to convert again in this one.
Prediction: Over 43.5
Full-Game Prop Bet
The over on the Panthers team total is a solid play. The Bengals have been charged with 106 yards worth of defensive penalties, marking the highest total of any team in the NFL. The Bengals defense also ranks down at 27th in the NFL with an average of 402 total yards against through two games. I expect Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey to both come through with a big afternoon.
Prediction: Panthers Team Total: Over 23.5
Half-Time Side Pick
Carolina on the halftime line is also a strong play. The Bengals have allowed an average of 15 points in the first half through two games, and they have allowed more yards in the first half this season. In addition, the Panthers defense has been solid, holding their opponents to an average of only 8.5 points in the first half.
Prediction: Carolina Panthers -1.5
Half-Time Total Bet
I am staying with the over on the halftime total. The Panthers have scored an average of 10 points in the first half through two games, and I expect an even higher output against a Bengals defense playing without Vontaze Burfict. In addition, Carolina allowed 17 points in the first half against the Falcons last week, and the Bengals offense is in a rhythm.
Prediction: Over 22
Half-Time Prop Prediction
I am taking the Panthers to score first in the form of a touchdown. Carolina shutout the Cowboys in the first quarter in week one, and they limited a potent Falcons offense to only three points in the first quarter in Atlanta last week. I am confident the Panthers strong defense can come through with a few early stops, and give Newton and the Panthers offense a chance to find the end zone.
Prediction: First Score: Carolina Touchdown +200