Why Cincinnati Will Cover
The Bengals are coming off a bye week last week; they were one of the four teams to have their bye in the final week of off weeks this season. In their last game, Cincinnati overcame having just 10 first downs, two turnovers and 224 yards of offense to throttle Cleveland 41-20 and maintain their hold on first place in the AFC North.
Andy Dalton has completed 252 of 410 passes for 2,954 yards with 21 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions so far this season. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is the starter and leads the team with 522 yards on the ground with three touchdowns while averaging just 3.3 yards a carry so far this season. Giovani Bernard has carried the ball 105 times for 464 yards with four scores. A.J. Green leads the team in receptions with 67, going for 1,020 yards and 6 TD on the year. Jermaine Gresham has caught 33 passes for 321 yards and a score, Mohamed Sanu has caught 36 passes for 353 yards and rookie Tyler Eifert has grabbed 31 passes for 377 yards and a touchdown. Bernard has become a valuable safety valve out of the backfield with 42 receptions. Marvin Jones (30 catches, 448 yards, 7 TD) is developing into a nice third receiver. Jermaine Gresham has caught 35 passes for 348 yards and two scores.
Cincinnati is 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven in December and 4-1 ATS in their last five following a straight up win of at least 14 points. San Diego is 1-4 ATS in their last five games in week 13, 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 following an ATS win and 1-7-1 ATS in their last nine following a straight up win.
Why San Diego Will Cover
The Chargers snapped a three game losing streak last week by knocking off the Chiefs 41-38 in a shootout win on the road. San Diego seemed poised to pick up their fourth straight loss by one score or less when the Chiefs went ahead with 1:22 to play but managed to rally. Philip Rivers hit Seyi Ajirotutu on a 27 yard scoring pass with 24 seconds to play to give San Diego the win.
For the season, Philip Rivers has completed 281 of 397 passes for 3,381 yards with 22 touchdown passes and eight picks. Ryan Mathews has handled most of the running duties on the season, carrying the ball 164 times for 721 yards and three scores. Ronnie Brown has 41 carries for 142 yards and a touchdown, Rivers has added 60 yards and Danny Woodhead has 70 carries for 266 yards plus two scores while grabbing 59 receptions for 469 yards and five touchdowns. Tight end Antonio Gates has a team high 59 catches for 685 yards and three scores. Eddie Royal has 34 grabs for 484 yards and a team best seven scores while rookie Keenan Allen (50 receptions, team high 737 yards, 3 TD) and Vincent Brown (32 catches, 334 receiving yards, TD) give Rivers plenty of options to throw to. Defensively, the Chargers need to find a way to shut down the passing game of opposing teams; they rank 28th in the league, giving up an average of 276 yards per game through the air.
San Diego is 5-1 ATS in their last six against teams with a winning record and 4-1 ATS in their last five after allowing at least 350 yards in their last game. Cincinnati is 1-4 ATS in their last five against teams with a losing record, 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven road games and 0-3-1 ATS in their last four on grass.
In this one, the Bengals are looking to try and get themselves in better position for a potential first round bye in the playoffs. San Diego needs a win to keep pace with the Ravens for the last spot in the AFC playoff picture. The long trip may take a toll on the Bengals as the Chargers are going with the momentum they gained from last week’s late win. Take the Chargers in a close game. Chargers 34-31