The Atlanta Falcons (1-0) and Cincinnati Bengals (1-0) are set to do battle on Sunday, September 14th in Week 2 NFL non-conference action. The Falcons have won three straight in this series, including a 39-32 shootout in their most recent meeting at home in 2010.
The Falcons are coming off a thrilling 37-34 overtime victory over the New Orleans Saints. They got a 51-yard field goal from Matt Bryant at the buzzer to force OT, and then after a Saints’ turnover, Bryant kicked the game-winning 52-yarder. The Bengals blew a 15-0 lead on the road to the Ravens, but rallied for a 23-16 victory thanks to a 77-yard touchdown catch by A.J. Green.
This contest inside Paul Brown Stadium is scheduled to kick off at 1:00 EST Sunday afternoon with CBS providing the television coverage. If you are looking to bet on this game, then you will be working with a line of Cincinnati -5.5 over Atlanta and a total set of 48.5 points.
My Early Lean: Falcons +5.5
The Bengals are getting a little too much respect here due to their dominance at home last season. They have never had one of the best home-field advantages in the league, and they still do not despite last year’s aberration. Even though they won in Baltimore last week, I still don’t believe this team is as good as they were a year ago. They lost offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, and those changes will have a negative impact on this team as the season goes on.
I really wasn’t all that impressed with the Bengals last week as they beat up on a Ravens team that just isn’t that good anymore. They really didn’t outplay them either as their defense was torched for 420 total yards by a Ravens offense that was without Ray Rice. The Bengals had to settle for five field goals offensively, and their only touchdown was that fluky bomb to Green that won the game for them.
Atlanta, on the other hand, was mighty impressive against New Orleans. It torched a Saints’ defense that finished 4th in the league last year in total defense. Matt Ryan threw for a career-high 448 yards and three touchdowns as the Falcons racked up a whopping 568 yards of total offense in the win. Steven Jackson even looked good running the ball as they amassed 123 yards on the ground. It’s amazing what this offense can do with a healthy Julio Jones and Roddy White, but Devin Hester and Harry Douglas are underrated playmakers as well.
Matt Ryan threw for a career-high 448 yards and three touchdowns as the Falcons racked up a whopping 568 yards of total offense in the win.
The Falcons are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 road games after allowing 450 or more total yards in their previous game. Plays on underdogs or pick (ATLANTA) – bad team from last season who won only 25% to 40% of their games are 46-13 (78%) ATS over the last five seasons. This team is way undervalued off last year’s 4-12 disaster, while the Bengals are overvalued after winning 11 games a year ago.