Monday Night Football Preview
Monday Night Football Preview
Monday Night Football Preview
By Josh Jacobs
The unpredictable nature of betting preseason football is already in full swing as Week 1 has just about come and gone. Monday Night will mark an end to the beginning of preseason action when the media crazed Packers will look to defend its territory against the visiting Bengals.
In the already 15 games that have graced the first week of scheduling, underdogs have cashed major dollars at the counter with an 11-2-2 against the spread performance and an 8-7 straight up record. As for totals, a mere mortal 8-7 tally on the ‘over’ hasn’t been a clear cut trend for gamblers to rest their hat on.
We’re now left with a busy Green Bay team, who despite volleying heavy artillery between itself and estranged ex-quarterback Brett Farve will look to get signal caller Aaron Rodgers prepped for a long regular season ahead.
Right off the bat, Bodog.com has listed the Packers as three-point home favorites, with a heft total sitting at 36.
Historically, preseason contests which have had a total installed at 36 points have gone ‘under’ 21 times out of 38 games. Diving deeper we can uncover that home team favorites have notched a 16-15 record on the ‘over’, home dogs have been a much more successful 6-1 on the ‘under’ and the most recent trend has witnessed these exhibition games going 5-1 on the ‘over’ in the last six.
With a Green Bay team that’s been outscored 96-33 in its last three preseason outings (total of 43 points scored per contest), we can come to the conclusion that coach Mike McCarthy and company define their purpose of what these four rehearsal games mean; nothing more then practice. Further evidence rests in McCarthy’s 3-5 SU and ATS preseason report during his two-year tenure with the organization.
Switching sidelines, Cincinnati has emerged as “sharp” play, indicated by a strong 7-2 SU record in the last nine preseason meetings. Talk about how coaches manage to plug and play for these exhibition games is an important factor, but Bengals sideline general Marvin Lewis’ 10-10 SU and 11-9 ATS resume during August contests doesn’t do much for trendy bettors.
As mentioned in this writer’s past two articles breaking down this year’s NFL contests, knowledge of depth charts past the starting lineup is half the battle. Cincinnati might be without star wide out Chad Johnson on Monday, but a QB rotation placing lefty Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jeff Rowe and Jordan Palmer (yes, little brother to starting signal caller Carson Palmer) front and center should be an interesting angle to watch play out in itself.
And tagging a 36-point total – highest on the board this week – to this contest has fans and bettors wondering if either team’s defense will decide to show up. We all know that the Packers have been a sucker for allowing top heavy scoring (indicated in the beginning of this preview) but can the Bengals’ secondary cause passing problems. Minus Green Bay’s Rogers taking snaps during the first quarter, rookie slingers Brian Brohm and Matt Flynn could prove to be unpredictable to say the least. Let’s just say that these two young guns will be on a short leash if the managerial group feels a more seasoned backup for Rogers should be the route to go.
The health of the Packers’ defensive squad can also be looked upon as a contributing factor to the high 36-point total. Cornerback Al Harris (back), defensive tackles Ryan Pickett (hamstring) and Johnny Jolly (hip) were missing from Saturday practice drills. On offense, center Scott Wells (back), new found glory running back Ryan Grant (hamstring) and wide receiver Greg Jennings where also sidelined on Saturday. Sure these are all starters that would have probably received the most minimal of playing time, but it’s just another angle for Cincinnati to capitalize on early in the game.
Some more numbers for food for thought: Green Bay coach McCarthy is 2-0 ATS as a favorite, the Packers are a historical 11-14 ATS in Game 1’s and 2-5 ATS in their last seven Game 1’s. The Bengals are 13-12 ATS in their past Game 1’s and have registered a perfect 2-0 ATS record in their last Game 1’s.
As of the1996 preseason, home teams are an unforgiving 11-19-2 ATS on Monday night, have seen the ‘over’ go 18-13-1 with the ‘over’ hitting a hot 10-5-1 run in the last 16 Monday night games. Home favorites have been an awful 8-16-1 ATS (4-9 ATS in the last 13), while the ‘over’ has been an acceptable 15-9-1 during Monday night preseason games.
Game time is slated to begin at 8:00 p.m. EDT with ESPN providing full coverage.
Re: Monday Night Football Preview
Cincinnati Bengals - QB Rotation: Carson Palmer (10-15 plays), Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jeff Rowe, Jordan Palmer.
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said when asked how long Palmer would play, "We've generally gone between 10 and 15, 12, those numbers of snaps."
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh is sidelined with a minor hamstring problem.
New defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer takes over and said the team will stay with a four-lineman base.
Rookies DT Pat Sims of Auburn in the third round and Jason Shirley of Fresno State in the fifth will get a lot of playing time Monday.
Secondary young: CB Leon Hall, starting free safety Marvin White, backup strong safety Chinedum Ndukwe and CB David Jones are starting their second NFL seasons. Jonathon Joseph is beginning his third, as are potential backup safeties Herana-Daze Jones and John Busing. Former Canadian League star Kyries Hebert, 27, is a first-year NFL player.
Attempting to bolster their league-worst 4.9-yard average on punt returns last season, the Bengals will use cornerback Deltha O'Neal, wide receiver Antonio Chatman and rookie tailback James Johnson in the role Monday night.
Green Bay Packers - QB Rotation: Aaron Rodgers, rookie Brian Brohm, Matt Flynn.
Running Backs thin.
Defensive line health is a concern. Nose tackle Daniel Muir was the latest defensive tackle to go down, leaving the team pretty thin going into its exhibition opener against Cincinnati. There are four defensive tackles out and two defensive ends. The tackles are Muir, Ryan Pickett (hamstring), Johnny Jolly (hip flexor) and Justin Harrell (back). The ends are Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (knee) and Jeremy Thompson (neck stinger).
With those six out, Cullen Jenkins spent most of the day at defensive tackle instead of his customary right end spot. Alfred Malone and Conrad Bolston, a pair of free agents fighting to make the team, shared snaps inside with Jenkins and Colin Cole. Malone and Bolston are going to have to play a lot. "I'd just like to see those guys get healthy," HC Mike McCarthy said.
CINCINNATI (1 - 3) at GREEN BAY (2 - 2) - 8/11/2008, 8:00 PM
There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.
Head-to-Head Series History
CINCINNATI is 1-0 against the spread versus GREEN BAY over the last 3 seasons
CINCINNATI is 1-0 straight up against GREEN BAY over the last 3 seasons
1 of 1 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
Cincinnati at Green Bay, 8:00 ET ESPN
Cincinnati: 3-0 ATS as underdog
Green Bay: 1-5 ATS vs. AFC
Re: Monday Night Football Preview
Monday Night Preview
Cincy vs. Green Bay
The Bengals take the field for the first time along with the Packers this season. The Bengals will still have Chad and TJ (last year of his contract) for now and note that Chris Henry is no long with the team. The reason why this team was so horrible last year was their lack of defense as the offense was fine - but of course that had to do with injuries and frankly there is a discipline problem with this team. Rudi Johnson returns for this team and newbie Kenny Watson looks to fill his role. This team tried to address their lack of defense last year with a first roud draft pick of Keith Rivers from USC and took Jerome Sampson given the questions of wide receiver that this team had, this team also took Andrew Caldwell at receiver and Pat Sims from Auburn as a DT. This team was horrible on the road last year, but were only 3-5 ATS, this team was 27th last year on total yards in defense, 26th in yards per game and 24th in the league giving up 24.1 points per game. The Packers had the best ATS record in the NFL last year finishing 13-3 and nearly went to the Super Bowl mind you if the road freight train known as the Giants did not steam roll double-digit road victories in a row. The coaching for the Pack continues to be solid, they are extremely tough at Lambeau and note that Rodgers is a decent quarterback, I just think he will do decent in short passes but as soon as it becomes 3rd and long, his accuracy past 10 yards is generally questionable at best, even in college, his deep throwing has always been shaky. Their cornerbacks are solid on both ends and the Pack defense is still extremely solid, I think this team likely finishes 11-5 this year while the Bengals possibly finish around 7-9 or 8-8. Of course, after tonight, I will add to the preview given their play.
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