Bengals vs. Colts Prediction
Can the Indianapolis Colts get their fire back with Andrew Luck returning to action when they host the Cincinnati Bengals today at 1PM ET?
Game Snapshot & Odds
Sunday, September 9, 2018
1PM ET – Lucas Oil Stadium
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Public Betting Trends
According to oddsmakers at BetNow.eu, the Colts are a slight favorite at home in this game, as they are getting odds of -2.5 points against the Bengals. The over/under total is listed at 48 points. The public betting for this game currently has 72 percent going on Cincinnati on the road. This information is subject to change, however, so be sure to check out our NFL Public Betting Page for updated figures on the game.
Colts welcome back their QB
The Indianapolis Colts suffered a 4-12 season last year after not having Andrew Luck due to his neck injury. The team parted ways with Chuck Pagano and hired Philly’s offensive coordinator, Frank Reich, to take over as head coach. The Colts were 8-8 against the spread and 10-6 with the under.
The Colts ranked second-to-last in the NFL in offense, averaging just 284.6 yards per game last year with 16.4 points per game. Luck’s return should help that. He threw for 4,240 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2016 when he played in 15 games. He still has his top receiver with him in T.Y. Hilton, who managed 966 yards and four scores without him in 2017. With Frank Gore gone, Indy will look for a running back by committee this year, utilizing a bunch of young players. Defensively, the Colts struggled last year as well. They allowed 25.3 points and 367.1 yards per game. They had just 25 sacks and 20 turnovers forced.
Bengals not much different
The Cincinnati Bengals had a lackluster 2017 season that saw them finish 7-9 and miss out on the playoffs for the second straight year. Marvin Lewis remains head coach, as he is in his 16th year with the Bengals despite not having won a single playoff game. Cincy was 9-7 against the spread last season and 9-7 with the under.
The Bengals had the league’s worst offense last year in yards, averaging just 280.5 per game while posting 18.1 points per contest. Andy Dalton threw for 3,320 yards and 25 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. Cincy is hoping for more from its run game. They had just 1,366 yards as a team last season. Joe Mixon underwhelmed as a rookie, rushing for 626 yards and four scores. A.J. Green still finished with 1,078 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in a down year. Defensively, Cincinnati allowed 21.8 points and 339.1 yards per game. The team still has two strong D-linemen in Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins, who combined for 16.5 sacks in 2017.
NFL Betting Trends
The Colts are just 1-9 against the spread in their last 10 season openers, but the home team has covered in four of the last five in this series.
The Bengals have covered the spread in five straight AFC games and in seven of their last 10 road games.
The Colts have reasons to be excited with Andrew Luck back on the field, but fans should temper their optimism. There is a lot of rust for Luck to shake off and he hasn’t really taken hits. The Bengals are going to hit him. Luck’s play should at least alleviate some pressure off the Indy defense and help their numbers improve. Cincinnati isn’t a team that is going to overwhelm anyone on offense, but they do have the weapons to win this game. Their defense should make this an ugly football game and I think Luck’s long absence will lead to offensive struggles for the Colts. I like the Bengals in an upset.
NFL Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals +2.5