To be honest, NFLbets knew we were placing this bet before the Red Zone got cool – but this insane run thus far into 2022 by the Falcons has us nervous enough to deep-dive into justifying our opposition to the underdog in this early game in week 7:
As you can see, the sportsbooks are going to make us sweat this one out.
NFLbets doesn’t know if NFL betting history will be weighing upon the Falcons on Sunday (we suspect it’s highly unlikely), but the numbers are not on their side. Atlanta left their closest recent comparison behind with last week’s SU win over the San Francisco 49ers: The 2018 Cleveland Browns, who got off to a stunning 2-2-1 SU/5-0 ATS start. Those Browns ultimately went 7-8-1 SU and regressed with a 5-6 ATS finish.
The only team in recent history who managed to win six straight games ATS to start the season was the 2007 New England Patriots – yep, *those* Patriots – who jumped out with an 8-0 SU/ATS run including four wins with point spreads of 14½ points or more. No one will be confusing the ’22 Falcons with the ’07 Patriots any time soon…
In a vacuum, then, what plusses do the Bengals have? Going back to last season, they’ve benefitted from about as much homefield advantage as would be statistically expected: They’re 6-5 SU/5-5-1 ATS in these games in Cincinnati and 4-3 SU/4-2-1 ATS against teams with winning records.
Since last season, the Bengals have been remarkably good for NFL bettors (and nicely bad to sportsbooks) at 14-8-1 ATS while going just 13-10 SU overal. The Bengals are also better as underdogs over the past season and a half at 6-4 SU/7-2-1 ATS. Not exactly a great sign there…
Despite the odds-defying Falcons, the best bet may actually be on the over/under: Believe it or not, the under has hit in 5 of 6 Bengals games in 2022. Unders have of course been winning steadily this season, culminating in a week 6 which saw 10 of 14 games go under, and the Bengals’ offensive line has also taken a fair share of criticism. This may not matter so much, though, against a Cincinnati D allowing 23.3 points per game and a sixth-worst 385.2 yards per game.
So in the final analysis, the Bengals may not be the most scintillating or confidence-inspiring pick this week, but we’re nevertheless advising NFL bettors to take the Cincinnati Bengals -6½ vs Atlanta and to take the over on an O/U of 47½ points.
– written by Os Davis