Cincinnati Bengals at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Raymond James Stadium – Tampa Bay, Florida
Sunday, November 30, 2014, 1:00 pm Eastern, TV: CBS, NFL Sunday Ticket
Opening Line: Cincinnati -4 (-105)
Current Line: Cincinnati -3 1/2 (-105)
Opening Total: 44
Current Total: 44 1/2
Opening Money Line: Bengals -200 / Buccaneers +170
Current Money Line: Bengals -180 / Buccaneers +160
The 7-3-1 Cincinnati Bengals lead the AFC South by a half game over the other three teams in the division who are all 7-4. The Bengals would currently be the #3 seed in the AFC playoffs, but they have little margin for error as 9 teams are jumbled together for likely 4 spots in the AFC. Cincinnati travels to the 2-9 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday. Despite being one of the worst teams in football, the Buccaneers are only 2 games out of first place in the atrocious NFC South where 4-7 leads the division.
Tampa Bay has won all four meetings against Cincinnati since 2001, including 24-21 in Cincinnati in 2010. The Bengals are making their first trip to Tampa since 2006.
Cincinnati is coached by Marvin Lewis. The Bengals tied the Carolina Panthers 37-37 at home. Cincinnati has road losses at the New England Patriots 43-17 and Indianapolis Colts 27-0, plus a home loss to the Cleveland Browns 24-3. The Bengals have won 4 of their last 5 games including 2 straight. Cincinnati has home wins over the Atlanta Falcons 24-10, Tennessee Titans 33-7, Baltimore Ravens 27-24 and the Jacksonville Jaguars 33-23, and on the road against the Ravens 23-16, New Orleans Saints 27-10 and last week at the Houston Texans 22-13. Cincinnati is 6-4-1 ATS and the total is 4-7 this season. The Bengals were a 3 point underdog against the Texans and the total was 44.5.
Tampa Bay is coached by Lovie Smith. The Buccaneers have road wins at the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24 and Washington Redskins 27-7. Tampa Bay has lost 6 or their last 7 games. The Buccs have home losses to the Carolina Panthers 20-14, St. Louis Rams 19-17, Ravens 48-17, Minnesota Vikings 19-13 in overtime, and Falcons 27-17, along with road losses at the Falcons 56-14, Saints 37-31 in overtime, Browns 22-17, and last week at the Chicago Bears 21-13. Tampa Bay is 4-7 ATS and the total is 4-7 this season. The Buccaneers were 4 point underdogs at the Bears and the total was 47.
Cincinnati is outscoring teams 22-21 this season. The Bengals are averaging 349 yards per game on offense including 223 passing and 126 rushing yards per game. Cincinnati is #8 in rushing. The Bengals are allowing 373 yards per game on defense including 244 passing and 130 rushing yards. Cincinnati is #24 in total offense and #27 in rush defense. The Bengals are 63/156 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 69/171. Cincinnati has 14 sacks and has allowed 13 this season. The Bengals have allowed 2 defensive touchdowns this season. Cincinnati is +1 in turnovers.
Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton has completed 62.4% of his passes for 2,413 yards with 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, plus 42 carries for 104 yards and 2 touchdowns. Running back Jeremy Hill has 131 carries for 643 yards with 6 touchdowns, along with 17 catches for 168 yards. Giovani Bernard has 126 carries for 491 yards and 5 touchdowns, plus 24 catches for 201 yards. Bernard returned in the last game from a hip injury after missing the previous 3 games.
Receiver Mohamed Sanu has 49 catches for 719 yards and 5 touchdowns, along with 41 rushing yards and a touchdown pass. A.J. Green has 41 catches for 629 yards and 4 touchdowns. Tight end Jermaine Gresham has 42 catches for 322 yards and 2 touchdowns. Five defensive players are listed as questionable or out.
Tampa Bay is being outscored 27-19 this season. The Buccs are #27 in scoring and #29 in points allowed. The Buccaneers are averaging 318 yards per game including 234 passing and 84 rushing yards per game. The Buccaneers are #26 in passing and #29 in rushing. On defense, Tampa Bay is allowing 368 yards per game including 252 passing and 116 rushing yards. The Buccs are 55/144 on third down conversions and opponents are 67/152 on third and fourth down conversions. Tampa Bay has forced 24 sacks and allowed 32 this season. The Buccaneers are -8 in turnovers. Tampa Bay has 3 defensive touchdowns and has allowed 3 defensive/special teams touchdowns.
Tampa Bay has used two quarterbacks this season. Josh McCown started the season, but was benched in the first game against the Falcons due to a thumb injury and being ineffective. He was replaced by Mike Glennon who started six games. McCown has started the last two games. Glennon has thrown for 1,417 yards with 10 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, along with 49 rushing yards. McCown has completed 60.4% of his passes for 1,350 yards with 7 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, along with 16 carries for 92 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Running back Bobby Rainey has 93 carries for 395 yards and a touchdown, plus 31 catches for 271 yards and a receiving touchdown. Running back Doug Martin has 69 carries for 193 yards and a touchdown, along with 10 catches for 58 yards. Receiver Mike Evans has 49 catches for 849 yards and 8 touchdowns. Vincent Jackson has 48 catches for 678 yards and 2 touchdowns. Louis Murphy has 27 catches for 355 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins has 21 catches for 221 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is questionable with a back injury as are tight ends Luke Stocker (concussion) and Brandon Myers (calf.) Six defensive players are listed as questionable or out for the Buccaneers.
Cincinnati is 4-1-1 ATS against teams with losing records and after a cover, 4-1 after allowing less than 15 points, 6-2-1 in November, 3-1-1 overall, and 8-3 after allowing less than 90 rushing yards. The road team is 4-1 ATS in this series recently.
Tampa Bay is 22-8-1 ATS in November, 15-35-1 at home, 3-7 on grass, 4-10 overall, 3-8 after a straight up loss, 2-8 after gaining more than 350 total yards, 1-5 in week #13, and 1-5-1 against teams with winning road records. The Buccaneers have covered the last 4 games against the Bengals.
I am trying to figure out why the Bengals who are coming off two straight tough road wins at New Orleans and Houston are only a 3.5 point favorite in this game. I suppose it is because Andy Dalton is prominently involved, and I don’t like to trust him either because he is way too inconsistent. Still, I think the Bengals should win this game with ease.