NFL Week 15 Picks: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Cincinnati Bengals at Philadelphia Eagles
Thursday, 12/13/12, 8:20 PM EST, TV:  NFL Network
Opening Point Spread:  Cincinnati -3
Current Betting Line:  Cincinnati -4.5
Opening Total:  46
Current Total:  44.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Cincinnati Bengals need Thursday’s game in a big way

Cincinnati had its four-game win streak snapped in a 20-19 setback to the Dallas Cowboys as 3.5-point home favorites last week, while going UNDER the total for the fifth straight game.  “We have the opportunity to still control our own destiny, from now until the end,” commented Bengals coach Marvin Lewis.  The Bengals remain tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the second AFC Wild Card playoff spot.  The franchise has tallied a 4-3 record when playing on Thursday, including a 1-2 mark under Lewis.  Cincinnati is 1-5 ATS on the road when the total is between 42.5 and 45 over the last two-plus seasons.

The Bengals will face a rookie quarterback for the fifth time this year, splitting the previous four such meetings.  Over the last five games, Cincinnati has risen from 20th to sixth in the NFL in fewest yards allowed per game.  The team ranks 11th against the run and 10th against the pass.  It’s also important to note that the defensive unit paces the entire league in having 42 sacks.

Philadelphia returns home after snapping a eight-game losing streak, as it comes off a 23-21 come-from-behind victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as eight-point underdogs, while going UNDER the total for the first time in three contests.  “It’s a great feeling for the team,” stated Eagles rookie quarterback Nick Foles.  “We can build off this.”  He threw for 381 yards and two touchdowns last week, but will face his toughest challenge of the season on Thursday night.  Philadelphia is 7-3 ATS in December the last two-plus seasons, which can’t be ignored when making your NFL picks against the spread.

The Eagles have won all four of their games in comeback fashion, which could make the Bengals an attractive wager when looking over the first half pro football betting odds.  Philadelphia will need to focus on stopping Cincinnati wide receiver A.J. Green, who has 1,151 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.  The offensive line is known as one of the worst units in football, which could lead to a big day for an aggressive defensive front for the Bengals.

Sports bettors will likely play the total in this affair, as the UNDER is 21-6 in the Bengals last 27 games in the month of December.

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