AFC Wild Card Betting Preview: Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts

2015 AFC Wild Card Playoff
Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts 

Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, Indiana
Sunday, January 4, 2015, 1:00 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
Opening Line: Indianapolis -4
Current Line: Indianapolis -3 1/2
Opening Total: 49
Current Total: 48 1/2
Opening Money Line: Colts -195 / Bengals +165
Current Money Line: Colts -185 / Bengals +160

Indianapolis is a 3 point favorite against Cincinnati in the AFC Wild Card Playoffs Sunday.
Indianapolis is a 3.5 point favorite against Cincinnati in the AFC Wild Card Playoffs Sunday.

The 11-5 Indianapolis Colts and 10-5-1 Cincinnati Bengals meet Sunday in the AFC Wild Card playoffs. The winner will travel to the  Denver Broncos next week for the Divisional playoffs, because the Baltimore Ravens beat the Pittsburgh Steelers Saturday night. The Ravens will travel to the New England Patriots.

Indianapolis won the AFC South division and is in the playoffs for the third straight season. Cincinnati is in the playoffs for the fourth straight season. The Bengals lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers last week in a battle for the AFC North division title. Cincinnati has not won a playoff game since 1990.

Since 2001, Indianapolis leads the series 6-2 against Cincinnati. The Colts won 27-0 earlier this season in week #7 in Indianapolis to snap a two game losing streak to the Bengals. This is only the second ever playoff meeting between the Colts and Bengals and first since 1970.

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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, Indianapolis Colts 27-0 and Steelers last week 27-17, plus  home losses to the Cleveland Browns 24-3 and Steelers 42-21. The Bengals have won 4 of their last 6 games with both losses coming to Pittsburgh. Cincinnati has home wins over the Atlanta Falcons 24-10, Tennessee Titans 33-7,  Baltimore Ravens 27-24, Jacksonville Jaguars 33-23, and Broncos 37-28, and on the road against the Ravens 23-16, New Orleans Saints 27-10, Houston Texans 22-13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14-13, and Browns 30-0. Cincinnati is 8-7-1 ATS and the total is 6-10 this season. The Bengals were a 3 point underdog against the Steelers  and the total was 49.

 Indianapolis is coached by Chuck Pagano. The Colts have road losses at the Denver Broncos 31-24, Pittsburgh Steelers 51-34 and Dallas Cowboys 42-7, along with home losses to the Philadelphia Eagles 30-27 and the New England Patriots 42-20. Indianapolis has  road wins at the Jacksonville Jaguars 44-17, Houston Texans 33-28, and New York Giants 40-24, Cleveland Browns 25-24, and Tennessee Titans last week 27-10 along with home wins over the Titans 41-17, Ravens 20-13, Bengals 27-0, Jaguars 23-3, Washington Redskins 49-27 and Texans 17-10 last. Indianapolis has won 5 of the last 6 games. The Colts are 10-5-1 ATS and the total is 9-7 this season. Indianapolis was a 7.5 point favorite against Tennessee and the total was 46.5.

Cincinnati is outscoring teams 23-22 this season. Cincinnati is #12 in points allowed The Bengals are averaging 348 yards per game on offense including 214 passing and 134 rushing yards per game. Cincinnati is #6 in rushing and #21 in passing. The Bengals are allowing 359 yards per game on defense including 243 passing and 116 rushing yards. Cincinnati is #20 or worse in all three categories. The Bengals are 91/224 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 89/234. Cincinnati has 20 sacks and has allowed 23 this season. The Bengals have allowed 3 defensive/special teams touchdowns this season and have one defensive touchdown of their own. Cincinnati is even in turnovers.

Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton has completed 64.2% of his passes for 3,398 yards with 19 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, plus 60 carries for 169 yards and 4 touchdowns. Running back Jeremy Hill has 222 carries for 1,124 yards with 9 touchdowns, along with 27 catches for 215 yards. Giovani Bernard has 168 carries for 680 yards and 5 touchdowns, plus 43 catches for 349 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Receiver A.J. Green has 69 catches for 1,041 yards and 6 touchdowns. He is out  with a concussion. Mohamed Sanu has 56 catches for 790 yards and 5 touchdowns, along with 51 rushing yards and a touchdown pass.  Tight end Jermaine Gresham has 62 catches for 460 yards and 5 touchdowns. He is probable with a leg injury. Four defensive players are listed as questionable or out.

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Indianapolis is outscoring teams 29-23 this season. The Colts are #6 in scoring and #19 in points allowed. Indianapolis is averaging 407 yards per game on offense including 306 passing 101 rushing yards. The Colts are #3 in total offense, #1 in passing and #22 in rushing. On defense, Indianapolis is allowing 343 yards per game including 229 passing and 113 rushing yards. The Colts are 95/232 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 71/218. Indianapolis has forced 41 sacks and allowed 29 this season. The Colts are -5 in turnovers. Indianapolis has 2 defensive touchdowns and has allowed 5 this season.

Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck has completed 61.7% of his passes for 4,761 yards with 40 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, along with 64 carries for 273 yards and 3 touchdowns. Running back Trent Richardson has 151 carries for 519 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 27 catches for 229 yards. He is probable with the flu. Ahmad Bradshaw has 90  carries for 425 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 38 catches for 300 yards and 6 touchdowns. He is out for the season with an ankle injury.  Daniel Herron has 78 carries for 351 yards and a touchdown, along with 21 catches for 173 yards.

Receiver T.Y. Hilton has 82 catches for 1,345 yards and 7 touchdowns. He is probable with a hamstring injury after missing the last two weeks.  Reggie Wayne has 64 catches for 779 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is probable with a groin injury Tight end Coby Fleener has 51 catches for 774 yards and 8 touchdowns. Tight end Dwayne Allen has  29 catches for 395 yards and 8 touchdowns. Allen is probable with a knee injury. Donte Moncrief has 3 touchdown catches and Hakeem Nicks has 4. Twenty Colts players are listed on the injury report including 7 offensive linemen and 8 defensive players.

Cincinnati is 5-1 ATS after a straight up loss, 16-7-1 on fieldturf, 9-4 after failing to cover, 2-5 after allowing less than 90 rushing yards, 0-5 in playoff games and in wild card games, and 0-4 in January. The last four games in Indianapolis in this series have gone under the total.

Indianapolis is 5-0-1 ATS against teams with winning road records, 8-1 after rushing for less than 90 yards, 6-1-1 after allowing less than 150 yards, 4-1 after gaining more than 350 total yards, 17-5-1 after allowing less than 250 total yards, 20-6-1 at home, 16-5-1 against AFC teams, 6-2-1 on fieldturf, 12-4-1 after allowing 15 points or less, 20-7-1 after passing for more than 250 yards, 8-3 after a straight up win by 14 points or more, 14-6-1 overall, 1-4-1 after a straight up win, 1-4 in playoff games, 1-5 in January, and 0-4-1 against teams with winning records. The favorite is 6-1 ATS in this series recently and the home team is 5-1 ATS. The Colts are 5-2 ATS in Indianapolis in the series recently.

I don’t fully trust either of these teams. Luck is the more consistent quarterback by far but even he will make some bad decisions. I like the Colts at home but a Bengal upset would not be surprising in what should be a high scoring game.


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