NFL Week 3 Predictions: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Washington Redskins

Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Redskins
Sunday, 9/23/12, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  Washington -3.5
Current Betting Line:  Washington -3
Opening Total:  46.5
Current Total:  49
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Cincinnati Bengals may suffer a letdown on the road after playing division opponents in the first two weeks to open up the 2012 NFL season

Cincinnati doesn’t land in the greatest of situational spots in Week 3, considering its split a pair of divisional games to start the season, coming off a 34-27 win over the Cleveland Browns as seven-point home favorites.  The Bengals have been out-gained in both of their contests this year, as the defense ranks 30th in the league in allowing 434.5 yards per game, which is far different than the 316.3 it allowed a season ago.  Cincinnati is 5-7 ATS as a road underdog, while the “under” is 11-2 in that situation.  Those two trends are important to look at when making your final pro football picks this weekend.

The Bengals have split their eight meetings with the Redskins, with each franchise going 3-1 at home.  Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton will look to build off his strong play from a week ago, finishing with 318 yards and a career best-tying three touchdowns.  Many league experts anticipate the stop unit turning things around, as defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer has never had his players surrender 400 yards in back-to-back games to start a season.

Washington was unable to pull off a 2-0 sweep on the road to start the season, as it suffered a 31-28 loss to the St. Louis Rams as 3.5-point favorites last week.  The Redskins also lost some key contributors to season-ending injuries, with linebacker Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker going on the injured reserve list.  The duo will certainly be missed in getting after the opposing team’s quarterback, as they combined for 18.5 sacks in 18 games together.  Washington is 0-2 ATS at home as favorites of seven or fewer points.

The Redskins have enjoyed solid success on the ground with quarterback Robert Griffin III and running back Alfred Morris, as they’ve combined for 309 yards and four touchdowns, but they may try to take to the air against the Bengals.  Last year’s Heisman Trophy-winning signal-caller has completed 39 of 55 passes for 526 yards this year.  He may be missing key free-agent acquisition Pierre Garcon for the second consecutive week, as the former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver is dealing with a foot injury.

Sports bettors will likely back the Redskins due to their 4-1 ATS mark following a straight-up loss, while the Bengals are 0-3-2 ATS on the road.

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