The Philadelphia Eagles have already played the role of the spoiler once this year, and they are going to hope to do it for the second week in a row in NFL betting action against the Cincinnati Bengals in a crucial Week 15 tilt to start off the weekend.
The Bengals, who are 4 point favorites on Thursday night, are tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the last playoff spot in the AFC, and they are still within striking distance of the Baltimore Ravens for the top slot in the AFC North. Philly’s season is over with, but it didn’t look that way last week when it beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are in the midst of a playoff fight in the NFC. This kickoff from the City of Brotherly Love is set for 8:20 p.m. (ET).
1. Why Cincinnati will cover the spread: The Bengals will cover the spread if WR AJ Green returns to his scoring ways. Green is one of the top receivers in the league, but he has seen his production drop off quite a bit. The former Georgia Bulldog has had just 15 catches for 240 yards in his last three games, but more notable is the fact that he has been held out of the end zone in three straight games after scoring nine TDs in eight games prior to that point. More importantly, the Philly secondary has been atrocious, allowing at least 170 yards to opposing wide receivers in each of the last four weeks, including at least one touchdown to the team’s top receiver.
2. Why Philadelphia will cover the spread: The Eagles will cover the spread if QB Nick Foles plays like he did last week. We have seen flashes of brilliance out of Foles, but he has been wildly inconsistent. Last week against Tampa Bay, the rookie threw for 381 yards and two TDs without tossing a pick. The truth of the matter is that he hasn’t played poorly, and he is going to have the opportunity to make some magic against a Cincy defense seems to be overrated, ranking 10th in the league, allowing 222.5 passing yards per game.
3. Total Talk: The Bengals are working on a five game streak of ‘unders’. None of those games have topped 44 points hitting the board, and the average in those five games has been just 38.8 points per game. The Eagles, to the contrary, have played two of their last three past the number, and they have averaged 26.0 points per game over the course of the last three weeks in spite of the fact that they averaged just 15.1 points per game in their previous eight games.
4. Betting Trends for the game: It’s been all about the Bengals in this series, as they have covered eight in a row dating back to 1982 against the Eagles. They’ve got just a 4-3-1 SU record in those games though, which doesn’t necessarily bode well for this one. The Eagles are playing significantly better ball right now than they were over the course of the previous two months or so, and they have the ability to pull off the upset.
Philadelphia 24 – Cincinnati 20
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