There has been a lot of hype surrounding the Bengals. Will they make the Super Bowl? Will they dominate in the NFL betting season and in the playoffs?
Certainly press comes at a price as the Bengals try to move ahead from the shocking loss.
The Shocking Loss
If you were told Chad Ochocinco would have 159 yards receiving and 1 touchdown, you'd probably think that the Bengals had won. Or, at the very least, they covered the spread and made your NFL handicapping skills look impressive. But this was not the case.
The Bengals had 2 costly interceptions and could not convert their 428 yards of total offense. The 87 yards on the ground, with 25 attempts (3.5 yards per rush) was also another indicator of their less-than-stellar performance. As predicted by many NFL picks, the Bengals should have taken care of business. Yet they found out what happens when too much hype meets a determined and talented team.
Wes Welker happens. He had the most impact of any receiver on the field last Sunday. "But he only had 64 yards receiving," you may say. Yes he did, and when compared to Ochocinco's 159 yards it doesn't look like much (Owens had 53 yards). But Welker had what counted - 2 touchdowns. The player that missed the Patriots' first game of the playoffs due to an injury did what matters: he out-produced and outworked everyone else. He helped his team win and impacted the game's result more than Ochocinco and Owens, perhaps the receiving corps that is most hyped in the NFL today.
The result of this much-anticipated football betting matchup worked against the press and hype surrounding the Bengals. The defensive comparison should have favored the Bengals - they have a top-5 defense and the Patriots' is old and slow; NFL handicappers are well aware of this. But the Bengals learned that hype does not equal results. If they hope to move forward, they might want to pay attention to turnovers, defense, and the little things that matter. Palmer might be able to throw for 300+ yards with Ochocinco and Owens dominating the secondary, but the Patriots have demonstrated that they'll accept that for the win.
The hyped Bengals won't be meeting an old and slow defense this time. They meet Ray Lewis and the Ravens on Sunday. Sportsbooks have this matchup at anywhere from 1.5 points to 3 points for the spread. 5Dimes has a very close spread for the Bengals (-1.5), while others such as Pinnacle Sports and BookMaker have a slightly larger NFL spread (-2.5 for the Bengals). The Greek and Bodog have the largest football spread for this matchup (-3 for the Bengals).
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Take the time to read an in-depth analysis of the Bengals and Ravens game. Stay up-to-date with SBR odds on this and other sports betting predictions on SBR to help you on Sunday.
We will see if the Bengals will fall victim to the hype of their team. Sportsbooks and odds makers still believe - and we will see if the Ravens can prove them wrong.