The hard part of the New England Patriots' 2019 regular season schedule is over, and now they finish up with three very winnable games.
The final road game of the regular season for the Patriots is Sunday afternoon against the Cincinnati Bengals, and as expected, oddsmakers like the defending Super Bowl champions to cruise to an easy win.
New England is 9.5-point favorites over Cincinnati in the opening odds for Week 15, according to the betting lines at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas. It's a pretty large spread given the Patriots' struggles offensively, which continued Sunday in a 23-16 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium.
The Patriots typically are a smart bet against the spread each season, but their ATS record in 2019 is a mediocre 7-6. The Bengals are 5-7-1 ATS but 1-4-1 at home.
New England still has a lot to play for over the final three weeks of the season. The Patriots are unlikely to reclaim the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoff race, but they still control their own destiny in the battle for the No. 2 seed and the playoff bye that comes with it. New England's margin for error is pretty slim, though, as it leads the Chiefs by only one game for second place in the conference.
The Bengals, meanwhile, would be better served losing to the Patriots and thus increasing their odds at landing the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Cincinnati enters Sunday with a league-worst 1-12 record.
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