Rich Hribar and Raymond Summerlin bring you their best bets every Friday of the NFL season as well as a preview of Sunday Night Football. The preview is free, but the bets can only be found in the Rotoworld Season Pass. Don’t miss out on the action.
Rich: 17-12-1 season record (last week: 3-1)
Raymond: 18-11-1 season record (last week: 1-4)
All lines taken from the VI Consensus at VegasInsider.com Friday morning.
Sunday Night Football – Bengals @ Chiefs (-6) – 58-point total
Rich: The NFL flexed this game for good reason as it has the highest game total of any Week 7 contest. The Chiefs are second in the NFL in points per game (35.8) while the Bengals rank sixth (29.0). Not only do both of these teams score buckets of points, but they have also regularly outperformed their expected total as both teams have outscored their implied team total five times this season, tied for the most in the league.
To compound potential for a shootout, both of these defenses are also among the league’s worst. Kansas City ranks 27th in the league in points allowed per game (28.7) while the Bengals rank 23rd (26.3). It’s not like these teams have faced offensive behemoths, either. The Chiefs have faced three teams that rank 16th in the league or lower in offensive scoring. The Bengals have faced just two top-10 scoring offenses on the season but have at least faced four teams in the top half of the league in scoring.
The game total is massive once again, trailing only last week’s Sunday Night game with the Chiefs and Patriots, which was 59.5 points. That line didn’t even up close as the game saw 83 combined points scored. The average Chiefs game this season has now featured 64.5 points scored, clearing this 58-point game total in four of six games. While I won’t be making it an official pick, playing the over on the game total is once again totally in play.
What I do like here is laying the points. The value has yet to be officially squeezed out of the Chiefs from the public as they’ve covered in all six games this season so far. They’ve also won by 11 and 16 points in their two games at home in Arrowhead. With those two wins, the Chiefs have now won five consecutive regular-season home games, all by double-digit points.
The Bengals have lost eight consecutive games on the road in prime time and are mind-boggling 1-16 straight up at night on the road since Marvin Lewis took over as Head Coach in 2003. Against the spread, they are 3-12-2 in those games. While I do like the Bengals Offense a good amount, I truly don’t buy that they can score with the Chiefs on the road, which is why I’m willing to give these points away.
Pick: Chiefs -6
Ray: Last week was my first rough one of the season, but I did get a win paying the over on a historically high total in a game featuring the Chiefs on Sunday night. It just so happens I have another shot at the same situation this week.
Since 2008, there have been seven games with a total of 58 or more. After it easily hit last week, the over is 6-1 in those games with four of those games blowing more than 10 points past the total. Like I wrote last week, there is not really precedent for totals this high in the NFL, and I do not believe line makers have adjusted enough to the new offensive reality.
How high should this line be, then? Probably at least 60. Chiefs games have averaged an astounding 64.5 points, and there have been 65 or more combined points in four of six. Bengals games have averaged a "measly" 55.3 points so far this season, but they hit 73 in Atlanta and have been at least in the 50s in four games. Neither team has run a ton of plays, but both have enticed other teams to play quickly against them. Cincinnati is sixth in seconds per play on defense, and the Chiefs are first. Kansas City has faced the third most plays in the league on defense, and the Bengals are right behind them at fourth. They are also first and second in passing attempts faced this season.
This should be a high-paced game featuring two good offenses and two struggling defenses. That is a recipe for an over even when the total is all the way up at 58.
Pick: Over 58
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