The Cincinnati Bengals were a team that almost every sharp bettor in Las Vegas held a ticket on to go UNDER 7 ½ season wins. After losing their fifth game of the year on Nov. 4 to the Denver Broncos, they looked to be well on their way to at least nine losses on the season with eight games remaining.
But since that Broncos game, the Bengals have busted out with a vengeance. They shocked bettors and the rest of the league with a dominant 31-13 home win over the Giants and have since won the last two weeks against the Chiefs and Raiders pushing their record to 6-5 with five games remaining. The two-team parlay with the Bengals covering the spread to the UNDER has hit the last three weeks.
There is no doubt about it, the Bengals are hot, and bettors have reacted to it. When the LVH Super Book posted the Chargers as three-point home favorites against the Bengals, it didn’t take long for the game to be pick ’em by Monday. And before long, the Bengals were 1 ½-point favorites, which is where the line currently sits.
However, the move on the Bengals isn’t just about them playing well, it’s about the Chargers looking awful. The Chargers have lost three in a row and six of their last seven games. They found a new way to lose last week giving up a desperation dump-off 4th and 29 play to the Ravens that allowed them to eventually tie and win the game.
November has typically been the month when Norv Turner saves his job, and it looked like we might be seeing some of the same this year when the Chargers ended a three game slide with a win against the Chiefs, but it’s been all downhill from there.
Here’s a look at some of the other moves of the week:
-- The big news Saturday morning was the suicide of Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, who shot himself at the Chiefs practice facilities with coaches trying to talk him out of it. The question here is whether or not the game will be played. As far as we know, the Panthers are still on their way and the NFL hasn’t given any hint that the game will be cancelled. Several sports books took the game off the board with a few still dealing the game until final word is given. The Panthers had opened as three-point favorites and were bet up to -3.5 through Friday.
-- The Packers opened as 10-point home favorites against the Vikings Sunday night before getting blasted 38-10 by the Giants. The LVH reopened the game at -9.5 and Vikings money pushed the game all the way down to -7.5, where it’s been bouncing around on and off -8 for the past few days.
-- The Cardinals have lost seven games in a row after starting out 4-0, which is good enough to make bettors believe in the Jets this week. The Jets opened as 3-point home favorites and have been bet up to -5.
-- The Lions have won only one of their four games this season by more than four points, yet they opened as 4 ½-point home favorites against a scrappy Colts squad. Bettors thought the number was too light and bet the Lions up to -5.5. Good luck with that one.
-- Despite the Jaguars showing drastic improvements offensively the past two weeks with Chad Henne at quarterback, bettors bet the Bills up from 6-point home favorites to -6 ½.
-- The Patriots opened as 7-point favorites at Miami and hasn’t moved. But the total has, from 51 to 51.5. The Patriots have gone OVER the total in their past nine games after going UNDER in their first two. The Patriots to OVER two-team parlay combination has hit in three of the past four weeks.
-- The Texans opened as 5 ½-point road favorites at Tennessee and have been bet up to -6.5, despite looking very sluggish defensively in their past two games, allowing 68 points combined to the Jaguars and Lions.
-- The game of the week looks to be the Broncos and Buccaneers, where Denver opened as a 7-point favorite and has stood still. The total has been bet up from 50 ½ to 51. The Broncos have gone OVER the total in five of their last games while the Bucs just had their seven-game OVER streak stopped last week against the Falcons, by four points.
-- No Ben Roethlisberger means Charlie Batch, which has taken this game -- almost always -3 or -3 ½ -- all the way to Ravens as 7 ½-point home favorites. The Steelers offense has typically been able to roll well when Big Ben is out, but five turnovers last week gave the Browns short fields to work with against the Steelers defense. Batch looked very rusty and was off target all game.
-- The Browns are a 1 ½-point favorite at Oakland and the line hasn’t moved. Can’t remember when the last time Cleveland was laying points on the road.
-- The Cowboys were posted as 7 ½-point home favorites over the Eagles on Sunday night. Bettors actually bet the Eagles pushing the game to 7. But after the Eagles loss on Monday night, the LVH reopened the Cowboys as 9-point favorites on Tuesday morning and were quickly bet to -10. They are currently -10.5. The Eagles will be without offensive weapons Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson. The Cowboys have been over a touchdown favorite twice this season and failed to cover each time.