The Bengals get the Pats at Paul Brown Stadium as very slight home chalk and against a team that relishes the underdog role.
Point spread: Bengals opened as slight 1-point favorites; the total was 47.5. (Line updates and Matchup report)
Computer Prediction: 25.2-17.8 Patriots
Why the Patriots can cover the spread
New England hasn’t exactly been blowing teams out, but Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have the Patriots at 4-0. The defense held the Jets and Bucs to 13 total points, and Atlanta to 10 points through three quarters. On the other side of the ball, the young receivers are beginning to catch on, and RB LeGarrette Blount showed a flash of what he's capable of with a 47-yard scoring bolt Sunday night.
The Patriots ride an 11-2 SU road streak into town this week.
Why the Bengals can cover the spread
Cincy could easily be 3-1, if not for that late TD it allowed in that season-opening loss at Chicago. The Bengals showed resilience by beating the Steelers the next week, and then came from behind to beat the Packers. Last week's loss at the Browns, in which Cincy was held to six points, might rightly be considered an anomaly.
At home, they have been profitable lately, going 5-1 ATS, according to the OddsShark.com NFL database.
The OddsShark computer is predicting a 25-18 New England victory, but the Patriots were pretty “up” for Sunday night's game in Atlanta, while Cincy stunk it up in Cleveland. From a handicapping perspective, that makes the Bengals candidates for a bounce back this Sunday. Give the points and take Cincinnati.
Patriots 7-1 SU vs Bengals since 1993
Patriots 11-2 SU past 13 road games
Bengals 5-1 ATS past 6 home games