There was never any doubt about the importance of Peyton Manning to the Indianapolis Colts, but after opening the 2011-12 NFL season with five straight losses, the franchise is only now experiencing the reality of losing their franchise quarterback. It won’t get any easier for the Colts with a season-high three-game road trip that begins this Sunday with a sports betting visit to the Cincinnati Bengals, who find themselves within one-half game of top spot in the AFC North.
Indianapolis Colts @ Cincinnati Bengals
Sunday October 16, 2011 – 1:00 PM ET
Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
NFL Picks Lines: Cincinnati Bengals – 7
The Bengals were much better prepared for the loss of their franchise quarterback, drafting quarterback Andy Dalton in the second round of the 2011 NFL draft, one round after taking wide receiver AJ Green with the fourth overall pick. Those two have combined to play a significant role in the team’s strong start, but will need to continue to progress if Cincinnati is going to contend for a playoff spot this season.
NFL Betting Preview: Indianapolis Colts
The Colts have come very close to clinching that first win in recent weeks, but they haven’t been able to put it all together for a full 60 minutes so far. After blowing a 17-point second quarter lead against the Kansas City Chiefs in an eventual 28-24 loss, Indianapolis is still looking for that spark to get in the win column, and it will be even more difficult to get it on the road. Curtis Painter threw for 277 yards and two touchdowns against Kansas City without turning the ball over, but Indianapolis’ ground game stalled and their defense wasn’t able to hold up for the full four quarters. Chiefs’ running backs Jackie Battle and Thomas Jones combined for 174 yards rushing against the Colts, and it’s scary to think what Cincinnati running back Cedric Benson can do to them if they don’t tighten things up.
NFL Betting Preview: Cincinnati Bengals
Green played every snap of a game for the Bengals for the first time in their 30-20 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars this past weekend, but Dalton hasn’t been able to take full advantage of his potential so far. Green has caught 24 receptions for 402 yards and three touchdowns, and could become one of the league’s best playmakers with more consistency. Running back Cedric Benson has averaged four yards per carry and it will really help the development of the passing game if he can remain a threat. Cincinnati’s defense ranks in the top-10 against both the run and the pass, and have a chance to head in to their NFL bye week two games above .500. Bet on NFL and receive up to 100% in Bonuses.
NFL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick
The Bengals’ defense has bounced back after a rough season a year ago, and that has allowed a young offense to progress to the point where they are not a liability. Dalton and Green have both showed progress, and with Benson back in the lineup, Cincinnati should be determined and focused to clinch a big victory before their bye.
NFL Betting Pick: Cincinnati Bengals - 7
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