Bengals vs. Colts Total Pick

October 18, 1:00 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
CIN +7.5/IND -7.5
45.5ov -115

Just when everyone started believing that QB Joe Burrow and the Bengals offense were moving in the right direction, the Baltimore Ravens delivered a dose of reality last week in the form of a 27-3 shellacking. The most recent No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft had all of the markings of a rookie quarterback in week 5. Burrow held onto the ball too long, causing seven sacks, threw an interception, and fumbled the ball away as the Bengals offense that exploded in Week 4 was held to just 3 points. As Cincinnati looks to regroup, they will encounter another extremely difficult match-up this Sunday when they face the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

For those unaware, the Indianapolis Colts own the NFL's No. 1 rated defense in terms of total yards by a wide margin. The Colts have given up just 236 yards per game, which leads 2nd place Pittsburgh by 54 yards per game on average. Defensive end Justin Houston is among the league's best at applying pressure to opposing quarterbacks. Not to mention, the secondary is loaded with talent with cornerback Xavier Rhodes, and a Colts pass defense that has allowed just 159 yards per game through the air. By all stretches of the imagination, this match-up should be more difficult for Cincinnati that they faced last week in Baltimore, and that is reason to throw red flags at this 9.5 point betting line.

QB Phillip Rivers continues to struggle

I know the Bengals offense will be looking forward to a rebound opportunity this week, especially Joe Burrow, who has publicly held himself to high standards. Despite the tough defensive match-up for the Bengals offense, there are reasons to be concerned if you are planning to back the Colts this week. Like Cincinnati, the Colts have struggled on the offensive side of the ball as well. After riding on the coattails of the defense in wins against the Jets and Bears, things finally backfired in week 5 in an ugly 32-23 loss to the Browns. QB Phillip Rivers had a disastrous performance completing just 21 of 33 passing for 243 yards with two interceptions.

Honestly, the stat line does not tell the entire story because one of Rivers' interceptions was a pick-six, and he also took an avoidable safety, which were critical moments in their loss to the Browns. Despite the defenses success combined with capable talents on offense in the form of RB Jonathan Taylor, WR T.Y Hilton, and others, this offense has been severely limited by the play of the veteran quarterback who has perceptually lost all of his arm strength. For this week's match-up, the Bengals are not exactly what I would call a good defense against the pass, but they are not exactly bad either. The good news is that Rivers does not have to be great this week for Indianapolis to rebound in a big way. The Bengals have been awful against the run, and that will play into the Colts' strength of featuring a heavy dose of Jonathan Taylor to set the tone on offense.

Bengals vs. Colts Betting Trends

  • Cincinnati is 4-1-1 ATS in their last six games
  • Cincinnati is 0-14-1 SU in their last 15 games on the road
  • Cincinnati has hit the "over" in si x of the last nine games
  • Indianapolis has hit the "under" in five of the last seven games
  • Indianapolis is just 2-4 SU in their last six meetings against Cincinnati

Bengals vs. Colts Prediction 10/18/20

If I had any confidence the Bengals could rebound in a strong way, I would likely back the Bengals in this spot, getting nearly double-digit points against a limited Colts offense. However, I don't see many paths to the Bengals rebounding here. Cincinnati's offensive line is horrible. They have failed to open holes for running back Joe Mixon, and they have been awful in pass protection as well. Both of these facets are strengths for the Colts defense, and I expect this to be another somber afternoon for Bengals fans. For that reason, I would favor the Colts and the points if I had to pick the side. However, I believe the best value for both struggling offenses is the under 45.5 against the total. Even if Cincinnati performs better than expected, there are several paths to keep this game under the listed total, which is the best probable play for this match-up.
Free Pick: 
Take the Under 45.5