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Cincinnati Bengals vs. Green Bay Packers Point Spread - Pick

Cincinnati Bengals (0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS) vs. Green Bay Packers (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
Week 3 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, September 24, 2017 at 4:25PM EST
Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin
TV: CBS

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: CIN +9/GB -9
Over/Under Total: 44.5

The Cincinnati Bengals come into Lambeau Field on Sunday to face the Green Bay Packers in week three NFL action. This is a tough spot for a Bengals team that fell completely flat in weeks one and two. On Thursday Night Football at home, the Bengals lost 13-9 to the Houston Texans and need something good to happen quick before the season starts to look like a lost cause. It won't be easy against a Packers team that looks to right the ship after a rough Sunday Night Football loss to the Falcons, 34-23. And being back at Lambeau should help the Packers poke their heads above .500 at 2-1.

There seems to be a bad storyline developing for the Bengals. Last season, a lot of bad things happened to result in a long season for the Bengals, whose 6-9-1 mark broke a string of five straight playoff appearances. This season was supposed to result in a comeback for the Bengals, with better health and improved playmaking designed to give the team a push. Now, it's one thing for changes to take a while to materialize or for teams to simply hit their stride, but through two weeks, it hasn't happened for the Bengals.

In fact, they might be bottoming out. On one hand, it's just the first two weeks of the season. At any other point in the season when a team has a bad two-game window, it might not be the end of the world. We realize the first two games of the season could paint a faulty image and you don't want to take it all too much to heart. At the same time, for this Bengals team to start the season this way indicates there is something majorly wrong. They caught a break by opening their first two games at home. For them to lose both games is one thing. For them to not even be able to score a touchdown in two games with the guys they have on offense is just a systemic failure of this franchise where heads really should be rolling. And that happened with offensive coordinator Ken Zampese got the boot a day after the MNF stink-a-roo and a combined three field goals of scoring in two games.

Say what you will about guys like QB Andy Dalton and AJ Green, but when you have running backs like Jeremy Hill, Gio Bernard, and Joe Mixon, along with Tyler Eifert, a top draft pick in John Ross and his 4.2 forty-time, you have to score a TD at home in your first two games. Granted, Baltimore and Houston are good defensive teams. Still, there is no excuse for such impotence on offense. We see overly-conservative playcalling, an offensive line that looks to have regressed considerably, and Marvin Lewis on the sideline with a look on his face that hardly inspires confidence.

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Suffice to say that Cincinnati's defense is the best part of the team. Allowing just 33 combined points in their first two games while the offense hangs them out to dry is an impressive feat. They got Pacman Jones back at corner and with Dre Kirkpatrick, George Iloka, and Shawn Williams, the secondary is tough. The middle will get a charge when Vontaze Burfict returns, though they are getting good play from young Nick Vigil and Vincent Rey. And that line can really wreak havoc with guys like Carlos Dunlap and freak-of-nature Geno Atkins, who had two sacks on Thursday and had a number of eye-popping plays, as the huge defensive tackle moves incredibly well for a big man his size. Alas, the Bengals will need to provide offense if they want this side of the ball to resonate.

It just wasn't the Packers night on Sunday in a moderately-disappointing loss to the Falcons. Teams opening a new stadium can be a tough spot, especially when it's the defending conference champion. The Falcons appear to have the Packers' number, with two non-competitive wins going back to last season's playoff. The 34-23 loss wasn't even that close, with the Packers thoroughly dismantled. They played the game without their starting tackles Bryan Bulaga and David Bakhtiari. Jordy Nelson also went down after a quad injury. Injuries are adding up and Randall Cobb and DT Mike Daniels also had to leave the game. They hope they won't not have all these guys for this game.

Aaron Rodgers had 343 yards, but not a good 343 yards, with a lot of it coming late with matters already pretty much decided. When the game was on the line early, the offense wasn't very mobile and the issues on the offensive line were evident. Ty Montgomery ran in a score and caught a TD pass, with Davante Adams having a nice game with 99 yards and a touchdown. TE Martellus Bennett had five catches, but it was not a vintage Green Bay performance. Expect better at home this week.

The Green Bay defense was pretty solid in week one, giving up 9 points to the Seahawks, but things got out of hand pretty early for the Packers on Sunday night in allowing 17 second-quarter points to the Falcons. In the middle, Blake Martinez and Clay Matthews had good games. But the front was really vulnerable against the run and really felt the loss of Daniels in the middle. All in all, it wasn't as bad as it looked, with Atlanta also scoring on defense. The secondary continues to look pretty good and held Matt Ryan to a reasonable 252 yards and just one touchdown. Safety play from Morgan Burnett and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix continues to be a strength.

You have to figure the Bengals can't possibly be as bad as shown in weeks one and two. While it's very realistic that the Bengals have lost their edge and are squarely toward the back of the pack in the conference after a prolonged run of playoff seasons, they probably aren't among the absolute worst teams. After a loss on Sunday, Green Bay won't be easy to upset on Sunday, as they don't want to go into a funk and have to make up for it later as they did last season. At the same time, it might be the right time in the season to take them as nearly double-digit favorites. Without an over-abundance of hope, I'm taking a shot on the Bengals this week.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Cincinnati Bengals plus 9 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Bengals vs. Packers game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 100% sign-up bonus!

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