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Cincinnati Bengals vs. Tennessee Titans Point Spread - Pick

Cincinnati Bengals (3-5 SU, 3-5 ATS) vs. Tennessee Titans (5-3 SU, 3-4-1 ATS)
Week 10 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, November 12, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee
TV: Fox

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: CIN +5.5/TEN -5.5
Over/Under Total: 40.5

The Cincinnati Bengals come into Nashville on Sunday to take on the Tennessee Titans in week 10 action. Cincinnati is coming off a tough loss last week to Jacksonville, 23-7. At 3-5, they have been streaky, but really need a positive outcome this week if they have hopes of salvaging the season. Tennessee, meanwhile, is riding high after winning their third game in a row on Sunday, beating the Baltimore Ravens, 23-20. At 5-3, they are looking to take another step forward this week.

The Bengals started the season looking awful in losing three straight games. Two straight wins and three in their next four offered some promise, but their ineptitude on Sunday suggested anything but a team looking to put bad things behind them and take this season by the horns. The defense, as usual, was respectable, but unable to carry the weight of an offense that is stuck in the mud and not able to get the most out of their considerable playmakers.

Granted, the Cincy offensive line has regressed and it's hard to get much going when no one is blocking up-front. Still, they extract frighteningly little out of their offense at times. They have Joe Mixon, Gio Bernard, and Jeremy Hill and could manage only 29 yards against the Jaguars on the ground. Andy Dalton completed ten passes on the day for 136 yards. They already canned their offensive coordinator. And losing AJ Green early to an ejection didn't help, but there is enough talent on this side of the ball to at least be semi-respectable, even with a dodgy line. And as it stands, they just might be the worst offense in football and for that there really is no excuse.

It's nice that the Bengals have a good defense. It keeps them in some games and makes it so you can't completely overlook them from week-to-week. But you need to score points in this league and a good defense only matters if your offense isn't a laughingstock with seemingly no spirit. This defense could even be special if not left on the field and given no support on the other side of the ball. This season, Dre Kilpatrick, Adam Jones, George Iloka, and Shawn Williams have been effective against the opposing aerial attack. Up-front, Carlos Dunlap, Geno Atkins, and Michael Johnson make up the best part of the team—the defensive line. They can take over games. Despite 23 points allowed to the Jags, 7 of those were on a punt return. They allowed just one touchdown on the day and have been pretty good this season overall.

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Tennessee didn't have an easy time of it on Sunday coming off the bye to beat the Ravens, 23-20. After building up a 16-6 halftime lead, the Titans were a bit sleepy to start the second half, with the Ravens pushing the envelope late and making it a struggle. A Marcus Mariota TD pass to Eric Decker was big, with Baltimore adding a late TD to make it look closer than it was. After losing consecutive games to Houston and Miami to fall to 2-3, it looked like the Titans' formula for success wouldn't take hold this season, but they have bounced back nicely. They run the heck out of the ball and have a defense that can be stout and make a lot of plays. That alone can win a lot of games in this league.

The Tennessee offense started well on Sunday, quickly taking a 10-3 lead. They didn't run the ball with their normal flair, though Derrick Henry ran for a score. DeMarco Murray was again hurt and held to very little on the day. They finally used CB Adoree Jackson on offense, as he ran the ball for 20 yards. Mariota was good with 2 TD throws, one to Decker and the other to Rishard Matthews. TE Delanie Walker looks good after being banged-up and had 71 yards receiving. They are trying to work talented Corey Davis into the mix and he had a couple nice catches last week. It's a balanced offense and one that should get better as guys get healthier and youngsters get more-acclimated.

The defense was really big for the Titans on Sunday, as they have been in recent weeks. Jurrell Casey and Derrick Morgan got after the quarterback. The Baltimore run was held in check and though Joe Flacco did throw for 261 yards, it took 52 passing attempts to do it. Second-year safety Kevin Byard has been huge and with two picks on Sunday, he has five in the last two weeks. Linebacker Wesley Woodyard was all over the field on Sunday. This hasn't always been the stoutest defense this season, but they've gotten better in that regard against the pass and run, while making an abundance of plays that go a long way to helping out the overall team effort.

With a bye week, followed by two home games, Tennessee is nice and dug in at home. The Bengals are in a tough spot, smack in the middle of a run of 4 road tests in five games. Cincinnati has the defense to give a Tennessee offense a lot of trouble. But the overall team effort just isn't there and there seems to be an extreme separation on offense between potential and actual on-field results. While not crazy laying the number on the Titans, I see it as being the winning move on Sunday.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Tennessee Titans minus 5.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today by signing up and betting the Cincinnati vs. Tennessee game at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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