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Indianapolis Colts vs. Cincinnati Bengals Point Spread - Pick

Indianapolis Colts (2-5 SU, 3-4 ATS) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (2-4 SU, 3-3 ATS)
Week 8 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper,

Point Spread: IND +10/CIN -10
Over/Under Total: 41

The Indianapolis Colts come to Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday for a week 8 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Colts are really hurting and it got worse on Sunday with a 27-0 shutout loss at home at the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars. They had been struggling massively in the second halves of games lately, but on Sunday, it was a full four-quarter collapse. And with recent news that Andrew Luck's return is pushed back, it's hard to find the silver lining right now with the Colts. The Bengals hung in there for about a half against Pittsburgh on Sunday in a tough road game, but lost touch with the Steelers in the second half of the game. After winning two in a row and coming off the bye, they were looking to get to .500 and now look to regroup once again, now at 2-4.

Indy's recent failings aren't all QB Jacoby Brissett's fault. Even without Leonard Fournette, the Jacksonville offense pretty much had their way. And the Colts' offensive line shares a lot of the blame, with the Jaguars' defense registering an absurd ten sacks on the game. Making matters worse were injuries on both sides of the ball. Starting center Ryan Kelly left the game and didn't return, while John Simon, Malik Hooker, and Rashaan Melvin also left the game and did not return. It's starting to feel like a throwaway season for the Colts, who are likely working with a lame-duck head coach in Chuck Pagano.

The Colts' only two wins of the season are by a field goal. On Sunday, they lost by at least 14 for the fourth time of the season. Again, Jacoby Brissett is not the problem. Granted, having him as a starting QB after joining the team just before the season started was not ideal and he does struggle. But it's not like he has a cast of great weapons with which to work. Marlon Mack is an interesting talent as a rookie back, but Frank Gore is old and looking it for the most part. TY Hilton, who led the league in receiving last season, has had two big games and five crummy ones. With Donte Moncrief and others, maybe they'd be able to fashion a good aerial attack under Luck, but without him, this offense looks to be among the worst in the league. Not helping is a banged-up line that showed how hard they have fallen on Sunday.


The Indy defense hasn't been any better. In fact, they've been worse. They are giving up an average of over 300 yards per game through the air and they're almost as bad against opposing ground-games. Giving up 63 points combined in their last two games against the Titans and Jags is a pretty bad indictment, as is allowing 46 points on two other occasions this season. On Sunday, they gave up Blake Bortles' season-high in yardage by nearly 90 yards, while giving up a 100+ yard running game to TJ Yeldon. And while the Jags were all over Brissett, the Colts' defense could barely muster any pressure. Granted, they might not always play as bad as they did on Sunday, but to get shut out at home at this point in the season is a pretty troubling development for this Colts team. Injuries notwithstanding, they're not showing a lot of fight as they approach the midway point of the season. And losing promising rookie safety Malik Hooker for the season is another knock on a "D" that can ill-afford them.

The Bengals looked awful in their 0-3 start to the season, before winning two straight and putting themselves in a spot to get back to .500. But in the second half against the Steelers, the combination of Pittsburgh getting their act together and the Bengals reverting to the offensive form of their first three games made it a task a little too big for Cincy. Andy Dalton looked good in the first half, hitting Tyler Kroft and Brandon LaFell for touchdowns, but the second half was a different story, with both sides of the ball failing to keep pace. At 2-4, the Bengals are facing a must-win situation and also a telltale week. They need to be able to beat this Indy squad.

Again, the Cincy offense was decent for about a half on Sunday. They looked like they were dug in for a full four quarters of football. Then, Dalton threw two picks in the second half, as the Bengals offense managed one lousy first down in the game's final 30 minutes. They had 19 yards of offense in the final half of play. They really can't run the ball, quite a bad statement for a team with Joe Mixon, Giovani Bernard, and Jeremy Hill. The fact that they can't even manage to be average running the ball is a disgrace. And Dalton is still able to hit his receivers, but the aerial game plays with a wide range of form, even within the same game at times. Granted, the Steelers have snapped into shape the last few weeks, but after a bye and two straight wins, Sunday was a heavy letdown for the Bengals.

Defense is definitely the best part of the team for the Bengals and even they weren't very good on Sunday. Roethlisberger was able to connect with Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster, with Le'Veon Bell going off for 134 yards on the ground and another 58 through the air. They didn't make much of an impact on the game on Sunday, registering no sacks or turnovers. They were more or less just there taking up space. Maybe getting Pacman Jones (questionable) back will help. They look to make more of a splash this week at home against a down-and-out Indy offense.

Both teams are so unreliable and inconsistent that almost any result can be justified on some levels. Cincinnati has been in better form lately, but that's not saying much when compared to a spiraling Colts team that already looks to have given up on some levels. At least they did last Sunday. But laying points on the Bengals right now doesn't exactly provide a lot of comfort. And when it's ten points, that feeling is even worse. We're taking the points.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Indianapolis Colts plus 10 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Indy vs. Cincinnati game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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