The Cincinnati Bengals lost a heartbreaker against the Packers last week, but a game against the winless Lions presents a prime opportunity to get back in the win column quickly. The Lions are no strangers to heartbreak themselves, having lost two of their last three games on last-second field goals.
Let’s take a look at the NFL betting lines for the Bengals (-3.5) vs. Lions. At first glance, this looks like a short spread for a Bengals team that went toe-to-toe with the NFC North-leading Packers. Read on to find out why the Lions might be able to cover the spread in Week 6.
Detroit Has Covered the Spread in Three Games in 2021
The Detroit Lions are 0-5, but they’re 3-2 against the spread in 2021. Detroit covered against the 49ers (-8.5), Ravens (-3), and Vikings (-10).
The Lions failed to cover the spread against the Packers and Bears, but those were both road games for Detroit. The Lions are now desperate for a win and playing at home, two factors that would make me think twice about blindly betting on Cincinnati in this matchup.
Lions quarterback Jared Goff may not have any wins on his resume this season, but he hasn’t been a disaster. Goff has thrown for multiple touchdowns in three of five games this year and has completed 66% of his passes.
Cincinnati Has a Long List of Injury Issues
It will be interesting to see how often Bengals running back Joe Mixon can practice this week. He was listed as questionable going into the Week 5 matchup against the Packers but did end up playing. However, Mixon only carried the ball ten times, and backup RB Samaje Perine got more touches throughout the game.
Now, Perine has tested positive for COVID-19, and his status is up in the air for Sunday. If both Mixon and Perine are unable to go, the Bengals would have to turn to third-string RB Chris Evans. Evans is a rookie out of Michigan who hasn’t had a single rushing attempt all season.
The Bengals injury troubles don’t stop there. Starting cornerback Trae Waynes was placed on the IR after suffering a hamstring injury against the Packers. It may seem like the Bengals should be favored by more than three and a half points against Detroit, but the injury issues are affecting this spread.
Predicting the Cincinnati Bengals’ Winning Margin Against the Lions
The Cincinnati Bengals have a potent passing attack led by breakout star Ja’Marr Chase, but they have question marks surrounding every other aspect of the team. The offensive line has given up 14 sacks in five games, the pass defense has injury issues, and the running back situation is a complete unknown at this point. If Mixon can go on Sunday, I’d be more comfortable backing the Bengals.
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