Welcome to Wild Card Weekend when Andy Dalton, Jeremy Hill and the Cincinnati Bengals are 4.5 point road underdogs when they take on Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton and the Indianapolis Colts.
The Bengals have had their ups and downs this season, but they have won five of their last seven games and made the playoffs for the fourth straight season. Can they exercise their playoff demons? Will there be an upset?
Bengals are 5-12 in franchise history in the playoffs & have never won a road playoff game.
— Marc Sessler (@MarcSesslerNFL) January 1, 2015
Meanwhile the Colts look to bounce back from a blowout loss at the hands of Tony Romo and the Cowboys. Indy has won five of their last six games and made the playoffs for the third straight year.
Matchup: Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts
Date: Jan. 4, 2015
Start Time: 1:05 p.m. ET
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Stadium: Lucas Oil Stadium
TV Info: CBS
Radio: Cincinnati Vs Indianapolis
Point Spread: Colts -4.5
Game Total: 49.5
Analyzing My Bengals Vs Colts AFC Wild Card ATS Upset Pick
Cincinnati will win this AFC Wild Card contest if
Andrew Luck continues to struggle.
The bottom line for Cincinnati is that they can be one of the most maddening teams in the league as they look like legitimate Super Bowl contenders one week and one of the most clueless teams around the next.
The Bengals (10-5-1 SU, 8-7-1 ATS) won their first three games of the season then dropped three straight, including a humbling 27-0 shutout loss at Indianapolis in Week 7. Along the way, Cincinnati suffered a dismal 24-3 home loss to mediocre Cleveland and a pair of double-digit losses to Pittsburgh.
Andy Dalton has thrown at least one interception in three straight games while tossing multiple interceptions a whopping five times, including three of the Bengals’ losses.
Andrew Luck did not play his best in December. Are the Bengals primed for an upset? http://t.co/PVhgXohpTM
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) January 1, 2015
If the Bengals can put some pressure on Indy quarterback Andrew Luck, that would be a big help as well, seeing as how the talented signal-caller tossed at least one pick in every Colts loss and multiple interceptions in three of those defeats.
Indianapolis will win this AFC Wild Card contest if
They can stop the Bengals rushing duo of Bernard and Hill!
The bottom line is that if the Indianapolis Colts (11-5 SU, 10-5-1 ATS) win the turnover battle – they’ll likely win this game outright. If they lose the turnover battle…well, you get the idea!
One of the ways the Colts can force a couple of turnovers is by making the Bengals one-dimensional and forcing Andy Dalton to throw more passes than Marvin Lewis would like. Dalton was harassed into a dismal 18-of-38, 126-yard outing against the Colts earlier this season and they’ll need a similar effort in this wild card matchup.
In order to accomplish this feat, the Colts will have to slow down red-hot running back Jeremy Hill with the rookie topping the 100-yard plateau in three straight games coming into this intriguing affair.
Who will win this AFC Wild Card contest?
While a whopping 61 percent of the betting public like Indianapolis to win and cover the Wild Card betting odds, I’ve got a funny feeling that Cincinnati is going to bring their collective ‘A’ game to finally get the first postseason win of the Andy Dalton era.
The Bengals have bounced back well from an SU loss recently, going 5-1 ATS in their last six games following a defeat while also going 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games following a ATS loss.
— PFTonNBCSN (@PFTonNBCSN) December 31, 2014
I know the Colts are 20-6-1 ATS in their last 27 home games, but Indianapolis is also a disappointing 1-4-1 ATS in their last six games following an SU win 0-4-1 ATS in their last five games against a team with a winning record.
I’m backing the enigmatic Cincinnati Bengals to really show up!