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Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Bengals vs. Titans (11/27/2022)

By Ace Margolis
November 23, 2022
Photo by: Andy Lyons - Getty Images

Cincinnati Bengals vs Tennessee Titans (11/27/2022 – 1:00 pm EDT)

Line: Cincinnati -1.5
O/U: 42.5

Cincinnati Bengals vs Tennessee Titans

It’s a big-time AFC tilt on Sunday afternoon for this Week 12 matchup as the Cincinnati Bengals head down to Nashville to take on the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. The Bengals are coming off a close 37-30 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road whereas the Titans went into Green Bay last Thursday night and handed the Packers a 27-17 loss. This is their first game against each other since Cincy’s 19-16 win over the Titans in the 2021 NFL Divisional Round playoffs.

Cincinnati Bengals Analysis

For a team that is the defending AFC champions, the Bengals have not had a season one would have expected after 10 games where they’re sitting at 6-4 and in second place behind the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North division. On that note, one could attribute that record to a very inconsistent start to the season as opposed to their recent play, which has been good. The Bengals have gone 7-3 against the spread on the year and 4-6 versus the over/under.

Cincy doesn’t have a better record because their season thus far has indeed been a tale of two different teams with the first five games telling a completely different story than the last five. For example, the Bengals would open up the season with two losses to underdogs in the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys before two consecutive wins over the New Jets and Miami Dolphins. This was followed by a loss to the Ravens making the Bengals 2-3 over their first five games of the season. Fast forward to now and Cincy has won four of their last five and looks to have momentum with consecutive wins over Carolina and Pittsburgh.

One issue all season for the Bengals has been a mediocre defense that gives up 117.1 yards on the ground to opposing offenses, which is 17th in the league. Their offense is what makes the team succeed as they put up 26.3 points a contest, good for third in the NFL, while Joe Burrow helps the passing game average 271.4 yards through the air, fourth overall. A downside to the Bengals’ offense is a running game that only manages to get 95.1 yards per game, which puts them at 28th overall.

Tennessee Titans Analysis

With experts picking teams such as Tampa Bay, Kansas City, and Buffalo as favorites to go far this season, the Titans have again slipped under everyone’s radar and gone 7-3 over their first 10 games, putting them atop the AFC South. That also puts them in a four-way tie for the second-best record in the AFC with the aforementioned Buffalo, Baltimore, and Miami. Tennessee has done wonderfully against the spread this season at 8-2 although they haven’t been as strong against the over/under, going 3-7.

It’s easy to see why so many people overlooked the Titans after they lost their first two games of the season, a one-point loss to the New York Giants to open the year followed by a 41-7 thumping at home by Buffalo. Now consider that the Titans have only lost one game since that loss and have now won seven of their last eight games including an impressive road win last week in Green Bay. In fact, their only loss since Week 2 was a 20-17 road loss to the Chiefs, holders of the AFC’s best record at 8-2. One critical reason for the Titans’ success this year has been their 4-2 record away from home.

Whereas the Bengals’ offense is what makes them go, for the Titans, it’s their stifling run defense that holds opposing running backfields to a mere 82.2 yards a game, good for second in the NFL. Oddly, they’re the polar opposite when it comes to containing quarterbacks because they’re yielding 266.8 yards through the air per contest, the worst in the league. On offense, everything runs through Derrick Henry who leads a rushing attack that grinds out 128.9 yards a game, 11th-best overall, while Tennessee’s 11 turnovers also rank 11th.

Free Pick – Over 42.5

This is a hard game to like in terms of the spread with both teams playing well as of late, especially the Titans who are 3-1 at home compared to a Bengals team that is only 3-3 on the road. That being said, Tennessee has the worst passing defense in the league whereas Cincy ranks right around the middle in most defensive categories although they did give up 30 points last week to Pittsburgh’s inept offense. The Titans don’t throw much but Henry and the running game should push the ball down the field enough to get the Titans at least three touchdowns. Joe Burrow shouldn’t have an issue tossing the ball downfield against Tennessee’s defense either, giving Cincy plenty of opportunities to punch the ball in. This game may come down to the last possession this weekend. We’re taking over 42.5.

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