Take the Bengals on the road in battle of 'Hard Knocks' teams
John BoellJohn Boell
Boell has worked in the Newsday sports department in various
BENGALS (6-2) at DOLPHINS (3-4), 8:25 p.m.
Line: Bengals by 21/2; O/U: 43
TV:NFL Radio: WFAN (660, 101.9)
I wonder what Liev Schreiber is doing tonight? Maybe if he isn't too busy, Schreiber, the actor and voice of HBO's "Hard Knocks" series, can stop in Miami to call Thursday night's game between Cincinnati and Miami, the two most recent "Hard Knocks" teams. (I bet the NFL Network's usual commentators -- Brad Nessler and Mike Mayock -- wouldn't mind a night off, right?)
The Bengals (6-2) were showcased this past summer and also in 2009, and Miami was the "Hard Knocks" club in 2012.
Miami (3-4) led New England on Sunday by 14 points at halftime before allowing 24 straight points en route to a crushing 10-point AFC East loss. Cincinnati was impressive in a 40-point pounding of the Jets. (Wait, did Marvin Jones just catch another TD pass? He only had four against Gang Green on Sunday.) The Bengals are looking very much like a team I predicted in the preseason to reach the AFC Championship Game.
It's possible that Cincy could be due for a letdown after that victory, plus they travel to the Sunshine State on a short week. But the Bengals -- with the NFL's fifth-best "D" in points allowed per game (18.0) -- are 12-4-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last 17 games overall, and 18-8-1 ATS in their 27 games following a victory.
Miami is 5-2 ATS in its last seven home games. However, the Fins are 1-4 ATS in their last five games vs. a winning team, and 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall. They haven't won a game since Sept. 22. Finally, the road team has covered six of the seven Thursday games this season. Make it seven for eight.
The pick: Bengals