After a fourth-quarter comeback against the New Orleans Saints on the road last Sunday, the Cincinnati Bengals return home for Week 7 of the NFL season to host the Atlanta Falcons in their first meeting since 2018.
Joe Burrow comes off just his second 300-yard passing game of the season, which coincided with Ja’Marr Chase’s second 100-yard receiving effort through six weeks. Now, Cincinnati’s offense will look to continue building momentum against an Atlanta defense that had given up the most yards through the air in the NFL entering this week.
While both teams prepare for this matchup with 3-3 records, the Falcons enter as an underdog by slightly less than a touchdown as Caesars Sportsbook currently favors the Bengals by 6.5 points and estimates the afternoon’s over/under total at 47.5.
Let’s take a closer look at the odds and trends:
Atlanta Falcons at Cincinnati Bengals
Time/TV: 1 p.m. Sunday, Fox
Point spread (from Caesars Sportsbook): Bengals -6½
Money line: Bengals -285, Falcons +228
Analysis: Atlanta has proven to be a great betting play against the spread so far at 6-0 against the spread this season, playing as underdogs in every game. They have certainly outperformed early projections behind the great game management of Marcus Mariota over the last month, and even Atlanta’s three losses have only transpired by a combined 11 points.
Cincinnati’s transcript thus far tells a similar story, although expectations at the outset of the season stood much loftier given the team’s status as defending AFC champions. The Bengals have successfully covered the spread in four straight games, and the team has yet to lose by more than a field goal.
Burrow has not quite hit the same stride yet he achieved toward the end of last season, but he does have more 300-yard passing games by now than he did at the same time a year ago, so it certainly remains possible that the best is yet to come for the reigning NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
As alluded to in the introduction, this is a prime opportunity for the Bengals’ aerial attack to have a breakout performance. The Falcons are one of only four teams that have surrendered more than 1,600 passing yards across the first six weeks, as well as one of only 11 to concede a double-digit total of touchdowns through the air. Their pass rush has also only recorded eight sacks to this point, which is the lowest total among NFL teams that have played at least six games.
While both sides have had strong recent trends against the spread, Cincinnati has had a bit more sustained success dating back to last season. Across the Bengals’ past 14 games including the playoffs, the team owns a 12-2 record ATS and only twice has failed to cover by more than a field goal since the start of last season. Thus, Burrow seems capable of safely exploiting Atlanta’s back seven on Cincinnati’s way to winning at home by at least a touchdown.
Prediction: Bengals 30, Falcons 20