The Cincinnati Bengals will look to bounce back from a rough Monday night performance when they host the Carolina Panthers at Paycor Stadium on Sunday.
Cincinnati (4-4) lost top wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase to a hip injury before last week’s 32-13 loss to the Cleveland Browns. Without Chase in the lineup, the Bengals struggled to move the football. Cincinnati only gained 36 yards rushing, and quarterback Joe Burrow couldn’t make up the difference with the passing game. The Bengals quarterback also threw an interception and lost a fumble.
Carolina (2-6) has played some of its best football of the season since the departures of head coach Matt Rhule, running back Christian McCaffrey and wide receiver Robbie Anderson. The Panthers scored 21 points in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Falcons before eventually losing 37-34. Quarterback P.J. Walker has turned some heads since taking over the quarterback spot. Running back D’Onta Foreman and wide receiver D.J. Moore could be legitimate pieces to build around.
Caesars Sportsbook lists the Bengals as a 7-point favorite with an over/under of 42.5.
Let’s take a closer look at the odds and trends: Carolina Panthers at Cincinnati Bengals
Time/TV: 1 p.m. ET Sunday, FOX
Point spread (from Caesars Sportsbook): Bengals -7
Money line: Panthers +270; Bengals -345
Analysis: The line opened at Bengals -9 and has steadily moved down. Cincinnati’s performance against Cleveland was worse than anyone could have expected, and there are legitimate questions if the Bengals can stay in the mix for a playoff spot until Chase returns in December. Getting Joe Mixon and the running game back on track is going to be key.
The expectations are low for Carolina, and the Panthers’ young players are trying to take advantage of the opportunity to play and show their value in the NFL. They are a dangerous team because of that. This game might be more competitive than it looked to be two or three weeks ago.
The Bengals have an 86% chance to beat the Panthers according to ESPN’s Football Power Index.
Prediction: Bengals 31, Panthers 24