In a non-conference matchup between two teams heading in different directions the San Francisco 49ers play host to the Cincinnati Bengals.
The 49ers are a 5.5-point favorite in this game with a total of 45.5 points. The public has backed the Bengals in this game, as they opened as a 6-point underdog and as of Thursday are a 5.5-point dog.
The Bengals (3-3) got off to a tough start this season but have rebounded to win two in a row and three of their last four games. They had a bye last week and in their last game they were at home where they beat the Seattle Seahawks 17-13. Cincy covered as a 3-point favorite and they have covered the spread in their last two games.
The 49ers (5-2) lost their second in a row in their last game in a 22-17 road loss to the Minnesota Vikings. They failed to cover the spread as a 6.5-point favorite and they have failed to cover in their last two games after doing so in three straight games.
The 49ers are banged up, as WR Deebo Samuel is out and LT Trent Richardson and QB Brock Purdy are both listed as questionable.
Defense Comes Up Huge
In their 17-13 win over the Seahawks in their last game the Bengals’ defense came up huge keeping Seattle out of the end zone twice in the last 2:08 when they were inside the Cincy 10-yard line. The Bengals red zone play and two forced interceptions were key, as they were outgained 384 yards to 214 yards.
In the Seattle win Joe Burrow passed for 185 yards with two TD and an INT, star Ja’Marr Chase led the team with 80 receiving yards, and the run game was not there with only 46 rushing yards.
Even in winning two in a row the Bengals’ offense has yet to click this season. They rank 28th in the league in scoring (16.7 ppg), 26th in passing yards per game, and second-to-last in rushing yards per game. Joe Burrow got his bag in the off-season as the highest paid player in the league. While still only ranking 26th in the league in QBR he has played well as of late with five TD and two INT in the last two games.
Lead RB Joe Mixon (366 yards 1 TD) has rushed for over 67 yards in only one game, is averaging 3.8 yards per carry on the season, and in each of the last two games has only averaged 3.2 yards per carry.
Even in the 49ers losing the last two games the defense wasn’t the issue only giving up 19 and 22 points respectively. Overall, the Bengals will be facing a San Fran D that ranks third in points against (15.6 ppg), 16th in pass defense and third in rushing defense.
Darnold May Get His Chance
2018 third overall pick Sam Darnold is on his third team and he may get his first start for the 49ers if Purdy cannot go. Purdy is going through concussion protocol and while he still ranks second in the league in QBR he has two TD and three INT in the last two games.
Christian McCaffrey (598 yards 8 TD) is a little banged up but will play and while he still leads the league in rushing yards in the last three games, he has only averaged 46.3 yards per game on 3.2 yards per carry. He did have 51 receiving yards in the last game and needs to be active out of the backfield facing the Bengals.
Leading WR Brandon Aiyuk (511 yards 2 TD) had at least 129 receiving yards in two of the first three games but in the last three games has not surpassed 76 yards.
The Bengals’ defense ranks tied for 17th in points against (21.2 ppg), 13th defending the pass, and 29thdefending the run.
The Bengals are 17-6 ATS in their last 23 road games.
The Bengals are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games as a road underdog.
The Bengals have an Under record of 3-1 in their last four games.
The 49ers have covered the spread in their last three home games as a favorite of 3.5 points or more.
The 49ers are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 home games.
The 49ers have an Over record of 7-2 in their last nine home games.