Patriots Bengals Week 1 Game Prediction OVER

The NFL season opens up with a great matchup between a pair of 2009 division winners, as the New England Patriots host the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium. Article courtesy of Bill Frankham of {URL=http://www.Predictem.com}Predictem.com {/URL} Patriots Bengals Point Spread: Bengals +4/Patriots -4 | Patriots Bengals Over/Under: 45 | {URL=http://www.oddsshark.com/Stats/Matchup/Football/NFL/9156}Matchup Report{/URL} Both teams have high hopes once again this season. The Bengals added future Hall of Fame wide receiver Terrell Owens to their team to complement Chad Ochocinco. The Bengals became more of a running team last season behind a stellar campaign from Cedric Benson, but they will have plenty of ammo in their passing game this season with Carson Palmer being able to throw to Ochocinco, Owens, rookie tight end Jermaine Gresham and rookie wide receiver Jordan Shipley.

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The Patriots always have plenty of ammo in their passing game with Tom Brady at quarterback and Randy Moss and Wes Welker at wide receiver. Welker tore his ACL and MCL last season and is able to play but is still recovering, so it’s yet to be seen how healthy he will be in Week 1. Last season, Brady threw for 4,398 yards, 28 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Welker had 123 receptions, one of the highest totals in a single season in NFL history, for 1,348 yards and four touchdowns. Moss had 83 receptions for 1,264 yards and 13 touchdowns. Laurence Maroney led the team in rushing with 757 yards and nine touchdowns. Last season, Palmer threw for 3,094 yards, 21 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Ochocinco had 72 receptions for 1,047 yards and nine touchdowns. Benson ran for 1,251 yards and six touchdowns. Owens had a down year as a member of the Buffalo Bills last season with just 55 receptions for 829 yards and five touchdowns. With all of those talented players on the field together this season, the Bengals offense should be very explosive and tough to stop. The Patriots have to score points to beat the Bengals. They can’t rely on their defense to win the game because the Bengals can beat teams on the ground or through the air just as easily. The Patriots offense is all about the passing game. The Bengals have some good defensive backs with Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall, but it’s very tough to shut down Brady, Moss and Welker. They have to get good pressure on Brady to make him feel uncomfortable.

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If he has all day, he’s going to find his receivers for big plays. On the other side, if the Pats shut down Benson, Palmer and his receivers can still burn the Pats defense. It should be an offensive shootout, but we’ll see if either defense comes to play. Both teams were 10-6 last season. The Bengals scored 305 points and allowed 291 points, while the Patriots scored 427 points and allowed 285 points. Last season, the Bengals were seventh in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game with 98.3, while the Patriots were 13th in the league with 110.5 rushing yards allowed per game. The Bengals were sixth in the league last season in passing yards allowed per game with 203.1, while the Patriots were 12th in the league with 209.7 passing yards allowed per game. The Patriots were 8-0 at home last season. The last time these teams met was on October 1, 2007 when the Patriots won the game 34-13 in Cincinnati. The Bengals are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 September games and 1-5 ATS in their last six games against AFC opponents. The Bengals failed to cover in seven of their last eight games last season. The under is 4-1 in the last five Bengals games in Week 1. The over is 10-3 in the last 13 Patriots games in Week 1. The road team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings between these two teams. Bill Frankham’s Pick: Putting points on the board will not be a problem for the Patriots this season. Keeping the points off the board will be. Starting QB Tom Brady received extended playing time in the preseason and he appears to already be in mid-season form. The Patriots are very vulnerable against the pass with their starting cornerbacks Darius Butler and rookie Devin McCourty having a combined 5 career starts. Bengals QB C. Palmer didn’t light it up in preseason, but it would be a surprise if Carson couldn’t exploit New England’s secondary with standout wide receivers Ochocinco and Owens. While I could make a case for taking the Bengals in this match-up, the betting value is definitely with the total. Take the OVER 45. Bio: Bill Frankham has been successfully handicapping the NFL for the past 10 years. He’s been an integral part of the Predictem football handicapping team for the last two seasons. You can check out his free weekly NFL picks and the rest of the staff prognosticators by {URL=http://www.Predictem.com/NFL}clicking here.{/URL}