San Diego vs Cincinnati Wild Card Football Spread/Handicapping
The Chargers were the last team to qualify in the AFC and are now travelling most of the way across the country to face Cincinnati.
San Diego Chargers (9-7) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (11-5)
Sunday December 5
Paul Brown Stadium – Cincinnati, OH
Moneyline: Cincinnati -280, San Diego +255
Spread: Cincinnati -7
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The Chargers finished strong with 4 victories to close the season but the last time they lost it was to the Bengals, who beat them on the road.
That adds just a little bit more intrigue to this game where the underdog will be trying to prove the old adage that it is hard to beat the same team twice in a season.
Contoversy aside San Diego is in the playoffs, a spot they earned by winning 4 straight and 5 of 6 to close the season. Despite all that momentum though I am not sure they have much of a chance to continue winning unless they can put together a much better game than they did against Cincy to start December.
In that game they gave up too many yards on the ground and put the ball on the ground. This team is not good enough to beat a talented Cincinnati unless they play mistake free football.
This is a young team in a lot of key spots but they have a nice veteran presence in QB Philip Rivers, who wound up matching his best passing season ever with a 105.5 rating.
Usually it is tough to beat a team twice in one season but I think that will be the case on Sunday.
The Bengals may confound at times but they only lost 5 games and took advantage of subpar seasons by Baltimore and Pittsburgh to capture a division title, now they have to go out and get their first playoff victory in a while – they haven’t won since 1990, 4 straight losses.
I really like their chances to end that streak this season.
I like the mix they have in their backfield with RBs Benjarvis Green-Ellis and Gio Bernard providing move the pile and big play ability.
The Chargers lack a shutdown corner so WR A.J. Green should have a big game provided Andy Dalton steps up.
Dalton has done a nice job since entering the league in terms of guiding his team to the playoffs since coming to the league but hasn’t performed great on the big stage. This year he has more weapons than ever but he has to perform.
The defense has been strong all season which has been especially impressive considering the amount all pro talent on injured reserve.
Spread Pick: Cincinnati -7
O/U Pick: Under
Score Prediction: Cincinnati 28 – San Diego 17