This Monday will be the last Monday Night Football game of the season, and it should be a good one. The 11-3 Cincinnati Bengals take on the 10-4 Denver Broncos. Both teams are in first place in their respective AFC divisions. The only thing is, both teams’ star QB’s will not be playing; Andy Dalton for the Bengals, and Peyton Manning for the Broncos (Manning is listed is doubtful, Dalton is out).
Denver will be at home, and they are a 4 point favorite. They are -185 with the money line, and the Bengals are +160. The over/under is a low one at 40 points. The ESPN Football Power Index has Denver winning this game with a 53.9% chance. This is an interesting game for Denver because if they win, they will have roughly a 75% chance to earn a first round bye, but if they lose, they will have about a 25% chance to miss the playoffs entirely. I think Denver can hold up without Manning much better than Cincy can hold up without Dalton, so I think Denver wins this game and by more than 4 points.
Being at home a loss would be more devastating to them, so those are some other reasons I think they come out with a big win. But then again, Denver lost to Oakland at home, and are coming off 2 losses in a row. In the three wins before those two losses, one win was in OT and the other win was by just 2 points. It’s worth noting that the Bengals are 7-0 against the spread as the away team and 3-0 ATS as the underdog, and 11-2-1 overall ATS.