Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) stands on the sidelines during an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)
The Cincinnati Bengals are 3-point home favorites over the Los Angeles Chargers in an NFL game scheduled for Sunday, December 5
LA has won the last two meetings with Cinci
The Chargers are 5-2 straight up in their past seven games at Cincinnati
The Cincinnati Bengals (AFC North) and Los Angeles Chargers (AFC West) are both one game out of first place in their respective NFL divisions. LA is also a game off the pace for one of the two AFC Wild Card playoff positions, one of which is currently held by Cincinnati.
That alone is enough to supply plenty of intrigue to this Week 13 contest. Then add in the showdown between sensational sophomore quarterbacks Joe Burrow of the Bengals and Justin Herbert of the Chargers, and this just might be the most entertaining and exciting game of the week.
Oddsmakers are going with the home team in this game. The Bengals are listing as the 3-point favorites. As a road underdog, the Chargers are 2-1 against the spread this season.
Chargers vs Bengals Odds
Los Angeles Chargers
O 49.5 (-110)
U 49.5 (-110)
Odds as of December 4th at FanDuel.
Kickoff for Sunday’s game at Paul Brown Stadium is set for 1pm ET. Cloudy skies, 6 mph wind and a temperature of 48 degrees are in the forecast.
Chargers vs Bengals Line Movement
The uncertainty of which of these teams is the legit playoff contender is evident in the fluctuations in the NFL betting trends on this game. Spread bettors are leaning toward the Bengals, placing 53% of handle and 66% of bets on Cincinnati.
Two second-year QBs fighting for an AFC playoff spot.
Will Justin Herbert or Joe Burrow have the @RocketMortgage #CompetitiveEdge on Sunday?
— NFL (@NFL) December 2, 2021
When it comes to the moneyline, the public is of two minds. They’ve placed 58% of bets on the Bengals, but 66% of the handle is backing the Chargers.
The total is the one area where bettors are solidly one board with one side of the wager. They’re putting 69% of handle and 61% of bets on the over.
Not Your Average Joe
While all eyes will be on the first NFL clash between 2020 NFL Draft first overall pick Burrow and 2020 NFL OROY Herbert, it’s another Joe who could be the difference-maker for Cinci. This game sets up to be a feast of yardage for Bengals running back Joe Mixon.
Retweet to congratulate your AFC Offensive Player of the Week, @Joe_MainMixon! #ProBowlVote + Joe Mixon pic.twitter.com/yV4YkpsMzJ
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) December 1, 2021
Mixon has rambled for 288 yards on the ground the last two weeks. He’s gone over 100 yards in both games. Mixon is averaging 4.96 yards per carry the past three weeks.
The Chargers defense is allowing 145.3 rushing yards per game. That’s the worst in the NFL and nearly 10 yards higher than any other team. It’s also why LA’s defensive unit can’t get off the field. The Chargers are tied for the fewest offensive drives in the NFL this season (111).
Get the Best NFL Week 13 Promos for All 13 Games This Weekend
Chargers vs Bengals Injury Report
For a late-season game, the injury list is a short one. The Bengals are showing center Trey Hopkins (ankle) and tackle Riley Reiff (ankle) as questionable.
Linval Joseph has been a force on the interior this season 🔥
His 85.8 Pass Rush Grade ranks 5th among all Defensive Tackles ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/c28dUbaM2V
— PFF LA Chargers (@PFF_Chargers) December 2, 2021
In the case of the Chargers, nose tackle Linval Joseph (illness) has been ruled out.
Chargers vs Bengals Betting Trends
Often when a West Coast team plays in the Eastern time zone, it’s a worst-case scenario. The Chargers, though, are 39-41 SU in their last 80 games played in the East. That’s includes a 5-2 SU slate in their last seven visits to Cincinnati. However, it’s the Bengals who are 6-1-1 ATS in the last eight games against the Chargers.
How the @Bengals zone run offense allows @Joe_MainMixon to read gaps for big gains.@NFLMatchup | @MattBowen41 | @GregCosell pic.twitter.com/PWhmd9XmCH
— NFL Films (@NFLFilms) December 3, 2021
The under is 6-0 in the last six games between these two teams. After starting the season 4-1 both SU and ATS, the Chargers have gone 2-4 SU and 1-5 ATS since.
Mixon has scored multiple touchdowns in each of the Bengals’ last three games. Cincinnati is 4-2 ATS over the last six games but 2-4 ATS in the last six home games.
Chargers vs Bengals Prediction
Everything about this game suggests that it will live up to the hype. Beyond Herbert and Burrow, LA’s Austin Ekeler and Cinci’s Mixon are two of the NFL’s most productive running backs. Bengals wideout Ja’Marr Chase is the NFL OROY favorite.
1,077 total yards (4th)
14 total touchdowns (2nd)
134 DYAR (4th)
14.0% DVOA (4th)
55% success rate (7th)#ProBowlVote Austin Ekeler#ProBowlVote Austin Ekeler#ProBowlVote Austin Ekeler pic.twitter.com/XrXMNIw3uj
— Stonewall Slater Fan Club (@DotsNCuts) December 3, 2021
This one figures to come right down to the final possession of the game. Four of LA’s last five games were decided by one score. The Bengals will get the win, but it will be close. Play the Chargers to cover.
Pick: Los Angeles Chargers +3 (-110).