Carolina @ Cincinnati
Cincinnati -7 -108 over Carolina

Posted at 10:45 AM EST odds are subject to change.

Pinnacle -7 -108 BET365 -7 -110 SportsInteraction -7 -109 888Sport  -7 -110

Cincinnati -7 over Carolina

1:00 PM EST. There are many moving parts here, so we are going to dive right in. The Bengals are coming off an embarrassing Monday Night Football loss in Cleveland, where they were without star wideout Ja’Marr Chase. Chase was sidelined with a hip injury before that game, and he’s expected to miss at least another month of action. Those are just two reasons why the Bengals' stock is tanking. When a team is pegged to perform well and win, as the Bengals were on Monday night, and it falls flat on its face, it has great influence on the market. Those prime time stand alone games have more eyes and more action than most others week-to-week. The Bengals looked like crap in front of the football world and they now have a target on their backs.

Today we are going to talk about being late to the party, as the Panthers have seen their stock fluctuate since unloading some prime offensive talent like Christian McCaffery and Robbie Anderson. The market attacked the depleted Panthers after those trades in a game against the Buccaneers in Charlotte two weeks ago. Carolina was a 13-point pooch in that game, but won outright 21-3. There are no “yeah, buts” to hang on that win. The Cats beat the Bradys from pillar to post and from gate to wire. They smoked ‘em good.

Last week, the Panthers were just a 4½-point dog in Atlanta, but they managed to cover that game as well, falling in overtime 37-34. That’s now two straight trips to the pay window for the Panthers. We can’t stress enough just how crazy that game last Sunday in Atlanta was. Every time Scott Hansen would check in on NFL RedZone, the lead had changed. Falcons up 24-21. Panthers up 28-24. Falcons go ahead, 31-28 and then 34-28. With 12 seconds left, the Panthers tied the game at 34. Had Eddy Pineiro not missed the extra point, Carolina would have won outright. They had the Falcons dead to rights and let ‘em off the hook.

We don’t care who you are in this market, cashing tickets will get you noticed. That leads us to today’s lesson about being “late for the party.” The Panthers were being undersold two weeks ago, but that is no longer the case. The Cats got plenty of attention last week from the market and the market is going back to the well. There’s just one problem—all the value on the Panthers has dried up.

We’d like to point out that Carolina hosts Thursday Night Football next week. For a team that gets little air time on the national stage, that game is going to be a big deal. It’s a showcase for the city, the stadium, and the fans. When a team has a short week as the Panthers do here, they can get caught looking ahead, as they must gameplan for both this week and next.

Finally, we must discuss this opening number, which puts the cherry on top of this sundae. The Bengals opened as a -7½-point choice, which is what we call a “favorite” number. That is to say, when the oddsmakers hang the hook on a key number like 7, they are enticing the market to bet on the pooch. The market has responded, and we now see that number coming down with some outfits now down to -7, while others are still encouraging the market to take back the 7½ with a little extra juice. If our read on the market is correct here, we expect this number to continue to fall.

To recap, this game checks all our boxes. An overreaction to a poor prime time performance—check. A significant injury to a star player (cue the injury chasers!)—check. A team (Carolina) that’s covered in back-to-back games—check. The opening line of -7½ - check. A team (Carolina) hosting a prime time game next time out against a squad they should have beaten last time out - double check.

Our Pick

Cincinnati -7 -108 (Risking 2.16 units - To Win: 2.00)

Pittsburgh +127 over Indianapolis