Cincinnati Bengals at Philadelphia Eagles (+4, 45.5)
The Cincinnati Bengals let a golden opportunity slip through their fingers against one NFC East team this past weekend. The Bengals would like to prevent the same from happening again on Thursday when they visit the struggling Philadelphia Eagles. Cincinnati's bid to record its fifth straight victory and eighth overall was thwarted by Dallas on the final play. As a result, the Bengals remained two games shy of AFC North-leading Baltimore and a tiebreaker behind Pittsburgh for the final playoff berth in the conference.
Postseason discussion has long been tabled in Philadelphia, which snapped an eight-game losing skid with a 23-21 triumph over Tampa Bay this past weekend. Nick Foles gave the Eagles some confidence for the future by throwing for a rookie franchise-best 381 yards. The third-round pick also engineered the game-winning drive, which was capped by his 1-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Maclin.
TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network.
LINE: Cincinnati opened as a field-goal favorite in Philadelphia and has since been bet up as high as -4.5. The total opened at 46 and has dropped to 45.5.
WEATHER: The forecast is calling for clear skies and temperatures in the mid 30s. Winds will blow NW at 2 mph.
CONSENSUS: Sixty-five percent of Covers Consensus picks are on the Bengals. Fifty-two percent are picking the over.
ABOUT THE BENGALS (7-6, 6-6-1 ATS): Cincinnati stud WR A.J. Green had a pair of inexplicable drops en route to being held out of the end zone for the third time in as many games on Sunday. Prior to this drought, Green had scored in nine straight contests. The Bengals can't afford to dwell on Sunday's loss or look beyond the Eagles, although a visit to Pittsburgh (Dec. 23) and a home game versus Baltimore (Dec. 30) could go a long way in deciding if they make the playoffs.
ABOUT THE EAGLES (4-9, 3-9-1 ATS): Maclin is clearly impressed with Foles, who has just four starts under his belt. "You guys are seeing Nick Foles grow into a phenomenal quarterback right in front of your eyes," Maclin said. "I think the sky is the limit for him." Foles hasn't thrown an interception in the last 14 quarters, although the aggressive Bengals defense could pressure him into mistakes. Cincinnati leads the league with 42 sacks.
* Bengals are 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings.
* Bengals are 1-7-3 ATS in their last 11 games following a SU loss.
* Eagles are 4-1 ATS in their last five Thursday games.
* Eagles are 7-19-1 ATS in their last 27 home games.
1. Although Bengals RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis failed to notch his fourth consecutive 100-yard game, he sits just 26 shy of his second straight 1,000-yard season.
2. Philadelphia TE Clay Harbor, who reeled in the first of two touchdown passes by Foles, will likely start on Thursday in place of the concussed Brent Celek.
3. The teams played to a 13-13 tie in their last encounter on Nov. 16, 2008. The game is likely best remembered for then-Eagles QB Donovan McNabb admitting that he didn't know an NFL contest could end in a tie.