USA Today Sports

Football lines that make you go hmmm...

The Cincinnati Bengals gave bettors 49 reasons to believe they're among the contenders in the AFC this past Sunday, thumping the New York Jets 49-9 as 6-point home favorites.

That lopsided win improved the Bengals to 6-2 (5-2-1 ATS) on the year, and has them riding a four-game streak into Thursday’s primetime date in Miami, where the Fins hope to snap a four-game losing skid.

But despite Week 8’s blowout – and the fact Cincy has beaten Super Bowl contenders like Green Bay and New England – books have set the Bengals as slim 1-point road chalk versus the reeling Dolphins.

The Bengals offense stalled out of the gate, with QB Andy Dalton falling short of preseason expectations. However, Dalton has topped 300 yards passing in three straight games, connecting for 11 touchdowns and just two interceptions in that span.

The Dolphins have allowed an average of 28.5 points while coughing the ball up 10 times during this four-game slide. Miami can’t afford to give this Cincinnati offense any extra cracks at the end zone, especially with a spread so small.

NFL

New Orleans Saints at New York Jets (+5.5, 45.5)

As mentioned above, the Jets allowed the Bengals to light it up for 325 yards passing and five TDs through the air this Sunday. And somehow, books expect them to keep Drew Brees and the Saints within six points?

Yeah, this game is outside in the Meadowlands, where early weather reports say temperatures in the low 50s and 11 mph winds. And yes, the Jets will definitely have the pride factor, wanting to make up for last weekend’s letdown.

Head coach Rex Ryan didn’t want to further poison his team after the loss to Cincinnati and skipped film session Monday, stating  “If we don't play better pass defense than we played this past week, (Brees) will throw for 700 yards."

With the bye around the corner and plenty of questions surrounding the team after alternating wins and losses all season, New York could be counting down the days until some time off.

The Saints average 269.7 yards passing away from the Big Easy – compared to 341.5 at home – and don’t score nearly as many points on the road as they do inside the Superdome. But getting a 6-1 team that just put up 332 yards passing and five TDs at this spread seems like a belated Halloween treat.

NCAAF


Tennessee Volunteers at Missouri Tigers (-11)


The love affair with Missouri seems to be over.

Following the Tigers’ first loss of the season to South Carolina in overtime last week, oddsmakers are discounting Mizzou versus Tennessee at home in Week 10. Books are dealing the Tigers as 11-point home favorites, which actually came down from as high as -13 at some markets. Missouri is a fourth-quarter collapse away from being undefeated and takes on a Vols side facing some uncertainty under center.

Tennessee QB Justin Worley re-aggravated a hand injury in last weekend’s loss to Alabama, turning the offense over to true freshman Joshua Dobbs. Dobbs went 5-for-12 for 75 yards and added 19 yards on the ground against the defending national champs.

With Worley listed as day-to-day, it looks more likely that Dobbs could get the nod against a pissed off Missouri program, which leads the SEC in sacks with 25 on the year.

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