Bengals vs Saints Week 6 Picks and Predictions: Cincy Finally Ready to Pounce?

The Bengals haven't lived up to expectations so far this year, but the results aren't as bad as the record suggests, and the Saints might not be much resistance with Joe Burrow in the pocket. See why our NFL picks like the defending AFC champs.

Rohit Ponnaiya - Betting Analyst at
Rohit Ponnaiya • Betting Analyst
Oct 16, 2022 • 08:07 ET • 4 min read
Joe Burrow Cincinnati Bengals NFL picks
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The Cincinnati Bengals look to get their season on track in Week 6 as they head to the Big Easy to face off against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

The Bengals appear to be experiencing the Super Bowl hangover and are coming off a loss to the Ravens while the Saints are fresh off a win over the Seahawks.

NFL betting lines opened with Cincinnati as a slim 1.5-point road favorite for this Week 6 clash before growing to -2.5. Here are my best free Saints vs. Bengals NFL picks and predictions for October 16. 

Bengals vs Saints best odds

Bengals vs Saints picks and predictions

Let's get one narrative out of the way immediately: the Super Bowl runner-up jinx does not exist. In fact, nine of the previous 12 Super Bowl runners-up made the playoffs the following season. 

Sure some factors can play a role in teams underachieving after making the playoffs: talent departing in free agency, a bigger target on their backs from opponents, and regression when it comes to injuries and luck, but those need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. 

The Bengals actually improved in free agency (at least on paper), have been relatively unscathed when it comes to injuries, and, after a slow start to the season, are getting reasonable spreads from oddsmakers. 

The biggest issue for the Bengals has been the same problem that plagued them last year: protecting franchise quarterback Joe Burrow. However, while the Saints' defense has been stingy against the run this season, it has struggled to generate a pass rush and ranks fifth-last in the NFL in pressure rate.

If Burrow has time in the pocket, he'll pick apart a Saints secondary that will be missing Pro Bowl cornerback Marshon Lattimore. I'll gladly lay the 2.5 points with the visitors against a Saints team that needed to face a pathetic Seahawks defense in order to snap a three-game losing streak.

My best bet: Bengals -2.5 (-110 at DraftKings)

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Bengals vs Saints spread analysis

The Bengals are 2-3 SU (3-2 ATS) after losing 19-17 to the Ravens last week on a last-second field goal. 

Cincinnati opened its season with an overtime loss to the Steelers where Burrow practically gave away the game with an uncharacteristic four turnovers.

They lost 20-17 to the Cowboys in Week 2, which has aged pretty well now that we know how good that Dallas defense is. That defeat also happened on a last-second field goal, so with a bit of luck, the Bengals could otherwise be 5-0. 

The Saints are 2-3 SU and ATS after beating the Seahawks 39-32 last week. Taysom Hill took advantage of some shoddy tackling angles to break off a 60-yard touchdown to win the game late in the fourth quarter. Their only other win this season came in Week 1 when they staged a fourth-quarter comeback to edge the Falcons by a single point.

It says a lot that the Saints' only victories have come against two of the worst defensive teams in the league and that both contests were extremely close. This line opened with the Bengals at -1.5 but has shifted to as high as -3 at some books with injuries likely factoring into that.

Bengals left tackle Jonah Williams looks likely to suit up on Sunday despite his "questionable" designation, and while wide receiver Tee Higgins might not play, they still have plenty of talent out wide with Ja'Marr Chase and Tyler Boyd.

The Saints are in a much worse spot and could be missing all three of their starting wide receivers. Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry have been ruled out and Chris Olave is questionable after suffering a concussion last week.

Lattimore might not be the only missing piece in the secondary either, with safety Marcus Maye and corner Paulson Adebo questionable.

Bengals vs Saints Over/Under analysis

The Saints might have been able to move the ball against the Falcons and Seahawks, but they'll have a much tougher time getting their offense going against Cincy. Cincinnati's defense is seventh in the NFL in EPA/Play while Atlanta is 28th and Seattle 31st. 

New Orleans has a formidable ground game led by Alvin Kamara, but they rank just 25th in the league in dropback EPA.

Andy Dalton will make his third start of the season in place of Jameis Winston, but the truth is that neither QB is a threat through the air and not having Thomas and Landry will hurt. 

Just like last season, the Saints defense has been terrific against the run and leads the league in rush EPA. However, they rank a modest 16th in dropback EPA. The Bengals will likely rely on Burrow and their aerial attack since Joe Mixon is averaging just 3.1 yards per carry.

The Under has gone a commanding 10-1 in Cincinatti's last 11 games overall.

Bengals vs Saints betting trend to know

The Under is 6-1 in the Saints' last seven games on FieldTurf while going 7-0 in the Bengals' previous seven contests on FieldTurf. Find more NFL betting trends for Bengals vs. Saints.

Bengals vs Saints game info

Location: Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Date: Sunday, October 16, 2022
Kickoff: 1:00 p.m. ET

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