Our Cincinnati Bengals vs. New England Patriots prediction takes a look at the Week 16 matchup that has numerous playoff implications. Let’s dive into the current NFL betting odds, key storylines to watch, and make a prediction for the game. Note that all odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Monday, Dec. 19.
Bengals vs. Patriots Odds
Bengals -195, Patriots +165
Bengals vs. Patriots Prediction
The Bengals just continue to roll. After a lackluster first-half performance in Week 15, Cincinnati went into the locker room, collected themselves, and came out firing in the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
After being down 17-0 at one point in that contest, the Bengals surged back to lead the Bucs 34-17 late into the fourth quarter. The defense rose up and forced turnover after turnover, which led to advantageous field position for the offense on numerous occasions. Cincy has now taken over control of the AFC North.
They’ve won six straight games and are one of the hottest teams in football right now with the way that they are playing on both sides of the ball. Can that continue this week against a stout Patriots defense?
New England is allowing just the seventh-fewest points per game to opposing offenses this season. However, they’re going to have a tough time trying to contain a Bengals offense that’s putting up the fifth-most points per game this year.
The key for Cincinnati winning this matchup, though, rests on their defense. Mac Jones and the New England passing attack have struggled recently, but their run game has been dominant with Rhamondre Stevenson and their rotation of RBs. The Bengals have proven to be a tough defense to run on, allowing the eighth-fewest rushing yards per game.
If Cincinnati can stifle Stevenson and the Patriots’ run game, they should be able to get to their seventh straight victory.
MORE: Early NFL Week 16 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread
As for New England, they couldn’t secure a win last week against the Raiders due to one of the most dramatic endings in NFL history. They now fall to 7-7 on the season and are currently projected to just miss the playoffs.
Nonetheless, all hope is not lost for Bill Belichick and the Patriots. They still stand a good chance of working their way into the playoffs if they win their next three games, but they’ll have their hands full in Week 16 against a hot Bengals team.
The key for the Patriots winning this matchup falls on the offense. The defense for New England has been incredibly solid this season, but the offense has faltered under the direction of Matt Patricia.
Last week against the Raiders, Jones had just a 41% completion rate and only 112 yards passing on 31 attempts. The running game was the sole bright spot on offense in Week 15. But that can’t be the case in this matchup against Cincinnati if New England wants to walk away with a win.
Jones will need to be sharp, and his playmakers will need to step up in a major way this week if the Patriots want to keep their hopes of making the postseason alive. If he doesn’t, with the run game likely set to encounter some problems moving the ball due to the matchup, the Patriots could fall below .500 after this one.
Bengals vs. Patriots Score Prediction
Bengals 24, Patriots 18