Cincinnati Bengals vs. Detroit Lions Odds, Picks and Preview -- 10/17/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Time: 1 p.m. ET, October 17, 2021
Venue: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
Where to watch: FOX

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: Bengals -3.5
BetMGM: Bengals -3.5
Caesars: Bengals -3.5

Season record
Bengals: 3-2 (T-2nd, AFC North)
Lions: 0-5 (Last place, NFC North)

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Bengals - Lions preview and analysis

Recent form
Bengals: lost 25-22 (OT) vs. Packers in Week 5
Lions: lost 19-17 at Vikings in Week 5

Somewhere, in an alternate universe, Evan McPherson is still celebrating that missed field goal in overtime.

It's almost a damn shame to see how the Cincinnati Bengals were toyed with like a baby bribed with candy. The Green Bay Packers were just begging them to eat the broccoli, but they wouldn't bite.

It could be worse. You could be actually handed the candy like the Detroit Lions were last week, only for Big Jimmy Hanson to beat you up, steal your candy and run away laughing maniacally.

Who's getting the candy this week? We'll find out Sunday when the Bengals visit the Lions in this Week 6 matchup.

The Bengals played admirably against one of the best quarterbacks of all time, only to fall short in overtime after the 3 millionth field goal attempt that actually didn't miss. But for a team that's on the rise and trying to find a winning identity, Joe Burrow held his own against Aaron Rodgers.

Burrow, who thankfully is fine after going to the hospital for a possible throat contusion, threw for 281 yards and two touchdowns last week against Green Bay. Sure, he threw two interceptions and he'd more than likely want that one in overtime back for the rest of his life, but he still did his part.

The former No. 1 pick is looking for a third straight game of at least 275 passing yards and his third straight road game of at least two touchdown passes.

Should he continue to develop this (NFL) chemistry with Ja'Marr Chase, that won't take much time. Chase, the No. 5 overall pick and former teammate of Burrow's at LSU, had six receptions for a career-high 159 yards and a touchdown. The Tiger connection has transitioned from purple and yellow to orange and black with ease.

Chase is the fifth rookie ever to have 50 or more yards in his first five career games, and his five receiving touchdowns lead all rookie receivers.

"We weren't in unmanageable situations," Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. "Just couldn't quite get in that rhythm, and in the second half it just seemed like we had much longer possessions and kind of got on flow and called the game the way we wanted to."

The Bengals would be in such an enviable position had one of McPherson's feld goals made it. Alas, they're still in the race for the AFC North. Whereas their opponents this week are just praying for a win.

It's gotten so bad for the Lions that Dan Campbell is crying tears of depression after games. And can you blame the man? Detroit should have at least two wins right now had it not been for kickers. Justin Tucker's 66-yard field goal still haunts his dreams.

This week it was Greg Joseph hitting a 54-yard field goal as time expired, moments after Detroit was gifted a touchdown to take the lead, but still lost 19-17 to the Minnesota Vikings.

"You want it for everybody, man. You've got to earn one. We're this close. We haven't done it," Campbell said.

To be fair, the Lions have been right there. If you put this winless Lions team up against the one that went 0-16, the 2021 squad would mop the floor with that group. The Lions could easily be 3-2 had things bounced their way. Jared Goff hasn't been awful, but still not great. He threw for 203 yards and an interception while the Detroit running game combined for 108 yards and a touchdown.


In this battle of someone's got to win, there will be no elements to deter the kicking game for Cincinnati this week. Not saying this will come down to another last-second field goal, but you should never rule it out for the kneecap biters. Alas, it will be the Bengals winning this comfortably and moving to 4-2. Bengals by 13

Betting trends

The Bengals are 13-4 against the spread since 1992 after four or more consecutive unders.

The over is 10-3 in the Lions’ last 13 games following an under.

Detroit is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 after covering the spread in two of its last three.

Players to watch

Bengals: Joe Mixon is hoping for his third consecutive game with a rushing touchdown. The running back has at least 70 yards from scrimmage in three of his last four road games.

Lions: Tight end T.J. Hockenson is fourth in the NFL at his position with 21 receptions. He’s become Jared Goff’s favorite target.

Statistical leaders

Passing: Joe Burrow -- 1,269 yards, 11 TD, 6 INT
Rushing: Joe Mixon -- 386 yards, 3 TD
Receiving: Ja’Marr Chase -- 456 yards, 5 TD
Defense: Trey Hendrickson -- 4.5 sacks

Passing: Jared Goff -- 1,303 yards, 7 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Jamaal Williams -- 244 yards, 2 TD
Receiving: T.J. Hockenson -- 237 yards, 2 TD
Defense: Charles Harris -- 4 sacks

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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