Editor’s note: NESN.com’s Mike Cole, Ricky Doyle and Andre Khatchaturian deliver their NFL picks every Thursday of the season, and here’s who they like in the Cincinnati Bengals-New England Patriots Week 6 game, with the line from OddsShark.
Cincinnati Bengals (2-3) at (-8.5) New England Patriots (4-1), Sunday, 1 p.m.
Mike: Patriots. Last week, I picked against the Patriots because of the trends. I’m ignoring all trends this week, and taking the Patriots, who are going to be all kinds of jacked up for Tom Brady’s home debut. The Bengals struggle with tight ends, which isn’t great against the Patriots two-tight end look.
Ricky: Patriots. The Bengals have beaten bad teams (Jets, Dolphins) and lost to good teams (Steelers, Broncos, Cowboys). The Patriots are a good team. Don’t overthink this.
Andre: Patriots. The Bengals defense has gotten old fast. They’ve allowed 5.7 yards per play (22nd) after being a top-10 defense last season. Opposing defenses have also sacked Andy Dalton 17 times this season (2nd most). The Patriots also have 31 explosive plays (3rd) and a league-best +17 explosive play differential (and that’s with four weeks of quarterbacks not named Tom Brady.) To put that into context, the second-best teams (Chargers and Packers) have an explosive play differential of plus-9.
Thumbnail photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images