• The Bengals, who are 7-4, equaled a season-high last week by putting up 41 points against a division rival for the second time this season.
  • The Chargers fell to 6-5 last week after suffering a 28-13 loss to Denver.
  • Los Angeles has the league’s worst running defense, while Cincinnati running back Joe Mixon posted a career-high in yards last week.

Cincinnati comes into this home game against the Chargers seeking more victories to continue pursuing an AFC North crown. The Bengals have now captured two straight games behind a balanced offensive attack that tortured opposing defenses. Cincinnati outscored its opponents 73-23 in the past two games.

Los Angeles is seeking a key road win as it is a game behind the Bengals in the Wild Card standings. The Chargers’ defense has especially struggled in the past two weeks, conceding 65 points.

Chargers vs Bengals Matchup at a Glance

Chargers Preview: Spin the LA wheel

Los Angeles looked like it was going to be one of the top contenders to win the AFC following a 4-1 start, but has now lost four of its last six. Part of the Chargers’ recent struggles have been due to playing without Asante Samuel Jr. in the secondary. But the rushing defense has been especially bad, allowing opponents to rack up 145.5 yards per game. Overall, teams are scoring 26.6 points per game against the Chargers.

Los Angeles quarterback Justin Herbert has topped the 300-yard mark in three of the Chargers past four games, but he has also been the team’s leading rusher in their last two. Los Angeles will need to show more balance to attack a confident Cincinnati team.

Bengals Preview: Balanced Bengals

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow hasn’t had to sling the ball all over the stadium to generate points. Cincinnati has won with running back Joe Mixon compiling 123 and 165 yards in their past two games, respectively. Burrow, while still making big plays, only passed for 338 combined yards in the two victories. Cincinnati will likely try to use the same formula against the Chargers, who have a porous defense against the rush.

Defensively, Cincinnati was able to force three turnovers and score a defensive touchdown last week. While the Bengals are a much-improved team this season, they are prone to defensive lapses. Cincinnati has allowed two of its opponents to score 30 or more points this season.

Odds & Free Betting Analysis for This Football Game

Despite both teams having high-powered offenses, the under has hit more frequently in both of their games this season. Cincinnati have seen six of its 11 games stay under the total, while the Chargers have fallen short of the total seven times. Los Angeles is 5-6 against the spread, while Bengals are 6-5.

This game has the makings of a shootout. While both teams are prone to bouts of inconsistency, this matchup will go a long way to determining seeding in the AFC playoff race. It’s hard to trust the Chargers right now due to a loss to the Broncos last week that was preceded by a head-scratching game where they had to go down to the last minute to survive a beat-up Steelers squad. Bengals will get the win in an exciting offense affair.

Chargers vs Bengals Pick

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