Cincinnati Bengals (0-7) vs. Los Angeles Rams (4-3) in London
Typically the rule of thumb in these international games is to pick the favorite, as they are 24-11 ATS all-time and it makes that sense better teams would be better prepared for playing under unusual circumstances. In this matchup, the Rams are clearly the better team, facing off against the winless Bengals, but unfortunately we’ve lost a lot of line value with the Rams in the past week. They were favored by 9.5 on the early line last week, but are now 12.5-point favorites and it’s not really clear why.
The Bengals lost at home to the Jaguars last week, but that game was close throughout and they get their top cornerback William Jackson and top defensive end Carlos Dunlap back from injury this week. Meanwhile, the Rams won in Atlanta convincingly last week, but they still rank just 12th in first down rate differential on the season at +2.00%, as their offense has not nearly been the same this season with a rebuilt offensive line.
The Rams obviously have the talent edge, but this line is the equivalent of Los Angeles -15.5 if this game were played in Los Angeles and -9.5 if it were played in Cincinnati, which I think is too high. I still have this line calculated at Rams -9, so I’m taking the Bengals for pick ‘em purposes, though this is a no confidence pick because they could easily get blown out or quit in the second half in a bad spot.
Los Angeles Rams 24 Cincinnati Bengals 13
Pick against the spread: Cincinnati +12.5