Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals breaking bad

In recent years, the Cincinnati Bengals were one of the NFL’s most enigmatic teams, and coach Marvin Lewis always seemed to be on the proverbial hot seat. Not much has changed this year.

The chair in Lewis’ office is warming up again. But his team might not be an enigma anymore. It’s possible the Bengals are simply bad.

Some answers should be revealed Monday night, when the Bengals go to New York as 1-point favorites over the Giants. The game is a pick’em at a few sports books, and the total is 48.

“Any good team the Bengals have faced, they have been overmatched,” said Micah Roberts, a handicapper and a former oddsmaker. “The Giants are hot and playing really well.”

Roberts said he recommends plays on the Giants, who have won and covered three in a row, and over the total.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning remains an enigma. Manning, typically inconsistent throughout the season, passed for four touchdowns with two interceptions in a victory over Philadelphia last week.

Roberts said he expects a big performance from Giants wideout Odell Beckham Jr., who has 44 catches and five touchdowns.

“When the spotlight is on, Beckham plays better,” Roberts said. “He flips the switch on because the cameras of America are watching.”

Cincinnati, 3-4-1 with victories over the lowly Browns and Jets, has slipped to 24th in the league in total defense. On the bright side, wideout A.J. Green is still producing as a dynamic playmaker.

A final negative note: The Bengals have been historically bad on the road (3-17 straight up, 5-15 against the spread) on “Monday Night Football.”

Pick: Over 48

Contact sports betting reporter Matt Youmans at or 702-387-2907. Follow on Twitter: @mattyoumans247


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