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Cincinnati Bengals go to Detroit Lions in the NFL this weekend and we have got free NFL betting tips for the match on Saturday 20th October 2014.

This week’s 7 matchup at Ford Field in Detroit has two teams that come in boasting 4-2 records and both with a very real chance to gain a first round Bye in the playoffs.

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For Detroit, Matthew Stafford enters week 7 averaging 284.3 yards per contest, needing just another 230 yards to pass 2000 passing yards with under half the season gone. The Lions are unbeaten at home this season having dispatched of NFC North rivals Vikings and the Bears on their home field so far this year. 

The Lions offensive line will need to protect Stafford this week and give him time to find his receivers downfield if they are to have any chance of emerging victorious, as the Bengals defence has allowed just 3 rushing touchdowns all season long and just a single rush that broke through for more than 20+ yards.

Heading to the weekend Detroit is 9th in Total Yards per game, with Cincinnati not far behind in 13th place. Whilst on the defensive side of the ball it is a completely differing picture. The Bengals has the 8th best defence in the league, while Detroit allows the 25th most yards per game overall. Detroit’s defence has been bailed out by its dynamic offense so far this season which is among the top 5 point scorers in the league this season at 5th overall, but will face a stern test against the Bengals defence which has allowed the 8th fewest points in the league up to this point.

Joique Bell and Reggie Bush have both added an extra dimension to the passing game trailing only Calvin Johnson for receiving yards this season for the lions. Bush is averaging 13.1 yards per catch with Bell not far behind with 10.7 yards per target. Both tail backs will need to spread the offence against a very stout Bengals defensive front that has a very athletic pass rush that has piled up 18 tackles for a loss already this season. Tight End Joseph Fauria leads the team with 5 touchdowns, which is remarkable considering that Fauria has only made 7 catches all season whilst being targeted only 9 times.

Meanwhile, Cincinnati barely escaped in Overtime against the Buffalo Bills in week 6 as a game winning field goal saved them from being embarrassed by third string Buffalo quarterback Thad Young. The play of quarterback Andy Dalton has been the main target of criticism amongst fans and media as he has struggled to take the control of games despite being surrounded by extremely talented receivers such as A.J Green, Mohammed Sanu, Jermaine Gresham and the Rookie First rounder out of Norte Dame Tyler Eifert, who has picked up a remarkable 123 yards after the catch this season.

As with all Super Bowl contenders, the Bengals have a very good running game that complements their aerial attack. Early front runner for Offensive Rookie of the Year, Giovanni Bernard, the second round pick out North Carolina is the main reason for this. Despite being the number two back behind Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis, Bernard has averaged 4 yards per carry outrunning Green-Ellis' pedestrian 3.3 yard pear carry average and he has picked up an additional 200 yards in the passing game through week 6. The effective running of Bernard and Green-Ellis has kept the defence honest and has bought Dalton more time in the pocket to find his receivers downfield. 

The two major injury question marks for the Lions heading into this weekend’s clash against the Cincinnati Bengals are Calvin Johnson (knee) who had only 3 catches in the win over the Cleveland Browns and Joique Bell (ribs). For the Bengals the forearm injury defensive end Wallace Gilberry picked up against the Bills is the only concern. Gilberry has picked up 3 sacks this season and will only enhance the terrifying Bengals pass rush if he were to suit up this Sunday.

Bet365 have the Bengals favoured by 3 points at 5/6 in their NHF betting tips, whereas Betfair has the Bengals slight underdogs at 5/4 with the Lions favoured to win outright at 4/6. Those are good odds if you were to back the Bengals, however there is far better value out there on this matchup.

My tip in this matchup is to back the balanced team, which in this case is the Bengals who have an elite defence to back up a slightly above average offense, whilst the Lions have an elite offense but a truly abysmal defence bar only a few individual talents.

In a battle of elite units I believe it will be the Cincinnati defence that will come out on top as the Lions miss a fully healthy Calvin Johnson.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Detroit Lions Betting Tips

Bengals winning margin to be between 1-6 points at 4/1 with Bet365

Detroit Lions HT/Cincinnati Bengals FT at 13/2 with Bet365

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By Tom Elliott