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Bengals at Panthers: Odds, expert picks, analysis, predictions for NFL Week 3

Despite starting off 2-0, the Bengals are still a bit of an underdog as they head into Carolina.

Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Bengals will be looking to keep their perfect season alive against the Panthers in Week 3. Carolina, meanwhile, is fighting to keep up with the rest of NFC South. Cincinnati will be without their starting running back Joe Mixon, and a number of other injuries will impact this game. The Panthers have also been a pretty good team so far this season, but a close loss last week has them sitting at (1-1).

What do the experts and oddsmakers make of this Week 3 NFL matchup?


The Panthers are three-point favorites against the Bengals, according to Bovada. This line hasn’t moved since the opening odds this week. Usually the home team is a slight favorite, which means oddsmakers view this as a relatively close game. The jury is still out on what kind of team the Bengals are as their opponents are a combined 2-2. A win Sunday for the Bengals could go a long way to earning Cincinnati some respect.

The over/under sits at 43.5 points currently. It is one of the lowest, which means the oddsmakers expect a relatively low scoring game from these two.

Here are some trends for both teams

  • Cincinnati is 4-1 against the spread in its last five games
  • Cincinnati is 4-1 straight up in its last five games
  • Cincinnati is 4-1 against the spread in its last five games on the road
  • Cincinnati is 5-11 straight up in its last 16 games on the road
  • Cincinnati is 1-3-1 against the spread in its last five games when playing Carolina
  • Carolina is 8-4 against the spread in its last 12 games
  • Carolina is 8-4 straight up in its last 12 games
  • The total has gone over in seven of Carolina’s last 10 games
  • Carolina is 5-1 against the spread in its last six games at home
  • Carolina is 5-0 straight up in its last five games at home


  • Fox Sports projects a 22.5-20 victory for the Bengals.
  • Only four of ESPN’s 10 experts went with Cincinnati.
  • SB Nation has four of their seven experts picking the Bengals to stay perfect.
  • CBS Sports only has three of their eight experts sticking with the Bengals.
  • NFL Pick Watch, which takes into account picks from around the internet, has the Panthers receiving 63 percent of the picks.

It is pretty clear that most of the oddsmakers and experts see this as a toss up. It is strange to see a 2-0 considered suck an underdog in the expert picks, but Cincinnati clearly needs to show this is sustained success and not a flash in the pan. The absence of Mixon likely hurts the perception of the Bengals as well, but Giovani Bernard could surprise some nay sayers on Sunday.

So far the Bengals have come out in 2018, and they have announced their presence. A win against the Panthers in Carolina would undoubtedly catch everyone’s attention. Hopefully the Bengals are able to win with their backs against the wall again this week.