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Bengals vs. Jaguars: Betting trends, expert picks and predictions

The experts are big fans of the Bengals this week.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

In a strange turn of events, the (0-2-1) Bengals are the favorites going into Sunday’s game against the Jaguars. Jacksonville is coming off a poor showing during Thursday Night Football, but it appears the Experts and odds makers expect that losing streak for the Jaguars to continue. They think this is the week Cincinnati gets in the win column.

Odds

Bengals are currently three-point favorites against the Jaguars, according to Bovada. This is the first game that Cincinnati is actually the favorite in this season, and it has way more to do with the fact they are at home against a team that also isn’t viewed as a great team. The Jaguars have needed their offense to overcome a struggling defense, and they’ve only been able to pull that off once so far.

Betting trends

  • The total has gone over in five of Cincinnati’s last seven games.
  • Cincinnati are 2-17-1 straight up in their last 20 games.
  • Cincinnati are 2-7 straight up in their last nine games at home.
  • Cincinnati are 2-14 straight up in their last 16 games against an opponent in the AFC.
  • Cincinnati are 3-6 against the spread in their last nine games against an opponent in the AFC South.
  • Cincinnati are 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games played in October.
  • The total has gone under in five of Cincinnati’s last seven games played in week 4.
  • The total has gone over in four of Cincinnati’s last six games played on a Sunday.
  • Jacksonville are 4-2 against the spread in their last six games.
  • Jacksonville are 3-8 straight up in their last 11 games.
  • Jacksonville are 11-5 straight up in their last 16 games against Cincinnati.
  • Jacksonville are 1-4 straight up in their last five games on the road.
  • Jacksonville are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games against an opponent in the AFC.
  • Jacksonville are 9-0-1 against the spread in their last 10 games against an opponent in the AFC North.
  • Jacksonville are 2-6 straight up in their last eight games played in October.
  • The total has gone over in five of Jacksonville’s last six games played in week 4.

Expert picks

  • ESPN has eight of their 10 experts taking the Bengals
  • Seven of SB Nation’s are taking Cincinnati to get their first win
  • Only one of CBS Sports experts went against the Bengals
  • NFL Pick Watch, which takes into account picks from across the web, has Cincinnati receiving 73 percent of the picks.

So this is weird. I’ve been doing this post for a couple years now, and I honestly can’t remember the last time the Bengals were this heavily favored among the experts. What do I do with my hands?

It really feels like this Bengals team has been right on the brink of Joe Burrow getting his first win. The rookie has had two really impressive games back-to-back, which is always great to see. Last week the defense even did its part for most of the game, and they even created a couple of turnovers. Hopefully this week we don’t have to talk about another close game that didn’t go Cincinnati’s way.

Prediction

After the past couple of weeks (and last season), it is hard to trust the Bengals to actually win games. It doesn’t help that the defense that has had issues already looks like it will be without Geno Atkins (again), Mike Daniels, Mackensie Alexander and Logan Wilson, who was coming off his best game as a rookie.

Fortunately for Cincinnati, the Jacksonville defense has had its struggles holding opposing offenses out of the end zone. This game will absolutely turn into a shootout between Gardner Minshew and Burrow. It may be a matter of if the Bengals can reverse their fortune of settling for field goals too often. It will also require Zac Taylor to keep his foot on the gas early and often, which was something he failed to do in Week 3.

Until we see the Bengals actually pull off a close win or have the required aggressive mindset to win a shootout, it is just hard to pick them. Cincinnati has to go into this game knowing they will have to score in the 30’s to even have a chance at victory. Based on how they’ve played so far, it is just hard to imagine that trend changing with all the injuries.

Bengals 31, Jaguars 38