The Cincinnati Bengals are 2-1 this season with the chance to go 3-1 and take a slim lead in the AFC North to kick off Week 4.
They’ll be taking on the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday Night Football for Cincinnati’s lone primetime game this season. It will be a thrilling matchup against two of the league’s premier young quarterbacks.
Rookie No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence will take on last season’s No. 1 overall pick in Joe Burrow. After being the highest-graded quarterback in Week 1, Burrow will look to shred a soft Jaguars secondary.
That’s at least what he’s expected to do with the Bengals opening up the betting spread as heavy favorites at 7.5 points. Assuming a team gets around three points for being at home, oddsmakers then consider the Bengals around 4-4.5 points better than Jacksonville.
Considering the Jags are coming off a loss to Arizona, their third straight to open the season up, this line was expected. While there shouldn’t be any doubt as to who comes out on top, that spread is pretty tough to back Cincinnati.
The Bengals, per DraftKings, are -335 on the money line, meaning you’d have to bet $335 just to get $100 back. As for the total, the over/under is currently set at 45.5, an amount generally on the lower side.
While the Bengals have looked great at times, they also struggled against Chicago. They’re 2-1 against the spread, winning both times they were considered underdogs on the money line. Their total has hit just once, which was vs. the Vikings in a 27-24 overtime victory.
As for the Jaguars, they’ll undoubtedly look to alleviate pressure from the struggling Lawrence. James Robinson should get numerous touches. He went 88 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries against Arizona.
Betting-wise, I’d be hesitant to take the Bengals spread, and the money line is a bit too risky.
Considering looking towards the total to potentially back the Bengals’ dynamic defense. Even 28-17, which seems like a high score for this game, wouldn’t hit. The under, given the struggles of both teams offensively this season, could be the best bet, especially on a short week that may leave both teams struggling to find rhythm Thursday.
The good news is the Bengals’ defense has played great thus far and should put them in great position to win whether it’s a defensive struggle or a game that actually hits the over.