Denver Broncos (2-0) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-1)
These two teams have had opposite starts to the season schedule wise. While the Broncos were home for their first 2 games, the Cincinnati opened the season on the road against the Jets and Steelers. That hurts Cincinnati’s chances here in this week 3 matchup, as they’ve had to travel much more than their opponents. Teams are 24-46 ATS since 1989 in a week 3 home opener, while teams that start the season with back-to-back home games are 42-30 ATS in their first road game of the season week 3. Combining the two, teams are just 3-10 ATS a week 3 home opener if their opponent opened the season with back-to-back home games.
On top of that, the Bengals have to turn around and play a Thursday Night game in 4 days after this game, with the Miami Dolphins coming to town. Favorites are just 50-71 ATS before Thursday Night Football, since 2008, as upcoming short weeks like that tend to be a distraction for teams. Despite all of this and the fact that close to 1 in 4 games are decided by a field goal or less, the Bengals are favored by 3.5 points here against a team that’s at least comparable in talent to them, if not better. It’s worth putting money on 3.5 because this could easily be a field goal game, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if the Broncos won straight up here.
Cincinnati Bengals 17 Denver Broncos 16
Pick against the spread: Denver +3.5