Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-1)
I would have liked the Bengals a lot more in this matchup a week ago. The Bengals were favored by 6.5 points on the early line and were in a good spot, as non-divisional home favorites of 6 points or more are 19-7-2 ATS all-time on a short week. This week, the Bengals are favored by 7.5 points, which doesn’t seem like a huge swing, but about 1 in 10 games are decided by a touchdown exactly and that line movement comes despite the Bengals losing safety Jessie Bates and cornerback Chidobe Awuzie, two key parts of their defense, to injury last week, adding to an injury list that also includes wide receiver Tee Higgins. The Bengals beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh somewhat easily last week, but the Steelers are an overrated and injury plagued team, so the injury absences are more important than the result of last week’s game when it comes to projecting this matchup.
We are getting some line value with the Bengals though, as they are still a decent team, even with their injury absences. I’ve thought the Bengals were underrated for a few weeks and they could be 3-0 if Joe Burrow didn’t uncharacteristically throw interceptions in the fourth quarter of a close loss to the Bengals. My calculated line is Cincinnati -12, so, even though we’re not getting great line value, the Bengals are still worth a small bet because of how good of a spot they are in. It’s very tough for an inferior team to cover against a superior team on the road out of the division on a short week.
Cincinnati Bengals 27 Jacksonville Jaguars 14
Pick against the spread: Cincinnati -7.5