Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) at Dallas Cowboys (0-1)
The Bengals lost the turnover battle by five at home against the Steelers last week and still could have won the game on numerous occasions if not for losing their long snapper, leading to several missed kicks that would have won the game. That’s because they won the first down rate battle and the yards per play battle by 11.36% and 0.22 respectively, which are much more predictive week-to-week than turnover margin. They should be more than fine going forward, especially with Joe Burrow likely to be better than he was last week, in his first game back after off-season surgery.
Unfortunately, we’re not getting a good opportunity to get good line value with the Bengals after that loss, as this line has shifted from favoring the home team Cowboys by 2.5 points last week to now favoring the visiting Bengals by 7 points, as a result of the Cowboys’ blowout loss to the Buccaneers and the loss of quarterback Dak Prescott with injury. That being said, we are still getting at least a little line value with the Bengals, as the Cowboys offense is just that bad right now and not just because Prescott is out.
Already down two starting offensive linemen in free agency, they are also without left tackle Tyron Smith and now are without replacement left guard Connor McGovern, with both players injured, while their receiving corps, which already lost Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson this off-season, is also without wide receiver Michael Gallup due to injury right now. I’m not confident enough in the Bengals to bet on them as touchdown road favorites, as Cooper Rush could be better than expected against a Bengals team that doesn’t have a lot of tape on him and that could get caught off guard by him, like the Vikings were last season in Rush’s first career start, but the Bengals are still the right side for pick ‘em purposes.
Cincinnati Bengals 24 Dallas Cowboys 16
Pick against the spread: Cincinnati -7