NFL Week 2: Thursday Night Football – Texans at Bengals

We ended pushing both bets on the Monday Night doubleheader with the Chargers pushing the +3 and the Vikings-Saints number hitting exactly on 48. Tonight’s game isn’t exactly a high-octane Thursday Night matchup but does have some betting opportunity.

Our odds are from Bovada and are accurate as of writing. Still, it pays to line shop for the best price on your wagers.

Houston Texans +6 (-105) at Cincinnati Bengals -6 (-115) Total: 38

Both teams in tonight’s game wish they had a better start to the season. The Texans were demolished by their AFC South rivals, the Jacksonville Jaguars, at home to start the year. The Bengals suffered a similar defeat, losing badly to the visiting Ravens, their AFC North rival, to start Week 1.

The Texans already have a quarterback controversy after Tom Savage was benched in the second quarter of last week’s game against Jacksonville. Houston’s first-round pick in this year’s draft, Deshaun Watson, then entered the game. He gave the offense an immediate spark but then was back to his preseason form, with a 12 for 23, 102 yards and with one touchdown and one interception performance. However, he will get the start (his first career start) over Savage tonight.

Cincinnati had one of the worst offensive performances in their franchise history in their 20-0 loss to the Ravens. Dalton threw for just 170 yards and added four interceptions. Dalton may be in danger of losing his starting job, but it’s certainly not all on him. The offensive line had major issues blocking last week and lost Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler in free agency last year.

Betting Odds

The Bengals initially opened as a -3 favorite in this one to the visiting Texans. However, betting action has been steady on the home team, which has shifted the line to -6 at most sportsbooks. The total opened at 38 points and has not seen as much movement.

Prediction

It’s tough to like the Texans at this point. If you managed to capture them at -3 when the odds open, well, you’ve got yourself an excellent bet. However, -6 saps a lot of the value, especially when you consider the issues the Bengals have had to start the season, particularly on the offensive line.

Both teams seem to fit the bill for defensive-minded teams with above average defenses, but neither unit was elite last season. Both offenses will have trouble moving the ball, but have skill players who can get loose for big plays. Also, often with turnover prone games, offenses will find themselves in the red zone more than expected, which produces more scoring opportunities.

38 points, in my mind, is too low for this contest and is an overreaction to two bad games by these teams in Week 1. Both teams can easily reach 20 points in this game which would push the game over the number.

Pick: Over 38 at Bovada

Joseph Falchetti

Joe is the author of the blog, most picks, and the majority of excellent content on SafestBettingSites. He's been mentioned on Forbes.com as a gaming analyst and his articles have been linked by larger publications, such as the New York Times.

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