Cincinnati at Jacksonville Preseason Week 3 Expert Pick & Odds
Week 3 of the preseason, easily the most important week of the exhibition schedule, closes out from northeast Florida on Sunday night when Jacksonville hosts Cincinnati. The Jaguars are favored on NFL odds in the nationally televised game.
How To Bet on the Cincinnati at Jacksonville Preseason Week 3 Expert Pick, Odds & TV Info
“Josh [Shaw] is a versatile guy and he’s going to be an integral part of what we’ll do.”
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) August 25, 2016
Cincinnati vs Jacksonville Historic Betting Trends
Somehow, the clubs have never played in the preseason. Cincinnati has won four straight regular-season matchups. The last was on Nov. 2, 2014, in Cincinnati and the Bengals won 33-23. Jeremy Hill ran for 154 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including a 60-yarder in the fourth quarter. Andy Dalton threw a pair of touchdown passes, one of them to A.J. Green, but also had a pair of interceptions that kept it close. Blake Bortles, then a rookie, threw for 247 yards, two TDs and one pick for Jacksonville.
Why Bet on Cincinnati?
The Bengals lost their preseason opener 17-16 to Minnesota but then won at Detroit 30-14 last week. Hill ran for a 9-yard TD on the Bengals’ first offensive possession. Cincinnati’s Derron Smith returned an interception 60 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. Dalton was 7 of 9 for 78 yards for the Bengals.
So how long will the Cincy starters play this week? “I go by the individual player,” Coach Marvin Lewis said. “Our approach is based on our players and what we need to get done by position. We know what degree of level condition work that we monitor all the time … Some guys will get extended a little longer, others won’t this week.”
You can all but rule out Pro Bowl tight end Tyler Eifert (ankle), slot cornerback Darqueze Dennard (ankle), right tackle Cedric Ogbuehi (toe) and linebacker Vontaze Bereft (unknown). Burfict practiced for about a week this camp, but hasn’t been out there in a week and Lewis has said he won’t play him in pre-season games before his three-game suspension begins to start the regular season.
The Bengals will see the preseason debut, apparently, of projected No. 2 receiver Brandon LaFell. He has been dealing with a hand injury but is expected to get heavy work Sunday. LaFell needs to develop a rapport with Dalton, and merely needs to get more reps period after missing the first two preseason games. He is battling rookie Tyler Boyd in the battle to be the No. 2 receiver.
Why Bet on Jacksonville?
The Jaguars need a good showing in their home finale as they are 0-2 in the preseason. Last week they lost 27-21 at home to the Bucs. Bortles did throw two touchdowns passes in three drives. Bortles connected with T.J. Yeldon for a 14-yard score in the first quarter and then lofted a 24-yarder to Allen Hurns in the back of the end zone in the second. Bortles completed 8 of 11 passes for 85 yards. Jaguars rookie CB Jalen Ramsey had three tackles in his NFL debut. He was the No. 5 overall pick in this year’s draft.
The first-team offense has scored 24 points and converted 3-of- 5 third downs on their first five possessions in the two preseason games. They’ve gained 280 yards and have had four drives last longer than three minutes — including two that lasted longer than six. Slow starts were a problem in 2015 in the regular season. The Jaguars averaged just 2.19 points and converted only 34.7 percent of their third downs in the first quarter. Those stats ranked 31st and 25th in the NFL, respectively.
Jaguars rookie LB Myles Jack will get first-team reps Sunday. He was the team’s second-round pick. Paul Posluszny is still the starter at middle linebacker, but Jack will get some work with the first-team defense with the veteran expected to play limited snaps. Meanwhile, Kelvin Beachum is expected to start at left tackle Sunday against the Bengals. Beachum has been sidelined for most of camp as he attempts to come back from an October ACL tear. With Beachum taking over at left tackle, Luke Joeckel is expected to get the nod at left guard. Joeckel, the starting left tackle the past two seasons, has played well the first two preseason games starting there.
My Expert Pick
The Jags will want this one so take them and go under on NFL lines.