This was one of those matchups that looked a whole lot better before the season started. After a sluggish start to the season at 1-3 while Joe Burrow worked his way back from a preseason calf injury, the Bengals had looked like a team ready to storm back into the playoff picture with wins against the 49ers and Bills pushing their record to 5-3. Now sitting at 5-6, the Bengals looking at a lost season with Burrow out for the year. Their remaining schedule features exactly zero teams with a losing record. This feels like a lost season for one of the preseason favorites.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, another preseason darling for many, have held up their end of the bargain, racing out to an 8-3 record. It is not out of the question for the Jaguars to push for the top seed in the AFC. Four of their final six opponents have a losing record including finishing out the year with Tampa Bay, Carolina, and Tennessee. The road to Vegas may go through Jacksonville.
As for the game itself, I like Jacksonville to take care of business, I just don’t love that giant spread of 10 points. I’m not sure how well the Bengals will move the ball but their defense has played well at times this year. This feels like a typical 2023 prime time game where the game isn’t particularly close but the underdog covers the spread in a low scoring affair.
Picks: Jacksonville moneyline, Bengals +10, Under 39
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