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Well, how do we get excited about this one? You have to be a fan of one of these two teams (please accept my condolences if you are), to look forward to another Thursday night dog of a game. The Bengals are at least 2-1 and have a couple of decent wins (Minnesota and at Pittsburgh), and if they win this one they could be in first place all by themselves when the dust clears Sunday evening. And they should win against the lowly Jags. Let’s check out the matchups.
Quarterback: Trevor Lawrence has definitely experienced growing pains in his first year as an NFL quarterback. He has completed 54% of his passes for 669 yards and 5 touchdowns. But, he already has 7 interceptions in just three games. He will be a star some day, but he his on a bad team without much help. In Cincinnati, 2nd year quarterback, Joe Burrow has completed 71% of his passes for 640 yards, 7 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions which don’t knock your socks off. Advantage: Cincinnati
Running Backs: James Robinson is the leading rusher with 160 yards in three games. He has been average. Cincinnati counters with Joe Mixon who is off to a great start with 286 yards and that has taken some pressure off of Burrow. Advantage: Cincinnati
Receivers: Cincinnati has a trio of receivers who have become favorite targets of Burrow. Ja’Marr Chase has 16 receptions for 220 yards and has scored 4 touchdowns. Tyler Boyd (19 for 141 yards) and Tee Higgins (15 for 118) have also had their moments. The Jaguars are led by Marvin Jones and DJ Clark who have combined for 24 catches, 348 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Advantage: Cincinnati
Defense: A glaring statistic that stands out about the Jacksonville defense is the 302 yards per game they are allowing through the air. That is a lot of yards especially considering two of the teams aren’t really good passing teams. They are okay against the, run but not great. The Bengals have been great against the run limiting teams to 78 yards rushing per game and should be able to stop the Jaguar running game. Their pass defense has been stingy and have picked off 3 passes. Advantage: Cincinnati
All matchups lead to Cincinnati in this one. The Jaguars are a team that is in total rebuilding mode and have a 1st year coach and a rookie quarterback and they are really struggling. The Bengals need to take advantage of that and this will be a crushing loss if they don’t win this one. Cincinnati is a 7.5 point favorite.
DUDES WHO BET SPORTS PICK: Cincinnati -7.5 Confidence level 8 out of 10
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