USAbetting looks to one of the worst matchups on the board for what we think is some of the better value of the week. The last place Cincinnati Bengals travel to Landover, Maryland to take on the last place Washington Football Team (1pm ET Sunday; TV: Live on CBS).
Read on for our Bengals vs WFT predictions and betting preview, with picks against the bookies.
The Cincinnati Bengals are closer to another top pick than they are to a playoff spot. They have been surprisingly strong against the spread despite a record of 2-6-1 on the season. Rookie quarterback Joe Burrow has led the Bengals to a 6-3 record against the number after getting blown out by the Steelers and not covering.
Washington is still in the hunt within the lowly NFC East despite only having two wins through 10 weeks. They are currently tied for last place in the East with the Cowboys at 2-7, but they are only a game and a half out of first place with the Eagles sitting at 3-6-1.
Washington still has an outside shot of winning the division and have been playing competitive football nearly every week. They lost to the Detroit Lions last week on a 59-yard field goal as time expired. There is reason to be hopeful as the offense woke up in the second half in Alex Smith’s first start since his gruesome leg injury two years ago. Washington was able to claw all the way back after scoring 24 points in the second half but ultimately fell short.
Washington’s Front to Slow Down Rookie Joe Burrow
The Washington front is one of the bigger mismatches in the game. They will look to get pressure on rookie quarterback Joe Burrow and disrupt the Bengals offense. The Steelers were able to generate pressure with their front and sacked Burrow four times. The Steelers’ front seven accounted for all four sacks on the day. They held the Bengals’ offense to 10 points and only a field goal in the second half. Most impressive was the Steelers’ ability to get off the field. The Bengals were an abysmal 0-13 on third down.
I think the Washington pass rush will have similar success, which should stymie the Bengals’ attack. Washington ranks 5th in the NFL in average sacks per game with 3.1. They also rank 5th in the league in overall sacks with 28. The Bengals sit at the bottom of the league (31st) in average sacks allowed with 3.6 per game. I think this mismatch will be one of the more important of the game and that Washington will dominate, which will slow down an already average offense.
The Bengals rank 22nd in average points scored per game with 22.7. Washington is middle of the pack in average points allowed per game (24.2), but surprisingly has one of the best defenses against the pass. Their secondary has been strong so far this season, which has a lot to do with their dominant front seven and pass rush. They rank 1st in the NFL in average passing yards per game, only giving up 194.7 on average in nine games. They should be able to hold the Bengals to a lower scoring output through their dominant pass rush and strong passing defense.
Our Betting Preview’s Cincinnati Bengals vs Washington Football Team Predictions & Picks
This preview is going to be rolling with Washington as small home favorites with the most popular stateside sportsbooks. This is a team that is still fighting for the division and plays tough nearly every game. We think the Washington front seven can dominate a Bengals offensive line that has been prone to giving up sacks.
The Bengals rank second to last in sacks allowed so far this season (32 sacks), which has resulted in a loss of 231 yards. This discrepancy between such a good defensive front and such a bad offensive line will prove pivotal for Washington.
I also like what I saw from Washington’s offense in Smith’s first start against the Lions. This was tied for their highest scoring game of the season with their Week 1 victory over the Eagles (27-17). Smith was able to limit the mistakes and had zero interceptions after throwing three the week before against the Giants. He was able to successfully spread the ball around and had seven different receivers with four or more receptions. Smith threw for 390 yards and nearly brought the team all the way back. This was the first time in his career that he has had back-to-back 300+ yard games.
I think the defense will be able to keep the Bengals off the scoreboard early, which will allow Washington to get a lead and they won’t look back. I see this as a convincing 24-13 win and cover by the home team. So with those Bengals vs Washington predictions, this is the advised betting pick for this preview: