NFL preseason week two kicks off on Thursday night with a game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Cincinnati Bengals. There are two games on Thursday with the Browns and the Packers being the other game on the schedule, but the Bengals and Falcons will be televised on FOX. The Friday night action is highlight by a game between the Miami Dolphins vs. Carolina Panthers.
We hit another winner on Monday Night Football and now look to make it four in a row with a big pick on this game.
NFL Preseason Odds: The most up-to-date lines on this game at Top Rated Sportsbook WagerWeb have the Falcons as (-4.5) point favorites with the total set at 38. The reason for this line may be due to the rash of injuries suffered by the Bengals.
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The Bengals started the NFL preseason with a loss to the New York Jets in a game where they ended up losing three starters to injury in the first four minutes and another early in the second quarter. Guard Travelle Wharton, linebacker Rey Maualuga and defensive end Carlos Dunlap all went down with right knee injuries. This makes the Bengals very tentative headed into this game. The fourth starter to leave was safety Taylor Mays, who suffered a hit to the head while making a tackle.
On offense look for the Bengal starters to go a bit deeper than they did in week one, and that should equate to more points than they had in the opener.
The Falcons have an injury as well that will be a big concern. Akeem Dent who suffered a concussion against the Ravens and is being held out for this game. Considering Dent is starting middle linebacker the team does not want to risk further injury. This makes the team vulnerable over the middle where they already have issues in nickel packages covering the slot.
Betting on Atlanta is a risky proposition in the preseason. Coach Mike Smith puts the emphasis on execution over winning and that is the main reason the team was 0-4 (1-3 ATS) a year ago in the preseason.[poll id="19"]
Smith hinted to keeping his players healthy over winning. “The No. 1 thing we want to try and accomplish is to be as healthy as we can be when we get to the opening game, and that is very difficult to manage simply because this is the time of the year when you have the most contact,” Smith said. This is a sign that Smith will call a vanilla game plan.
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Marvin Lewis may not have the best record in the preseason but he does well in week two posting a 6-3 record in the last nine games. The Bengals will have openings over the middle they will be able to exploit to open up the run. This will equal big points, and although the Falcons will put up some points as well, the Bengals will win this game on the field.