Cincinnati Bengals at Detroit Lions [Friday 00:30] (7:30 p.m. EDT/4:30 p.m. PDT): The Cincinnati Bengals head to Detroit and Ford Field on Thursday night to face the Lions in Preseason Week 2. Offshore sportsbooks opened up the Lions from 1- (5Dimes, -125) to -2½ point Home favorites (Bookmaker) on Monday morning with the Total (Points) in the game set at 40 (5Dimes). The Money Line odds have Detroit at -135 with Cincinnati at +115 (5Dimes).
In the Preseason opener at Paul Brown Stadium, the Cincinnati Bengals (16/1 to win Super Bowl, Boylesports) lost to the Minnesota Vikings, 17-16, as AJ McCarron (11-16, 125 yards, TD) saw the bulk of the Playing Time at QB for the hosts with regular Bengals Starting QB Andy Dalton (4-5, 32 yards) solid in his return. Fourteenth-year Cincinnati Head Coach Marvin Lewis (107-98-10 ATS) also gave Joe Licata (3-7, 82 yards, INT) and Keith Wenning (3-8, 28 yards, INT) some time under center, and both threw Interceptions which might have helped Minnesota win the Preseason opener for both sides. The Bengals (7/1 to win AFC, Betfred) Rushing leaders in the contest were Giovani Bernard (7 rushes, 21 yards), Tra Carson (6 rushes, 19 yards) and Jeremy Hill (3 rushes, 16 yards) while the Cincinnati QBs put the ball in the air more with players trying to make the Roster and the battle for the third-string QB spot up for grabs. Cody Core (3 receptions, 33 yards), Brandon Tate (2 receptions, 26 yards), Cedric Peerman (3 receptions, 15 yards) and All Pro WR AJ Green (3 receptions, 28 yards) had solid receiving games for the Cats while over on the Defensive side of the football, Nick Vigil (8 tackles), Marquis Flowers (5 tackles), PJ Dawson (5 tackles) and Darien Harris (4 tackles) all had solid games. The Bengals have been at or above .500 ATS the L4 season, going an impressive 13-3- ATS last season (2015), 8-8-1 ATS in 2014, 10-6-1 ATS in 2013 and 9-7-1 ATS in 2012.
The Detroit Lions (66/1 to win Super Bowl, Betfred) beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh at Heinz Field in their Preseason opener, winning 30-17 thanks to a 17-3 2nd Half. In the victory, Lions 3rd-year Head Coach Jim Caldwell (18-18-0 ATS) used Dan Orlovsky (16/25, 164 yards, TD, INT, 79.4 QBR), starting QB Matthew Stafford (4-6, 58 yards, 97.9 QBR) and Jake Rudock (8-11, TD, 120.3 QBR). Detroit (12/1 to win Super Bowl, Sportingbet) was led in Rushing by Zach Zenner (7-12, 44 yards), Washington Rookie Jake Rudock (4 rushes, 20 yards), Theo Riddick (4 rushes, 15 yards), Stevan Ridley (5 rushes, 14 yards) and in Receiving by Andre Roberts (3 receptions, 57 yards, 19.0 ypc, TD), Jeremy Kerley (5 receptions, 36 yards), Jace Billingsley (3 receptions, 33 yards, TD), Zach Zenner (3 receptions, 32 yards) and Anquan Boldin (1 reception, 30 yards), among other. Detroit hasn’t had a winning season ATS in the L4 years, going 7-9 ATS in 2015, 8-9 ATS in 2014, 6-10 ATS in 2013 and 5-10-1 ATS in 2012.
What to Expect, Side, Total and Team Trends
The last time these two teams played was in the 2013 Regular Season here in Detroit at Ford Field (Week 7) and the Bengals won outright, 27-24, as 3-point Underdogs in a game that went Over the posted Total (46), but these two NFC North (+275 to win NFC, Bet365) and AFC North (+200 to win AFC, Betway) seldom meet despite the Midwestern cities of Detroit and Cincinnati being only 236 miles apart and the Lions and Bengals being established franchises. The Bengals (+190 to win AFC North, Bet365) did fairly well in the Preseason last year, going 3-1 SU and allowing just 10, 25, 10 and 6 points in games vs. the New York Giants, at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers—their only Preseason loss, 25-11—vs. the Chicago Bears and at the Indianapolis Colts, while the Lions (33/1 to win NFC, Betfred) also went 3-1 SU in the Preseason last year, also playing in relatively low-scoring affairs (all under 39 points) scoring between 17 to 23 points in games against the Jets, at Washington—their only Loss, 21-17 in Preseason Week 2—at Jacksonville Jaguars and vs. the Bills.
Some Trends: The Bengals are 8-0 ATS their L8 Road games, Cincinnati is 12-3-2 its L17 ATS and 1-3-1 the L5 games played on FieldTurf (Ford Field) while the Lions are 4-1 ATS their L5 Thursday games, Detroit is 6-2 ATS the L8 overall and the Lions are 6-2 ATS in their L8 overall. Some TOtals Trends: The Under is 4-1 the L6 Bengals Road games, 3-1-1 the L5 Thursday games, 5-1 the L5 Bengals games on FieldTurf (Ford Field) and the Under is 3-1-1 the L5 Bengals Thursday games. And, the Over is 4-0 the L4 Lions games on FieldTurf (Ford Field), the Over is 5-0 the L4 Lions Thursday games and the Over is 6-1 in the L7 Lions Home games. The Road team is 5-0 ATS the L4 meetings.
The bottom line here is that this is NFL Preseason Week 2 and there will be more demand to have teams playing a little more as a unit and a little more into some type of organized flow while also trying to avoid getting any key players injured while letting others compete for Roster spots. It’s more Cattle Call than game in some ways. The Intent of actually trying to win and doing so because it matters just isn’t present in the tentative Preseason, making the amounts (or units bet) on wagers as important as actually making that initial decision to bet on a given game. Maybe because the Bengals lost in their Preseason opener makes way for the Logic that they need a Win here for their heads but with McCarron, Wenning and Licata, it seems the host Lions will have both the Site advantage as well a slight edge at the backup QB edge with University of Connecticut product Orlovsky and Rudock. The battle for WR Roster spots on Detroit—which has Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, TJ Jones and Corey Fuller—may end up helping Detroit backers here in this game with TCU product Kerley, FSU product Boldin and Baylor product Jay Lee all fighting to make the team and Detroit and normal starting QB Stafford and backups Orlovsky and Rudock more than willing to throw the ball a little more in an indoor Preseason game with primarily second-, third- and fourth-stringers all battling to make teams. And another thing concerning current perceptions of these two sides: Detroit is not as bad as the vast majority of the General Public thinks whereas the Cincinnati Bengals, despite the progress and sexy SU and ATS marks, just aren’t as good and may be in for some slight regression this Regular Season.
PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: Lions 20 Bengals 16
NFL THURSDAY PICK: Lions -1 -125 (5Dimes)
NFL RECORD SEASON TO DATE: 1-0-0