Cincinnati Bengals open the season against the Oakland Raiders in week 1 NFL betting. Check out our game preview, complete with betting analysis and NFL picks.
Cincinnati Bengals Road Faves
The Cincinnati Bengals open their season against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, a game that is cornered in their camp wholeheartedly despite having to hit the road for the long trek out West. NFL bettors will find the Bengals installed on the NFL odds board as the -170 favourites to win straight up (or thereabouts depending on your choice online sports betting shop) and straddling a field-goal line.
Cincinnati Bengals are coming off a solid regular season, finishing second in the AFC North with a 10-5-1 SU mark, which included a 5-2-1 SU mark at home and a 5-3 SU mark on the road. Characteristically, the bulk of their deposit featured wins over last season’s stragglers (by that we mean teams that finished with subpar .500 marks or less). Those were Atlanta, Tennessee, Jacksonville, Cleveland, New Orleans, and Tampa Bay. The only credible wins they earned were from a series sweep over the Baltimore Ravens, a win over Houston Texans and a statement-making win over the Denver Broncos in week 16 NFL betting.
Going into the playoffs as the fifth seed amidst much pomp and expectation, the Bengals took on the Colts in the AFC wildcard round. It would be churlish to take anything away from the poised 26-10 victory by the Colts, highlighted by two big plays in the third quarter by Andrew Luck that gave the Colts the 20-10 lead. But the Bengals never tire of being the Bengals. In another cataclysmic collapse that had an eerie sense of the inevitable about it the Bengals became the only team in NFL history to lose four consecutive opening-round playoff games. Oh Andy!
Oakland Raiders Begin Del Rio Era As Underdogs
The Del Rio Era is set to begin on Sunday amidst high hopes and expectations in Oakland. There’s a buzz in the air about the Raiders, who appear to be much improved this season with more talent than ever before, as they look to turnaround the franchise and put a string of losing seasons over the last decade firmly behind them. How much they improve is a major talking point in many NFL betting circles, some going so far as to suggest an optimistic .500 record or better is a realistic possibility.
Cooler heads prevail (fortunately) at various NFL betting exchanges, with bookies setting tempered outlooks for the Raiders on the season proper. Beginning with week 1 NFL betting where they are the robust +150 home underdogs to win straight up and trading as the 3-point home pups.
This doesn’t mean the Raiders are going to be the same pushovers they were last season when they went without win in the first 11 weeks of the season. If the preseason is anything to go by, they do have an improved defense that could give Andy Dalton some headaches, and a deeper offense with more weapons. Question is whether Derek Carr can rise to the occasion and utilise all that’s in his field of vision. He wasn’t exactly solid as the Raiders went 1-3 SU in the preseason.
NFL Betting Verdict: All and sundry are high on the Raiders it would seem. Countless NFL betting experts and analysts are weighing in on this game and, surprisingly, some are leaning towards the home dogs across the board on their NFL picks. Go figure.
It’s week 1 of NFL betting when anything can happen, but not until the new-look Raiders are proven in the field of real action can we with any conviction recommend them on our NFL picks. Not that we’re high on the Bengals in any sense, but they typically can be relied upon to beat up on so-called lighter opponents. In other words: we’re not saying it’s unlikely that the Raiders will win or cover rather that it’s improbable they’ll do so. So take the Bengals as the 3-point road faves.
NFL Picks: Bengals -3.0 (-115) at Bet365