Houston Texans vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Date and Time: Thursday, September 14, 2017, 8:25 p.m. ET
Location: Paul Brown Stadium
Week 2 Opening NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Bengals -3.5, O/U 40
Texans vs. Bengals TV Coverage: NFL Network
Tom Savage was anointed the Texans starting quarterback heading into their Week 3 preseason tilt against the New Orleans Saints. If had the chance to make that decision all over again, I’m sure O’Brien would have chosen differently. Savage was awful last Sunday against Jacksonville’s defense in completing 7 of 13 passes for 62 yards and fumbling twice. One of which was scooped up and returned for a 53 yard touchdown.
He was benched in the third quarter to cash those that bet on the “First QB to be benched” prop before the Week 1 festivities began. Rookie Deshaun Watson replaced him and went on to complete over half his passes for 102 yards and a touchdown. He did however toss one interception. Due to game script, Lamar Miller only got 17 carries. He’ll likely be called upon more in this one after the Bengals allowed Terrance West and Javorius Allen to combine for 151 yards on 40 carries last week.
As bad a day as the Texans quarterbacks has last week, it pales in comparison to the garbage the Bengals got from their QB1 last Sunday afternoon. Cincinnati thought it went out and improved the offense this past offseason, but the end result versus the Ravens hardly painted that picture. When it was said and done, Andy Dalton threw for just 170 yards and no touchdowns. The “Red Rocket” also got picked off four times.
Cincy was 0 for 3 in its three red zone appearances and turned the pigskin over a total of five times. The absence of both Adam Jones and Vontaze Burfict was paramount. Though Baltimore did little to nothing through the air, it gouged the Bengals on the ground. With Burfict on the field, the Bengals possess a much better run defense. He still won’t be able to suit up and compete with the defense for another two weeks.
Both J.J Watt and Brian Cushing were forced to leave last week’s game. The former dislocated a finger, and is expected to suit up for this Week 2 kick-off with the Bengals. However, the latter suffered yet another concussion and will be in the protocol throughout the week. If he’s unable to go, it will make it that much harder for the Texans to improve upon the run defense after it was gashed by rookie Leonard Fournette and Chris Ivory for over 150 yards. If the Bengals trio of backs are unable to do anything against this depleted bunch, it just might be hopeless in Cincinnati.
Texans vs. Bengals Picks
It was hardly shocking to see both the Texans and Bengals go down in defeat at home even though they closed as favorites at all the top-rated sportsbooks. They were weak favorites that have their warts. Houston’s front wall was a joke in allowing both quarterbacks to get sacked 10 times. Cincy’s wasn’t much better in allowing five. Neither offense was able to get much going, and that’s reflected in the betting line with the total release on the low side. Still, until each offense starts showing it can routinely move the ball and put points on the board, I have no choice but to hit the under. These Thursday night spots have been notorious for low scorers as well with it cashing 20 of the last 30 times the last two seasons.
Texans vs. Bengals Week 2 ATS Pick: Under 38.5 at BookMaker.eu
Texans vs. Bengals Score Prediction: Bengals 20 – Texans 16