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Monday Night Football: Bengals at Jags

Anthony P

The Bottom Line article will lead us in making the right call on high-profile games. I will cover TNF, SNF, and MNF. I will also cover big baseball games, the NBA, and the NHL.

This matchup had all the makings of a classic showdown, but unfortunately, injuries have taken a bit of the shine off it. I delved into the line movement for this game in the Overnight Grind article earlier today. As it stands, the Jaguars are still favored by 10 points, and the total has settled at a steady 40.

Now, let's dive deeper into this game and explore a few prop bets that catch the eye.

As the Jacksonville Jaguars gear up for their first Monday Night Football appearance a very very long time, the betting landscape presents a fascinating scenario. The Jaguars, riding high with an impressive 8-3 record, face a Cincinnati Bengals team struggling to find its footing in the absence of star quarterback Joe Burrow. This matchup is not just a tale of two teams heading in opposite directions; it's a deep dive into the nuances of NFL betting.

The Jaguars' Ascent and the Bengals' Struggle

Jacksonville's resurgence under head coach Doug Pederson has been nothing short of remarkable. With an 8-3 record both against the spread (ATS) and straight up (SU), they've defied expectations. Trevor Lawrence, while not setting the league alight, has been efficient, and running back Travis Etienne Jr. is steadily contributing to a balanced offense. Their defense, ranked 12th in scoring, has been a key component of their success.

Conversely, the Bengals, now led by Jake Browning in Burrow's absence, are in a tailspin. With a 5-6 record and a defense hemorrhaging yards (31st overall in yardage allowed), they're a shadow of the Super Bowl-aspiring team they were expected to be. Browning's performance has been decent, but the team's overall trajectory is concerning.

Analyzing the Matchup: Trends and Key Points

Despite the Jaguars' strong performance, this game presents a unique betting scenario. Typically, betting on an underdog in a low-total game is a trend many follow, but the Jaguars' current form and the Bengals' struggles make it hard to bet against Jacksonville. Moreover, the Bengals' defense, particularly vulnerable to tight ends, could be a significant factor. They've allowed an average of 96 receiving yards per game to the position over the last five weeks. This statistic sets up perfectly for Jaguars' tight end Evan Engram, who has been targeted heavily, making his prop bet of over 47.5 receiving yards particularly enticing.

The Jaguars' offense, capable of explosive plays, faces a Bengals defense that is the worst in the league in passing yards allowed per attempt. This weakness is something Lawrence and his receiving corps can exploit, especially considering the Bengals' recent inability to contain opposing offenses.

The Over/Under Dilemma

While 'primetime unders' have been a profitable trend this season, this game's low total combined with the Jaguars' offensive potential and the Bengals' defensive woes tilt the scales towards an over. The Jaguars are averaging 24.6 points per game over their last eight, and with Cincinnati's defense struggling, there's a good chance Jacksonville will rack up the points. On the other hand, the Bengals, despite their challenges, still possess a capable receiving core that could contribute to the scoreline, especially in a scenario where they're playing catch-up.

Betting Recommendation

Taking all these factors into account, the smart play seems to be laying the points with the Jaguars. Their current form, combined with the Bengals' defensive struggles, makes them a solid pick. Additionally, the over seems like a viable option in this matchup, given the potential for Jacksonville's offense to capitalize on Cincinnati's defensive shortcomings and the likelihood of the Bengals scoring some late, 'garbage time' points.

Finally, don't overlook the prop bet for Evan Engram. Given the Bengals' vulnerability to tight ends and Engram's recent usage in the Jaguars' offense, he's in a prime position to exceed his receiving yards total.

In conclusion, while the Jaguars look set to continue their impressive run, the Bengals' struggles might persist, making Jacksonville the team to back in this intriguing Monday Night Football showdown.

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