Sunday, November 1, 2020, Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1 p.m. ET
Titans at Bengals Betting Preview: Titans (-5.5/-110), Bengals (+5.5/-110)
Winning four one-possession games during a 5-0 start masked some weaknesses that became a bit more glaring the moment Stephen Gostkowski’s potential game-tying field goal last week sliced wide right, sealing a 27-24 home loss to Pittsburgh.
Tennessee is not a good defensive team, particularly on third downs. The Titans are allowing opponents to convert more than 61 percent, the worst mark for any team in 30 years. The Steelers cashed in on 13 of 18 third down plays last week.
Tennessee has won all three games in which it’s allowed at least 30 points, a trend that can’t continue if it wants to win a championship. There’s no doubt the Titans have the offense to match anyone, but through six games, their defense has work to do to enable them to beat teams like Pittsburgh, Kansas City or Baltimore in January.
Another year, another losing season in Cincinnati. At least this one carries the promise of a brighter future since the Bengals appear to have nailed April’s No. 1 overall selection in quarterback Joe Burrow.
Through seven games, Burrow is hitting 66.6 percent of his passes and averaging 289 yards per game, playing to a respectable quarterback rating of 89.4. When he gets a better line in front of him and learns how to hang on to the ball better — he has fumbled eight times, losing three — he could become an elite quarterback.
The defense is another story. Cincinnati is yielding nearly 28 points per game, including a season-high 37 last week in a bitter home loss to Cleveland. And a day of facing Derrick Henry, Ryan Tannehill and A.J. Brown probably won’t help those numbers unless the Bengals find a pass rush.
Titans at Bengals Betting Pick for Week 8
Two quarterbacks who are playing good football match up against two vulnerable secondaries that aren’t getting any help from their pass rush. Tennessee has only seven sacks in six games and Cincinnati has notched just 10 in seven games.
Any result but a shootout would be a complete surprise, but it also would be a surprise if the Bengals won the game. They have four losses by five points or fewer, and this week will make it five losses in that category. The Titans score late to pull out a thriller.
Titans at Bengals Betting Pick:
Titans 31, Bengals 27.
Titans at Bengals Best Bet for Week 8
Given that both teams’ offenses are ahead of the defenses, playing the over is your wisest play. That could be true early as both try to set an immediate tone by attacking the other team’s weakest part to play from the lead.
So feel good about dropping some money on the over for the first quarter. Don’t be shocked if both teams score a touchdown — maybe more — in the opening 15 minutes.
Titans at Bengals Best Bet: OVER 10.5 total points in the first quarter (-200)