After a blowout loss in their season opener, the Packers (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS) have strung together three straight wins and covers. Green Bay opened as a 3.5-point favorite at Cincinnati (3-1, 2-2), where the Bengals are 6-2-1 ATS in their last nine as a home underdog.
Opening Odds Analysis
With Cincinnati on extra rest and on a 7-3-1 ATS run in its last 11 home games, it won’t be surprising to see this line shift toward the Bengals. In fact, Green Bay had been bet down to a field-goal favorite at several sportsbooks by Monday night.
Green Bay News & Notes
It took awhile for Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb to recapture their old chemistry, but they seemed to find it last week in a 27-17 win over Pittsburgh. Cobb, who played with the Packers from 2011 to 2018 before spending the past two seasons in Dallas and Houston, caught five balls for 69 yards — more than he’d produced in his first three games combined — and a pair of touchdowns.
Cobb could be a player to target in fantasy leagues again this week after Marquez Valdes-Scantling was placed on injured reserve over the weekend. The Packers also played last week without linebacker Krys Barnes, offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins and cornerback Kevin King, and CB Jaire Alexander left Sunday’s game in the third quarter with a shoulder injury.
Kicker Mason Crosby extended his streak of successful field goals to a team-record 24 with a pair of short makes against Pittsburgh, although that performance comes with an asterisk. The Steelers blocked Crosby’s 26-yard attempt late in the first half and returned it 75 yards for an apparent touchdown, but the play was called back on a disputed offside call against Pittsburgh.
Cincinnati News & Notes
Playing from behind hasn’t fazed the Bengals, who have overcome deficits of a touchdown or more in two of their three victories and had another comeback attempt fall just short against the Bears. Last Thursday, Cincinnati scored on each of its four second-half possessions to dig itself out of a 14-0 halftime hole and edge the Jaguars 24-21.
Joe Burrow threw for a season-high 348 yards and two touchdowns against Jacksonville, with both of those majors going to tight end C.J. Uzomah. Ja’Marr Chase and Tyler Boyd have also been popular targets for Burrow in the absence of Tee Higgins, the team’s top receiver last year who has been sidelined by a shoulder injury.
The Bengals defense has also contributed to Cincy’s 3-1 SU start, ranking seventh in the NFL in both fewest points and fewest yards allowed. Cincinnati’s biggest issue at the moment might be its running game, with top back Joe Mixon failing to crack the 100-yard plateau since the season opener. Mixon was held to 67 yards against Jacksonville before leaving the game with an ankle injury.
How Green Bay Will Cover
The Packers have scored at least 27 points in three straight games following an ugly season-opening loss to New Orleans and will probably need that many points again to top the Bengals. Generating a pass rush will also be key to stopping Burrow, who has been sacked just once in the Bengals’ last two contests.
How Cincinnati Will Cover
Extra time to prepare should help the Bengals, who haven’t played since last Thursday night, but they need to get off to stronger starts. Other than three touchdowns in the two-minute drill, Cincy has scored just one first-half TD in its first four games, and coming back against Rodgers and the Packers’ ball-control attack is easier said than done.
Computer Pick: Bengals +3.5
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