NFL Week 2 Betting Tips: Back the Bengals to bounce back against injury-hit Ravens

By Tom Collins

Latest NFL Odds

15 September 2023

The best thing about American football is its predictable unpredictability - from shock results to unfathomable statlines, this sport has it all.

Perhaps it was easy to call a week 1 thriller between the Dolphins and Chargers alongside wins for the Cowboys and Commanders and the utter domination of the 49ers against the Steelers. But who would have chalked up losses for the Bengals, Chiefs, Vikings and Seahawks? Not me.

Shock results are always on the cards in the NFL, foreseeing where they will occur is the tricky bit. Hopefully the games listed below go as planned this week so that we can secure a tasty profit.

Baltimore Ravens (+3.5) @ Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5)

Kick-off: 6pm Sunday BST

Cincinnati’s offensive failures against the Cleveland Browns have been well documented. I’m not going to try to sugarcoat their performance last Sunday, but there might have been mitigating circumstances for the unit’s poor display.

A mixture of bad weather (rain and wind), a raucous Cleveland crowd that virtually stopped audibles, Tee Higgins’ no-show, and several blatant drops led to Joe Burrow throwing for just 82 yards on 31 pass attempts. It’s also worth pointing out that the Browns have now won six straight home games against the Bengals.

This offence is too good for that to be a legitimate showing of their capabilities, but let’s not forget that they have been slow starters in the past. Just think back to this time last year where they came off a 23-20 overtime loss to a relatively weak Pittsburgh Steelers team.

The majority of pundits and fans alike believe this team can make a Super Bowl run and they will need to improve immediately if that’s to be the case. This week’s match-up against the Ravens provides the perfect opportunity given they too underwhelmed in their season opener against the Houston Texans.

Just to further Baltimore’s misery, they will be without star running back JK Dobbins while Mark Andrews continues to nurse his quad injury. Add in the fact that the Bengals should be fully prepared to stop a dual-purpose quarterback after going up against DeShaun Watson last week and it makes sense to trust Burrow and Co to reverse the fortunes.

Prediction: Bengals -3.5 @ 10/11

Kansas City Chiefs (-2.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (+2.5)

Kick-off: 6pm Sunday BST

Buckle up because this game is going to be one hell of a ride. The Jaguars are one of the up-and-coming teams in the league with a red-hot offence led by the brilliant Trevor Lawrence. On the other side you have the Chiefs, who have played in three of the last four Super Bowls and have won two of them. 

Given Jacksonville has a point to prove against the best while Kansas City is angry after their week one loss on Thursday Night Football, this should be a real barnstorming affair with big numbers put up on both sides.

Taking the over in the ‘total points’ market was tempting, but I’m going to look for a bit of value by backing Evan Engram to score an anytime touchdown. You might be thinking that seems a little obscure given Travis Etienne, Calvin Ridley, Zay Jones and Christian Kirk are more obvious candidates to find the endzone, but the Chiefs have long had a problem covering tight ends (allowed eight touchdowns last year) and I’m predicting that to continue.

Stopping Etienne by filling the box or double-covering Ridley seems the most likely defensive tactic for the Chiefs, but that will leave the 6ft 3in Engram one-on-one against an undersized Chiefs corner or linebacker. Given they allowed rookie Sam LaPorta to catch all five targets for 39 yards in week one, Engram is sure to get the ball thrown his way early and often.

Prediction: Evan Engram first touchdown @ 15.5

Washington Commanders (+3.5) @ Denver Broncos (-3.5)

Kick-off: 9.25pm Sunday BST

Neither of these teams put up a spectacular display last week. Washington fended off the worst team in football by four points, while Denver succumbed to the Raiders at home in a rather drab affair.

Given the biggest strength of both these teams is their defence, I don’t envisage this becoming a high-scoring affair. However, the Broncos rather baffled me in that regard by allowing Jimmy Garoppolo to throw for 200 yards with 20 completions from 26 attempts without getting much pressure. That provides hope for new Commanders starting quarterback, Sam Howell.

It’s also worth noting that Washington’s offence has plenty of talent, even if they’re yet to show it. Jahan Dotson, Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel and Logan Thomas are all dangerous and that’s not even mentioning their time-sharing running backs, Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson. 

I can see this game being decided by a late field goal and, although I was tempted to tip the Commanders Money Line at a good price given their upside, I’ll take the safer option of +3.5 on the spread.

Prediction: Commanders +3.5 @ 10/11

NFL Week 2 Tips

Back Ravens @ Bengals: Back the Bengals -3.5 @ 10/11
Back Chiefs @ Jaguars: Evan Engram first touchdown @ 15.5
Back Commanders @ Broncos: Commanders +3.5 @ 10/11
Treble pays 59/1

Latest NFL Odds

We use cookies to manage user login sessions, enhance user experience, perform essential site operations and tailor advertising and other content to reflect your specific interests. By clicking "I Accept" you consent to the use of cookies and similar technologies for the purposes we outline in our Cookie Policy.