Matchups Week 3: Cincinnati Bengals at New York Jets

Bengals Jets

Cincinnati Bengals (0-2) at New York Jets (1-1)

Opening Line: Jets +4.5.

Game Total: 43.5.

Team Totals: Jets (19.5), Bengals (24).

Weather: Outdoors, chance of rain.

The Line Report

  •         This line opened as Jets +4.5.
  •         This line has moved up to Jets +6.5 as of Thursday afternoon.
  •         DraftKings Pick’Em has the Jets +4.5.
  •         Circa Sports Millions Pro Football Contest has the Jets +6.
  •         This total opened at 43.5 points.
  •         This total has moved up to 44.5 points as of Thursday afternoon.

Notable Injuries

Jets: QB Zach Wilson (Out), OT Duane Brown (IR), WR Corey Davis (Questionable), LT George Fant (Questionable), DT Quinnen Williams (Questionable), Edge John Franklin-Myers (Questionable), S Jordan Whitehead (Questionable).

Bengals: RT La’el Collins (Questionable), LB Germaine Pratt (Questionable).

The Jets Offense vs. Bengals Defense

From a macro sense, the Jets’ offensive line vs. the Bengals’ defensive line is a relative stalemate. That said, Bengals edge Trey Hendrickson presents a matchup advantage against the Jets depleted offensive tackle situation.

Notes and Observations

  •         The Jets are 1-1 against the spread this season.
  •         The Jets are on 1-1 overs this season.
  •         Per The Edge, after dropping 307 yards passing and four touchdowns in Cleveland last week, Joe Flacco is currently fourth in the league in passing yards.
  •         Michael Carter (17 carries, 14 targets, 43 routes run) is ahead of Breece Hall (13 carries, 11 targets, 32 routes run) in this running back committee. That said, both backs are seeing significant opportunities and Hall is already showing that he’s the higher-ceiling player.
  •         The Bengals are allowing the seventh-fewest rushing yards and the 13th-fewest yards receiving to running backs this season. The Bengals’ run defense was highly effective last year as well.
  •         The Jets wide receiver group of Elijah Moore, Corey Davis, Braxton Berrios, and rookie Garrett Wilson is a deep, talented group with four players capable of making an impact.
  •         Last week in Cleveland, Wilson popped off for an 8-102-2 line on 14 targets.
  •         Elijah Moore is currently third among Jets wide receivers in target share (12%) and team air yards share (18.6%). But he’s well ahead of all other Jets wide receivers with 94 routes run.
  •         The Bengals have given up the fourth-fewest yards receiving on the 11th-fewest receptions to wide receivers this season.
  •         Keep in mind that Cincinnati has started the season against Mitch Trubisky’s Steelers and the Cowboys with Cooper Rush at quarterback.
  •         Among all tight ends Tyler Conklin is fifth in targets (16) but 15th in target share (16%) with an extremely low 2.9 ADOT.
  •         The Bengals have allowed the seventh most yards receiving on the 12th most receptions to tight ends this season. 

The Bengals Offense vs. Jets Defense

You could argue that no position group has disappointed more through the first two games than the Bengals’ revamped offensive line. That group is the primary reason Cincinnati has started off 0-2. Joe Burrow has been sacked a league-leading 13 times. The Jets’ fringe top-ten front four has a trench advantage in this contest.

The Bengals have one of the, if not the best skill group in the NFL. The Jets secondary is better than it was last season. However, they are going to have their hands full with the Bengals’ wide receiver trio of Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd.

Notes and Observations

  •         The Bengals are 0-2 against the spread this season.
  •         The Bengals are 0-2 on overs this season.
  •         Per The Edge, Joe Burrow is 11th in the league in passing yards. 
  •         Joe Mixon is tenth in rushing yards and second in yards receiving among running backs this season.
  •         The Jets have allowed the 15th-most rushing yards and the 15th-most yards receiving to running backs this year.
  •         Cincinnati’s wide receiver trio of Ja’Marr Chase (28.4% target share, 29.2% team air yards share), Tee Higgins (13.6% target share, 22.1% team air yards share), and Tyler Boyd (10.2% target share, 16.6% team air yards share) have not hit its collective ceiling yet this season. Not even close.
  •         The Jets have allowed the third-fewest yards receiving on the second-fewest receptions to wide receivers this year.
  •         Keep in mind the Jets have started the season against the Ravens and Browns, who are not very reliant on their wide receivers.
  •         Despite Cincinnati’s arguably league-best wide receiver trio, Hayden Hurst is second on the team in target share (17%), good for 12th-best in the league at the position.
  •         The Jets have allowed the eighth-most yards receiving on the eighth-most receptions to tight ends this season.

This is What You’re Betting On in Jets vs. Bengals

A bet on the Bengals is a bet on a young, talented offense that has dug themselves an 0-2 hole after narrowly losing last year’s Super Bowl. This is Cincinnati’s second road game in a row. But this is a fairly obvious correction spot against a Jets team that pulled a rabbit out of their hat to win in Cleveland last week. Joe Flacco hung 307 yards passing and four scores in that game.

While this matchup has some shootout potential, Flacco’s Week 2 explosion is not going to be the new norm for the Jets. That said, the Jets do have a good, young collection of skill position players and a solid offensive line. New York also has a trench advantage on defense against a Bengals’ offensive line that has been the driving force behind Cincinnati’s slow start. The Jets have realistic paths to winning this contest. But ultimately, if you’re betting on the Bengals in any fashion here, you are betting on Joe Burrow taking matters into his own hands after an 0-2 start.

A bet on the Jets starts as a bet on their front four derailing the Bengals’ offense like both the Steelers and Cowboys did in the first two weeks. You’re also betting on New York’s young, talented skill position players at least meeting expectations against a Bengals’ defense that isn’t quite as good as their current numbers would indicate. We can’t reasonably expect Joe Flacco to repeat last week’s aerial explosion. But you do need Flacco to provide more offense than he did in Week 1 against the Ravens here. Your biggest concern on any Jets bet is that Joe Burrow and his outstanding trio of wide receivers go nuclear with their backs against the wall at 0-2.

Bengals vs. Jets Pool Picks

Awards Market Ramifications: Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson is an Offensive Rookie of the Year contender.

Winner/ Confidence Pool: I will be taking the Bengals in winner pools this week, though the Jets represent an interesting differentiator option as +4.5 home underdogs with a couple of reasonable paths to giving the Bengals a game. I expect that I will be higher than the consensus on the Bengals in my confidence pool rankings.

Spread Pool: I’m still undecided on what I’ll do with this game against the spread, but I will likely play the Bengals at a value in at least one of my DraftKings Pick’Em entries.

Survivor: I will deploy the Bengals in at least one of my survivor pools this week because of Justin Herbert’s injury uncertainty, Dak Prescott missing Monday Night Football against the Giants, and my lack of interest in taking the Vikings against the Lions. My original considerations for Week 3 and the Bengals in survivor pools are here.


WATCH MORE: Former NFL head coach Dave Wannstedt discusses why the Bengals aren’t meeting preseason expectations.


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