Houston Texans vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 9-14-2017 - Prediction & Preview
Written by: Brian Spaen
Houston Texans (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS)
vs Cincinnati Bengals (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS)
When: Thursday, Sep 14th, 8:25 PM ET
Line: CIN -3.5
TV/Live Stream: NFL Network
Cincinnati hosts Houston at Paul Brown Stadium to kick off Week 2 of the season on Thursday night. The Texans made a switch at quarterback during halftime and opted for the rookie out of Clemson, but still suffered a disastrous loss at home to Jacksonville. The Bengals looked even worse against Baltimore and were shutout at home.
Watson impresses on first drive, struggles through rest of contest
Houston had a lot of emotion heading into the game as people are still recovering from Hurricane Harvey. Things didn’t open up well for them as the offense barely churned up the field. Quarterback Tom Savage went 7-for-13 on his passing, but only recorded 62 yards, coughed up two fumbles, and the running game wasn’t able to get going. Down 19-0 at half, he was benched for rookie Deshaun Watson. On his first drive, he marched down the field and got a touchdown. However, that would essentially be the only excitement the team generated. He ended his day completing 12-for-23 passes for 102 yards and had both a touchdown and pick. He also ran the ball for 16 yards on two carries.
Watson was responsible for two turnovers and took four sacks. Thanks to getting banged up, he is listed as questionable in the injury report, but NFL Network reports that he should get the nod as starter in this Thursday’s matchup. A huge blow could be defensive end J.J. Watt, who had a dislocated finger in the opener. He’s day-to-day, but they’re also expecting him to be available. Tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz left the last game early with concussion-like symptoms. He finished the game with 46 yards on four catches.
Dalton throws four picks in ugly defeat
Prior to the first week of the season, this matchup had some intrigue. Houston’s defense would be going up against Cincinnati’s powerful offense, but they certainly got stuffed against Baltimore in a stunning 20-0 loss. They were held to 221 total yards and went just 4-for-13 on third downs. Quarterback Andy Dalton completed roughly half his passes (16-for-31) for 170 yards and threw four interceptions while taking five sacks. Running back Giovani Bernard had the best overall day with 40 yards on seven carries and caught a 39-yard pass. Wide receiver A.J. Green caught half of his targets, finishing with five catches on 74 yards.
Not only did Dalton get picked four times, but he also lost a fumble. He was responsible for all five turnovers for the home team, and the defense did as much as they could to bail him out. Quarterback Joe Flacco was extremely mediocre on the other side of the ball, but only turned it over once. Cornerback Josh Shaw and defensive end Michael Johnson had a solo tackle in the game and are currently questionable.
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games on the road
- 0-7 ATS in their last 7 games on Thursday
- 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games after a double-digit loss at home
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games against teams with a losing record
There’s no way Cincinnati will open up with consecutive losses at home. It was an eye-opening defeat, but Dalton can only improve from turning the ball over five times. Houston is also currently a mess as they’re suddenly moving to a new QB already and one of their best defenders could be impacted with an injury.
Pick: CIN -3.5
Blogging journeyman and sports handicapper. His passion for statistics, analyzing team reports, and watching multiple hours of sports daily gives him an edge for picking who will beat the spread. Also writes about technology and video games. Hobbies include enjoying life in the big city, spending way too much time on YouTube, and discovering new craft beer and whisky.
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