Pick: Cincinnati Bengals @ Seattle Seahawks
With Week 1 of the NFL season upon us, there’s plenty of action for bettors to get involved in. Early into the football season, games tend to be harder to read as some teams are unproven or lack an identity early in the season.
The Cincinnati Bengals are a mixed bag heading into Seattle for the season opener. Under rookie head coach Zach Taylor, the Bengals send out an interesting offense and an untested defense.
Joe Mixon enters his third season in the NFL and headlines the Bengals offense. Mixon rushed for over 1,000 yards for the first time in his career (1,168 yards) with eight touchdowns, and caught 43 passes for 296 yards and one touchdown.
Quarterback Andy Dalton heads into his ninth NFL season and finds himself fighting to keep his job after failing to reach the playoffs for a third consecutive season. Dalton played in just 11 games last season due to injury and totaled 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
The Bengals finished 6-10 last season largely due to the question marks on the defensive side of the ball. Aside from defensive linemen Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins, Cincinnati lacks a presence on defense and have major holes in the secondary.
On the other hand, the Seattle Seahawks are looking to build off their postseason appearance last season. Seattle returned to the playoffs after a one-year layoff with Russell Wilson under center. Wilson and running back Cris Carson combine for a potentially dangerous backfield with all signs pointing towards a run-heavy offense. In 14 games last season, Carson rushed for 1,151 yards with nine touchdowns.
Defensively, Seattle made a splash this offseason with a key addition in former number one overall pick Jadaveon Clowney. The Seahawks traded linebackers Jacob Martin and Barkevious Mingo along with a 2020 third-round pick to acquire the dominant pass rusher. Last season, Clowney had nine sacks, 47 tackles and one forced fumble.
Five All-Pro and Pro Bowl linebacker Bobby Wagner sits firmly in the middle of the defense and serves as the staple of Seattle’s defense. Wagner ranked fourth in the NFL last season with 138 tackles.
On DraftKings, the Bengals are getting nine and half points (+9.5) on the road in Seattle at -110, with the Seahawks giving -9.5 at -110. If you like Seattle, then you can currently claim a better line over at FanDuel, minus the nine (-9) at -105, which would return $95 in profit from a $100 wager.
The Seahawks were 6-2 at home last season, and I have a hard time believing the Bengals will spoil Seattle’s home opener. Anticipate Wilson and Carson tearing up the running game with the Seahawks defense sealing the game down the stretch.
The Pick: Seattle (-9) over Cincinnati at -105 at FanDuel