Rams vs. Bengals: Expert Pick and Prediction – September 25, 2023
RAMS VS. BENGALS: EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – September 25, 2023 — This Super Bowl rematch has taken a big hit, given the situation in the Bengals’ quarterback room. If Joe Burrow were healthy, that would be one thing. But he’s questionable at best, and Cincinnati doesn’t exactly have depth behind him. If Burrow can’t go, who exactly is going to play quarterback?
Enter former Bengal and former St. Louis Battlehawk A.J. McCarron, who was once seen as the quarterback of the future. That didn’t work out, which led McCarron to try his luck in spring football. He’s stayed in shape and has game experience, so at least there’s something there for Cincinnati if Burrow can’t play.
But that’s not enough to be giving points with the Bengals. It’s starting to feel like this season could slide out of control for Cincinnati, as injury luck and a bad start are really piling up the problems. Can desperation trump a lack of bodies?
|Los Angeles Rams
(1-1 SU, 2-0-0 ATS)
(0-2 SU, 0-2-0 ATS)
When: Monday, September 25th at 8:15 p.m. EDT
Where: Paycor Stadium, Cincinnati
Public Bets: 67% on Los Angeles
Public Money: 51% on Los Angeles
Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of September 23rd, 2023
Much has been made about Sean McVay’s last-second field goal to earn the backdoor cover against San Francisco last week, but that’s far from the Rams’ only cover lately. Going back to last year, Los Angeles has covered in eight of its past 10 games, including going 3-1 ATS against its past four AFC opponents.
Related: Steelers vs. Raiders Expert Pick
Cincinnati started out 0-2 SU and ATS last year, then became an ATM for Bengals bettors. After losing to Dallas in Week 2, the Bengals went 13-1-1 ATS the rest of the regular season and ended up 15-4-1 overall. The Bengals have also done very well against the NFC, covering and winning in their past four against NFC opponents.
If the Bengals are truly facing a must-win situation, they don’t appear bothered by it. Ja’Marr Chase has said that he’ll tell Burrow not to play against Los Angeles, and Cincinnati signing McCarron says they’re at least somewhat sure Burrow’s probably not going to play.
On the other side, Matthew Stafford needs to be aggressive in this game. He’s only managed one touchdown pass this season, but the Bengals’ secondary is facing some real problems. He’s got to take some shots and force Cincinnati to open up its playbook in an effort to keep pace.
Temperatures should sit in the mid 70s for this game, making for an ideal night for football in southwest Ohio. Weather shouldn’t play any role here.
Cincinnati needs a win badly, and the Bengals are clearly better than the body of work they’ve put out to this point. But there’s no way that you can trust them in a situation like this. They either trot out Burrow at 50% or McCammon with little to no practice time.
Against McVay’s aggressive defense, that’s not likely to result in much success, if any. I don’t feel good about this game in the slightest, which means the play needs to be the points.