There’s a few “Superbad” teams in the league this season, one of which we’ll see in action in the NFL week 7 Jaguars at Bengals free pick. Bettors are ‘McLovin’ Jacksonville giving 4 points on the road this week to hapless and hopeless 0-6 Cincinnati. On paper this seems like an easy walk to the ticket window with a Jaguars wager, but is it?
Jacksonville Not Exactly Tearing Things Up
The Jaguars appear to be the better team heading into the NFL week 7 Jaguars at Bengals free pick but they are just 2-4 on the season in their own right. Jacksonville has lost two in a row and ‘Minshew Mania‘ seems to have been given a cure in last week’s ugly 6-13 home loss to New Orleans as -2.5 favorites.
Gardner Minshew was just 14/29 for 163 yards and an INT vs. the Saints. When evaluating the game vs. the Bengals though, you can’t overlook the good things the rookie QB and the rest of the Jaguars offense have done this season. Minshew almost navigated a come-from-behind win vs. a good Texans team before falling 12-13. Minshew did lead a 26-24 win at Mile High Stadium though behind 225 yards rushing from Leonard Fournette. The Jags running back faces the league’s absolute worst run defense on Sunday.
Despite their up and down offense, there are reasons to really like Jacksonville in this one – specifically the Jags defense. That side of the ball definitely played good enough to win last week, holding New Orleans to 13 points. Jacksonville also limited Deshaun Watson to 159 yards through the air earlier in the season. The Bengals have the league’s worst rush offense as well meaning the Jaguars defense can make the home team very one-dimensional on Sunday.
Is This the Week For Cincinnati?
The big question facing the Bengals as they are mired in an 0-6 start is “do we even want to win at this point?” Tua Tagovailoa would probably look pretty good in orange and black Bengals fans have to admit. That may be the strategy for the Dolphins, but the Bengals have actually been competitive in some games under first year coach Zac Taylor.
The Bengals lost by a point in Seattle, by 4 in Buffalo, by 3 at home to Arizona, and by 6 last week at Buffalo as +10.5 underdogs. Cincinnati is a play or a bounce here from being 3-3 or even 4-2 and favored Sunday vs. the Jags. Make no mistake, the Bengals don’t do a lot to impress you. They’ve been held to 17 points or less in 4 of 6 games this year. RB Joe Mixon has exactly one game with over 65 yards rushing this season. Andy Dalton has been held without a TD pass in 2 of the last 3 games and has 7TD to 5 INT on the year.
The Jaguars defense is 5th in the league in sacks but do have just 1 interception on the year. If Dalton can get something going for the offense, can the Bengals defense hold up their end of the bargain? The Jaguars are 23rd in the league in points scored so it’s possible. Cincinnati has also faced Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson in consecutive weeks and should be able to game plan better against Minshew who is more prone to stay in the pocket.
NFL Week 7 Jaguars at Bengals Free Pick
Cincinnati is one of the more competitive 0-6 teams we’ve seen over the years and +180 on the ML isn’t a bad wager here. Jacksonville does have the distractions of Jalen Ramsey behind them, but are still just 2-4 and on the road Sunday. It’s been a long time coming for Taylor and the Cincinnati coaching staff, but just in case they do ‘Bengalize’ this one the points are the way to go, especially being more than a field goal.
Pick: Cincinnati Bengals +4