- Cincinnati is a 1.5-point home favorite against the Rams in Week 3 of the NFL season
- Joe Burrow may miss the game after reaggravating his calf in Sunday’s loss to the Ravens
- Monday Night Football on ESPN kicks off from Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, OH at 8:15 pm ET
It’s already beginning to look like a lost season for the Bengals. After passing for a career-low 82 yards against the Browns in Week 1, Joe Burrow re-injured his calf in Sunday’s 27-24 loss to the Ravens. With the franchise QB’s playing status uncertain, Cincinnati could easily fall to 0-3 against a frisky Los Angeles Rams team.
Bengals vs Rams
|Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Los Angeles Rams||+1.5 (-110)||+115||Un 43.5 (-110)|
|Cincinnati Bengals||-1.5 (-110)||-135||Ov 43.5 (-110)|
Burrow’s status up in the air
Cincinnati recovered from an 0-2 start last season to win the AFC North with a 12-4 record and reach the AFC Championship Game. However, Burrow’s calf injury may prove harder to recover from than last season’s appendectomy. The 26-year-old hasn’t looked like himself through the first two games of the season after missing most of training camp. He also left the field limping on Sunday after “tweaking” his calf injury.
“I’ll give it a couple nights and a couple sleeps,” Burrow said after the loss to Baltimore. “We’ll go from there.”
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 18, 2023
Pukua Nacua breaks records
It was fair to wonder how the Rams would score points without Cooper Kupp in the lineup, but Sean McVay always seems to find a way. This year, that way is to funnel the offense through Pukua Nacua. Fantasy managers spent all their FAAB on the rookie wideout after he caught 10 passes for 119 yards in week 1. Then, Nacua was even more impressive in week 2 against the 49ers, making 15 grabs for 147 yards.
The fifth-round pick set a new NFL record with 25 grabs in his first two games. Tutu Atwell also has 13 receptions for 196 yards through two weeks, giving Matthew Stafford another option in the passing game.
Cincinnati vs Los Angeles
Cincinnati is 1.5-point home chalk in Paycor Stadium and the over/under is set at 43.5 points. Heading into week 2, the Bengals were favored by 6.5 points so the line has moved significantly in LA’s direction.
If you were wondering, Jake Browning is Burrow’s backup. On an active NFL roster for the first time in his five-year career, the 27-year-old completed 32-of-45 passes for 277 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions in this year’s preseason.
“Matthew Stafford with the uh-uh!”
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) September 17, 2023
Bengals leaky run D
Matthew Stafford tossed two picks in Sunday’s 30-23 defeat to the 49ers, but was sharp in a week 1 victory over Seattle, throwing for 334 yards. With Cam Akers again in Sean McVay’s doghouse, Stafford will be handing off to Kyren Williams.
The sophomore back has already racked up 104 yards and three scores this season and will be facing a Bengals defense that has been gashed for 192 rushing yards over the past two games.
Keep an eye on the injury reports this week. If Joe Burrow plays, a desperate Bengals team should squeak out a win at home. However, if it’s Jake Browning, this line will move further in Los Angeles’ direction. For now, we’ll take the Rams to win outright at +115 with the UNDER 43.5 points.
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