Bengals vs. Seahawks Betting Odds & Predictions: Biggest Week 1 Spread Big Enough?

Bengals vs. Seahawks Betting Odds & Predictions: Biggest Week 1 Spread Big Enough? article feature image
Credit:

Steven Bisig, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Tyler Lockett

Bengals at Seahawks Betting Odds

  • Odds: Seahawks -9.5
  • Total: 44
  • Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: CBS

All odds above are as of 2 p.m. ET on Thursday and via PointsBet.

The Seahawks are the second-biggest favorite on the board in Week 1 as they host the rebuilding Cincinnati Bengals. Seattle moved from -8 to -9.5 since the market for this game opened and it will be interesting to see if the number creeps up to the key number of 10 before kick on Sunday.

Our NFL experts break down this game, hitting on key injuries, matchups to note, favorite bets and more.

Seahawks-Bengals Injury Report

Both teams are relatively banged up and each have a few key injuries. A.J. Green (ankle) is in a walking boot and won’t play on Sunday, leaving Tyler Boyd to soak up most of Green’s target share. Left tackle Cordy Glenn also hasn’t practiced while he’s still in the concussion protocol.

DK Metcalf (knee) got in a limited practice on Wednesday, but Pete Carroll mentioned they’ll “wait and see” when it comes to his snap count. Additionally, guard Mike Iupati (calf) and left tackle Duane Brown (knee) missed practice on Wednesday. Brown graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 5 tackle last year.

It wouldn’t be a great start to the season if Seattle was missing the left side of their offensive line, especially since Russell Wilson absorbed 51 sacks last year. Justin Bailey

Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Seahawks -9
  • Projected Total: 44

I am right in line with the spread and total here, so staying away from both. Sean Koerner

Biggest Mismatch

Seattle’s Running Game vs. Cincinnati’s Run Defense

Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is a firm member of “Team Establish the Run.” Last season, the Seahawks ranked second with 32.8 rushing attempts per game, trailing only the Ravens. In home games? Seattle was first with 35.8 attempts.

Meanwhile, Cincinnati will need to reverse their multi-year trend of getting gashed by opposing running backs. The Bengals have ranked 24th, 20th and 26th in Football Outsiders’ run defense DVOA over the past three seasons, respectively.

New defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo’s background is as a long-time defensive backs coach, leading to more run defense uncertainty. Anarumo will try to fix a defense that allowed a team-record 6,618 yards, finishing dead last in the NFL. They also ranked 30th in points allowed at 28.4 points per game.

Cincinnati will also have almost the same personnel as last season, selecting only one defensive player (Round 3 linebacker Germaine Pratt) in the first four draft picks. While All-Pro defensive tackle Geno Atkins is a force, the Bengals linebackers are one of the worst groups in the NFL after losing Vontaze Burfict to Oakland.

The Seahawks featured the sixth-most efficient run offense in 2018, led by running back Chris Carson who finished fifth in the league with 1,151 rushing yards in just 14 games. Per PlayerProfiler, Carson ranked third among all running backs in evaded tackles and 10th in breakaway runs in 2018.

Brian Schottenheimer has already stated that Carson will be much more involved in the passing game, with last season’s first-round pick Rashaad Penny (4.46 speed) featuring as a big-play backup.

Seattle’s offensive line also showed signs of improvement in the preseason with former second-rounder guard Ethan Pocic solidifying the left side of the line with tackle Duane Brown (Second-Team All Pro).

A road game against the Seattle rushing attack is a big early season mismatch for this Bengals defense. Mike Randle

Expert Pick

Matthew Freedman: Seahawks -9.5

The Bengals are bad. Really bad. They have an offensive-oriented head coach in Zac Taylor and offensive coordinator in Brian Callahan who have never called plays in the NFL. They have the walking definition of mediocrity at quarterback in Andy Dalton. They are without Pro-Bowl wide receiver Green. Left tackle Jonah Williams is out for the year with a torn labrum, and left guard Clint Boling just retired. And the offensive line was a sub-par unit last year.

And on defense, the Bengals last year allowed 28.4 points per game, the third-highest mark in the league.

The Seahawks have their own problems: They are thin at wide receiver, and their offensive line is also suspect. But they have the clear edge at quarterback and head coach in Wilson and Carroll.

And they’re at home. I think it’s easy for bettors to underestimate how much of a home-field advantage the Seahawks actually have. In the nine years of the Carroll era, the Seahawks are 42-27-3 against the spread at home in the regular season, good for an 18.7% return on investment (per BetLabs).

The Seahawks under Carroll also have a winning ATS home record in the preseason and postseason. Basically, whenever the Seahawks are at home, I’m inclined to bet them, and in Week 1 against a rookie HC and OC, I’m betting the Seahawks will lay on the points.

I’d bet this to -10.