The Cincinnati Bengals looked terrible in a 20-0 season-opening home loss to the Baltimore Ravens, who intercepted Andy Dalton four times and also forced him to fumble.
But the Houston Texans were equally atrocious in a 29-7 home loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, who forced four turnovers and had 10 sacks.
With Houston dealing with injury issues and rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson set to make his first NFL start on the road at Cincinnati on Thursday night, the line on the game shot up from Bengals minus-3 to minus-6½ this week before settling at minus-6 on Thursday afternoon at Las Vegas sports books.
“It was kind of the perfect storm to see that number go up,” Sunset Station sports book director Chuck Esposito said. “You have the rookie quarterback in Watson getting his first career start, and having it be on the road, and it’s a short week for him. Houston also has injury problems on the offensive line and at tight end, and the Bengals lost their first game at home and are having another home game.”
The Texans placed tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz on injured reserve because of a concussion suffered in Sunday’s loss to Jacksonville.
The total is 38. The under is 16-5 in Cincinnati’s past 21 games against the AFC and 20-8 in the Bengals’ past 28 games overall.
Houston is 7-2 against the spread in its past nine meetings against Cincinnati.
Contact reporter Todd Dewey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.