Week 3 features another doubleheader for Monday Night Football. The Los Angeles Rams (1-1) versus the Cincinnati Bengals (0-2) is the nightcap. This is the first head-to-head matchup since the Rams won Super Bowl 56 against the Bengals. NFL expert picks are mostly siding with Cincinnati for Monday’s clash, as it is -150 on the moneyline.
The Bengals entered the season as a potential Super Bowl contender, but they have disappointed, especially on offense. Los Angeles is trending in the opposite direction, starting 2-0 against the spread. What are the best NFL predictions for the Rams-Bengals?
High-Scoring Game Incoming?
Entering the 2023 season, Cincinnati’s offense was advertised as one of the league’s most explosive attacks. It was for good reason as quarterback Joe Burrow was among the sportsbook’s favorites for the MVP Award. Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd have formed the NFL’s best receiving corps for multiple seasons.
Following an 0-2 start, the Bengals are averaging only 13.5 points (30th) and 212 yards (32nd). Burrow’s MVP odds have dropped. After entering the season as the co-favorite, Chase’s odds have grown to win Offensive Player of the Year.
Cincinnati is on the verge of panicking. Heck, it might already be there. The lack of a passing game has been alarming. Burrow’s calf injury could be causing his poor play. He re-aggravated the injury in Week 2, causing even more concern.
Fortunately, the Bengals’ run game has been solid. Running back Joe Mixon is averaging 4.4 yards per carry. The Rams rank 31st in allowed rushing yards per carry. Cincinnati could finally light up the scoreboard if it rides the run game.
Los Angeles’ offense has been rolling, averaging 26.5 points (ninth). The unit impressed with 386 yards in the 30-23 loss against the San Francisco 49ers, who have perhaps the best defense in football.
We could see a high-scoring game on Monday. Take the over in your weekly NFL picks.
NFL Pick: Over 44 (-110)
Cincy Receivers Look to Feast
The Rams could be an intriguing bet in NFL straight up picks. Los Angeles’ offense has looked great, even without its star wideout Cooper Kupp. Rookie receiver Puka Nacua has been a sensation, averaging 133 receiving yards. The Rams will need more big-time production from Nacua as Kupp will be out for at least two more games.
Amazed at how polished Puka Nacua is as a rookie. Zero wasted movement. Knows where the holes are in coverage. Excellent body control. Not overly fast but has that quick twitch. Completely in sync with QB. Gives off some Amon-Ra/Wes Welker vibes already. pic.twitter.com/3Px54NXXag
— Kyle Lindemann (@LuckIsMadeFF) September 21, 2023
Los Angeles ranks third in passing yards per game. However, the Bengals’ secondary has held up, ranking 10th in allowed passing yards per game. The Rams’ quarterback Matthew Stafford also comes off a shaky game with two interceptions and a 67.8 passer rating.
Los Angeles’ run game still lacks efficiency too, as it is 28th in yards per carry. Take Cincinnati to cover the spread in NFL bets.
I don’t expect it to be perfect. The Bengals have clear problems that will take time to work through. However, the defense has a favorable matchup. The pass rush has underperformed, but the Rams are 27th in pass block win rate.
Cincy’s receivers also have a favorable matchup against Los Angeles’ cornerbacks Derion Kendrick and Cobie Durant. The Rams are fifth in allowed passing yards per game, but it’s still early. Los Angeles’ cornerback play could quickly plummet. Kendrick and Durant are young, unproven players that will likely deal with inconsistencies.
NFL Pick: Cincinnati Bengals -3 (-110)
Rams vs Bengals Betting Lines
Rams vs Bengals Game Information
- Date/Time: Sept. 25, 8:15 p.m. ET
- Location: Paycor Stadium, Cincinnati
- Live Stream: ESPN/ESPN2, NFL Game Pass
Rams vs Bengals Game Weather Conditions
Cincinnati will feature perfect football weather. The forecast is calling for temperatures in the low 60s with little to no chance of rain.
Predicted Score: Bengals 31, Rams 24