Bears vs. Bengals Thursday Prediction
The Chicago Bears already have one preseason game under their belts in 2018. Will they pull off a small upset on Thursday night when they play the Bengals in Cincinnati's preseason opener at 7:00 p.m. ET?
253 Chicago Bears at 254 Cincinnati Bengals
Game Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
Betting Odds & Public Betting Information
According to oddsmakers, the Bengals are 1.5-point favorites to beat the Bears while the over/under currently sits at 35.5 points. As of this writing, 60% of betting tickets are on the Cowboys to cover the spread. (Check out Week 1 NFL Preseason Odds)
The Chicago Tribune writes "it's difficult to say" when first-round LB Roquan Smith will end his holdout.
Smith is holding out over contract language about whether the Bears can recoup some of his guaranteed money if he is suspended for an on-field rules violation. Chicago Tribune writers Rich Campbell and Dan Wiederer provided a great recap of the situation (linked below), but the biggest takeaway is no one really knows when this will end. Still, it would be a shock if Smith is not signed before Week 1.
Bengals WR John Ross opened the team's scrimmage as the No. 2 receiver on Saturday. In their first "mock game" since releasing Brandon LaFell, the Bengals lined up Ross on the opposite sideline of A.J. Green. Tyler Boyd opened as the team's starting slot receiver. The No. 9 overall pick just last year, Ross will undoubtedly have all the opportunity in the world to flourish as long as he remains healthy. Josh Malone is also a player worth monitoring for Cincinnati if either Ross or Boyd fail to contribute early.
The underdog is 4-1-1 against the spread in the last six meetings between these two teams.
The Bengals have covered the spread in six of their last eight games dating back to last season.
I think the Bears will be one of the most improved teams in the NFL this season. The sophomore slump hasn't been in effect for several years, as Andrew Luck, Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Jared Goff and Carson Wentz are recent signal-callers that improved their game in their second seasons. Mitch Trubisky is the next QB that should see a bump in play, especially going from Dowell Loggains to Matt Nagy from a play-calling standpoint. The Bears already have one preseason game under their belts, covering the spread late against the Ravens in the NFL Hall of Fame game. I like Chicago again tonight.
NFL Preseason Prediction: Chicago Bears +1.5