On Thursday, August 22nd, the New York Giants head to Ohio to take on the Cincinnati Bengals in what most pundits refer to as the “dress rehearsal” for the regular season. In other words, this is a game where all starters who are healthy will play for the better part of the first half. The Giants come in undefeated while the Bengals are looking to win in their first home game of the preseason. Kickoff for the Giants vs Bengals game inside Paul Brown Stadium begins at 7 PM ET.
|Betting Data||New York Giants||Cincinnati Bengals|
|2019 S/U Preseason Record||2-0||1-1|
|2018 ATS Home||1-6-1||3-5|
|2018 ATS Away||7-1||6-2|
|2018 O/U Home||4-4||4-3-1|
|2018 O/U Away||5-3||4-3-1|
The Giants and Bengals have played against each other 10 times in the regular season, but never the postseason. Cincinnati has the edge with a 6-4 record. Their last regular season game came in 2016 when the Giants won at home 21-20. These two teams have also played against each other four times in the preseason with New York holding a 3-1 record. Their last preseason battle came in 2015, and the Bengals won at home over the Giants by a score of 23-10.
New York (2-0) has started off the preseason undefeated after winning their first two exhibition games. Both victories came at home. However, this will be their first road game of the preseason. The Giants know what they have with Eli Manning and Saquon Barkley, but they will need to see how the starters play as a whole on Thursday. Can the Giants remain unbeaten in the preseason?
The Bengals (1-1) have played both of their preseason games on the road and return home for their matchup with the Giants. Cincy has showed some signs of excitement on the offense, but they’ve been hit with injuries once again. This week’s game will give fans and pundits a better idea of where the team is in regards to development under a new head coach and new schemes on both sides of the ball.
NFL betting sites opened with the Bengals favored by as many as 1.5 points. Currently, that spread has come down slightly to 1 point in favor of the home team. The over/under started out as high as 43.5 points with several online betting sites. However, that number has also come down to 41.5 total points with most sports betting sites.
The New York Giants have surprised many critics by winning their first two preseason games. And they’ve done so by scoring with their starters and playing solid football with their backups. Last week, against the Bears, Eli Manning and the starters looked sharp. Manning went 4-of-4 with 42 yards passing and 1 TD. The Giants never looked back after their opening TD drive.
Of note, starting TE Evan Engram and star running back Saquon Barkley didn’t play last week. They’re both expected to suit up for this week’s game and get some on-field action. How much action Barkley gets depends on how much risk coach Shurmur wants to take in the preseason. Local media has speculated that Barkley could play a series this week or Shurmur could hold him out all preseason long.
The Bengals have started off both preseason games slowly. In fact, the starting offense has yet to score any points or even put the team in position to score. In their first game against Kansas City, the Bengals were shut out in the first half. In their second game against Washington, the Bengals scored six points in the first half after the starters were already out of the game. I expect Cincy to really focus on the starters getting some points this week since it will be the last in-game action they get until the regular season begins.
In two preseason games, the Giants have averaged 31.5 ppg and the Bengals have averaged 20 ppg. That’s a total of 51.5 ppg, which easily surpasses the over/under of 41.5 total points this week. If the Bengals starters can score some points in this game, then I expect this total to go up even more.
For the Giants, the over is 8-2 in their last 10 overall games. The over is also 2-0 for the Giants in preseason action and 5-1 in their last six games played on a Thursday. For the Bengals, the over is 4-1 in their last five NFC games and 1-1 during this preseason. Last year, the over was 8-6-2 for the Bengals with a 4-3-1 record at home.
I believe each team is going to crack the 21-point mark, which means we will see an over in this Giants vs Bengals game. I expect the Giants to keep up their scoring and the Bengals to finally add some points to the scoreboard with their starters. Scoring only six points in the first half of their first two preseason games won’t cut it on Thursday night. Look for Cincy to be aggressive in the opening half and for both offenses to have success as the Giants have given up 17.5 ppg and the Bengals have given up 25.5 ppg in the preseason.
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