Bengals vs Falcons Prediction - NFL Picks 8/18/23
Atlanta Falcons (1-0) vs Cincinnati Bengals (0-1)
Game Info: Friday, August 18, 2023 at 7:30 pm (Mercedes-Benz Stadium)
Betting Odds: Atlanta Falcons -6.5 -- Over/Under: 38.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds
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The Cincinnati Bengals will play the Atlanta Falcons in Week 2 of the NFL Preseason on Friday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. The Bengals started their preseason with a poor defensive effort last week, while the Falcons were able to play well enough against the Dolphins for the win.
The Cincinnati Bengals are 0-1 this preseason after they lost to the Green Bay Packers by a score of 36-19 in their first game. Cincinnati was able to keep pace in the first half and they actually led the game late in the second quarter, but Green Bay scored 22 of the last 25 points to pull away with the win. The Bengals were out gained by a total of 437-282, but they were able to force three turnovers in the game. Cincinnati got four field goals from Evan McPherson (38, 51, 39, and 43) and a 43 yard interception return for a touchdown by Tycen Anderson. The Bengals need to show more discipline in this game, as they were flagged 10 times for 95 yards against the Packers. Burrow is dealing with a calf injury, so we should see Trevor Siemian and Jake Browning under center once again. Siemian went 15/28 for 121 yards and one interception, while Jake Browning went 10/17 for 95 yards and one interception. I am not confident in either quarterback for Cincinnati, which is reflected in the line heavily favoring the Atlanta.
The Atlanta Falcons are 1-0 so far this preseason after they defeated the Miami Dolphins by a score of 19-3 last week. Atlanta took the lead in the second quarter and they were able to hold Miami without a point until five minutes into the fourth quarter. Atlanta scored in all three phases of the game, with Godwin Igwebuike scoring on an 11 yard run, Dee Alford scoring on a 79 yard punt return, and Breon Borders scoring on a 26 yard interception return. Atlanta was out gained by a total of 357-248, but they held Miami to 3-10 on third down attempts and 0-2 on fourth downs. Atlanta also forced four turnovers in the game. We only saw Logan Woodside under center for the Falcons in this game, where he went 14/23 for 146 yards. Godwin Igwebuike led the way for Atlanta on the ground, rushing 13 times for 70 yards and one score. We are expected to see the starters in this game, at least for a little but, including quarterback Desmond Ridder.
We should see quite a few starters get at least 1-2 series for both teams in this matchup, which I think benefits the Falcons. Cincinnati will be without Joe Burrow and their backup situation was not impressive, as Siemian and Browning were underwhelming last week. The Bengals defense should get a boost with the first string playing, but the second and third string will get plenty of game time in the last three quarters. I like the Falcons to start strong in this game, but I also expect them to move the ball in the second half as well. I will take the Falcons here, but this is a large spread for just a preseason game.