Week 4 of the 2021 NFL season will kick off with the Jacksonville Jaguars visiting the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday Night Football.
Although in recent years, the Jaguars and Bengals have been amongst the NFL’s worst teams, that is not the case in 2021 for one of them. The Bengals are trending in the right direction, while the Jaguars are still trying to figure it out under new head coach Urban Meyer.
For in-depth analysis and extended betting tips for TNF Week 4, read on for the latest installment in the TNF football predictions series.
Thursday Night Football Prediction Week 4
While the Jaguars have a lot to look forward to under rookie QB Trevor Lawrence, the rest of the team is full of holes, especially when it comes to the coaching staff and defensive personnel.
Jacksonville’s passing attack has been terrific this season, but a lot of it is coming in garbage time. Still, it is good to see that the Jaguars can move the football and they have a future with Lawrence.
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Meanwhile, the Bengals are doing a lot of things right. Finally. QB Joe Burrow looks the part of a legit franchise quarterback in his second season, despite coming off of a significant knee injury.
In addition to Burrow, Cincinnati’s offensive skill position assets are above average bordering the great tier. Their greatest offensive handicap is along the offensive line, which is actually playing better than expected coming into the season.
If the Bengals can figure it out on defense, dare I say they will be in the Wild Card race in December? It is not as far-fetched as it appears.
Contrary to much of the recent past, the Bengals have spent money in free agency in each of the past two offseasons acquiring talent that includes S Vonn Bell, DE Trey Hendrickson, NT D.J. Reader, and CB Mike Hilton. Just to name a few.
If they begin to gel as the season progresses, the Bengals will be in line for a playoff run as long as they can keep Burrow upright and healthy. A tall task.
In the Week 4 opener, the Bengals, on paper, should have an easy win. However, if you’re a Bengals fan, you’ll know, nothing has come easy for the organization since Mike Brown has owned the team. Therefore, we cant take this as a lock win at home.
Still, I am all-in on the Bengals on Thursday night football. Unless Cincy gives this game away, they are the far superior team personnel-wise to the Jaguars. I will also give them the edge coaching too.
Take nothing away from Meyer at the collegiate level. He is one of the all-time greats. However, in the NFL, the jury is still out and it is not looking good in the early stages.
The key to a Bengals win is elementary football. Establish the run with RB Joe Mixon. If they can get the ground game going, it will disguise Cincinnatti’s deficiencies on the offensive line and keep the Jaguars’ defense honest while allowing Burrow to pick apart the secondary throwing to his slew of talented wideouts.
Eventually, they will be able to break the game open with a big play to Ja’Marr Chase. Sounds easy right? It should be.
Trevor Lawrence’s Jacksonville Jaguars should keep pace with the Cincinnati Bengals but are expected to fall short in Week 4’s Thursday Night Football matchup. (Image: USA TODAY Sports)
Jacksonville’s defense is amongst the league’s worst in total yards and points allowed. They are also bottom-dwellers in turnover differential and have difficulties pressuring the enemy quarterback.
On the other side, I am not saying the Bengals’ defense is elite. In fact, they are far from it. But they are slightly better than average in the right matchup. Getting the Jaguars is the right matchup for the Bengals to pop in all phases.
Expect the Bengals to control the game. However, the final score will make it seem a lot closer than it will actually be. Look for a late garbage-time touchdown from the Jaguars to keep this game within one score. But when it is all said and done, the Bengals will come out victorious.
TNF Week 4 Pick: Cincinnati Bengals 24, Jacksonville Jaguars 17
Thursday Night Football Betting Trends for 2021
- The Over is 2-1.
- The Underdog is 2-1 Against the Spread.
- The Favorite is 3-0 on the Moneyline.
- The Home Team is 2-1.
*Anthony Cervino is 8-1 on his NFL Best Bets for 2021 for The Game Day.
Thursday Night Football Best Bets Week 4
*NFL gameday odds and lines are current as of Thursday, September 30 at 4 p.m. ET.
TNF Best Bet: Bengals -7.5 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook
Wager: 1 unit
The Bengals are favored by 7.5 points at home. If this matchup was being played in Jacksonville, Cincinnati would likely be a three-point favorite.
7.5 points is a lot. The Bengals are not only getting some respect from the bookmakers, but this also shows just how bad the Jaguars are under Urban Meyer. I like Cincy to win by more than a touchdown in this NFL bet of the day.
TNF Best Bet: Under 46 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook
After we saw back-to-back Overs to open the season on Thursday Night Football, look for the Under to hit in two straight. Unless the Jacksonville offense absolutely pops and the Cincinnati defense lays an egg, I don’t see the Jaguars scoring enough points on their end to cover the Over on a total of 46 points.
TNF Best Bet: Bengals Moneyline (-365) at DraftKings Sportsbook
The Bengals are a heavy favorite over the Jaguars for a reason, as they are the vastly superior team. Given how high the odds on the moneyline have become, it probably makes more sense to use it as a leg in a parlay rather than betting it straight up.
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