Two teams with drastically different expectations will meet up in Week 2 of the NFL preseason when the Cincinnati Bengals visit the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Aug. 21.
After reaching the Super Bowl last year, the defending AFC champion Bengals have very little to prove in the exhibition season. Instead, head coach Zac Taylor is using the time to evaluate his backups and keep his best players healthy.
The Giants are in a much different situation under first-year head coach Brian Daboll, who is trying to implement a new offensive scheme and instill a winning culture in New York after five consecutive losing seasons. Fourth-year quarterback Daniel Jones still needs to prove he’s the guy to lead this team into the future as he nears the end of his rookie deal.
Let’s take a look at the latest NFL odds for this game before we move into our Cincinnati vs New York best bets and predictions.
Bengals vs Giants Odds
After opening the preseason with a 23-21 victory over the Patriots, the Giants are currently 5.5-point home favorites in this game. That makes a lot of sense as New York is expected to play its starters for at least a few series — Jones played two in the opener — while Cincinnati will continue to rest its key players.
Bengals vs Giants Implied Score
Giants 22.25, Bengals 16.75
The Giants are expected to win a relatively low-scoring game by about a touchdown. The total here is currently set at 39 points, which feels a bit low after both teams scored exactly 23 points in their respective preseason openers.
Bengals vs Giants Pick of the Day
Read more on this Bengals vs Giants bet below.
Bengals vs Giants Matchup
Much like last week, the Bengals head into this matchup without their big three of Joe Burrow, Joe Mixon, and Ja’Marr Chase. Backup quarterback Brandon Allen, who left Cincinnati’s 36-23 loss to the Cardinals in the first quarter with a concussion, has returned to practice and is expected to start.
Allen won’t have the luxury of throwing to Chase, Tyler Boyd, or Tee Higgins, the latter of whom just returned to practice this week after offseason shoulder surgery. That doesn’t mean he is devoid of weapons, however, as backup running back Chris Evans will see early-game snaps, and wideouts Trent Taylor (four catches, 74 yards) and Kendric Pryor (four catches, 89 yards, and a TD) impressed in the opener.
Still, former University of Washington quarterback Jake Browning will likely play the majority of the game once again as he battles Drew Plitt for the third-string job.
The Giants don’t have a full-on quarterback competition for the starting spot between Jones and Tyrod Taylor just yet, but the veteran is pushing for playing time and has earned some first-team reps at practice. The two signal-callers split the first half of action against the Patriots and could be in line to play a significant portion of the game on Sunday.
Bengals vs Giants Prediction
Giants 24, Bengals 13
The Giants should have the upper hand in this game because they will be playing their starters for at least a few series, while the Bengals will rest theirs for the second consecutive game.
New York fans may not want to see more of wide receiver Kenny Golladay, who had a key third-down, red-zone drop on the opening drive against New England and endured a disappointing first season with Big Blue, but his presence alongside Saquon Barkley, rookie Wan’Dale Robinson, and perhaps Kadarius Toney (leg) should help Jones get his team out to an early lead.
Taylor, who completed 13-of-21 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown last week, will take the torch from there. He showed strong chemistry with wideouts Collin Johnson (seven catches, 82 yards) and Richie James (three catches, 44 yards, and a score) and should continue to build on that against Cincy’s second-string defense.
New York’s offense should slow down in the second half under third-stringer Davis Webb, but I still think they win this game pretty comfortably.
Bengals vs Giants Bet Tips
The Bengals have lost three straight preseason contests and six of their last eight. Meanwhile, the Giants’ victory last week against the Patriots ended a three-game exhibition losing streak.
Bengals vs Giants Best Bets
Giants -5.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
Laying nearly a touchdown in preseason generally isn’t sage betting advice, but I think there is a clear difference in the approaches these two teams are taking to the exhibition season.
The Giants and their quarterbacks have something to prove, which should give them a sizable advantage against a Bengals team that is going through the motions. Back New York to extend its winning start to the preseason as your NFL pick of the day.
Under 39 Total Points (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
This one feels a bit riskier after Overs went 13-3 last week and the Bengals allowed 36 points to the Cardinals in their preseason opener. Still, I’m expecting a different type of game this week.
The Giants should be able to keep this backup Cincinnati offense in check for long stretches, and New York’s starting offense has had plenty of struggles of its own, especially in the red zone. I think it’ll be close, but I’ll back the Under here.