The Seattle Seahawks host the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1 action of the 2019-20 NFL season. Kickoff is set for 4:05 PM EST on September 8th at CenturyLink Field and the game will be broadcast on CBS.
Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Seahawks listed as 9.5-point home favorites. That line has yet to change after early betting, as Seattle is currently available at -9.5. The total for this matchup is 44 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 1 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
Seahawks vs Bengals Vegas Game Odds & Betting Preview
It was another up and down year for the Seahawks in 2018, as they finished the regular season 10-6 overall before losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Dallas Cowboys. The offense will have a bit of a different look in 2019, as long time WR Doug Baldwin retired in the offseason. It appears as if Tyler Lockett will lead the receiving corps moving forward after hauling in 57 passes for 965 yards and ten touchdowns. QB Russell Wilson will attempt to have a bit more success through the air this season, as Seattle averaged just 195.2 passing yards per game (26th overall). However, the Seahawks really did a lot of damage on the ground with RB Chris Carson, as the offense averaged a whopping 154.9 rushing yards per game – first overall in the entire NFL.
It was a bit of a different Seattle defense on display in 2018, as the Seahawks finished around the middle of the pack in pretty much every major defensive category. They ranked 16th overall against the run and 17th overall against the pass, which was a far cry from their “Legion of Boom” glory days several seasons ago.
Not a lot went right for Cincinnati last season, as the Bengals finished just 6-10 overall and dead last in the AFC North. There were a lot of changes on both sides of the ball over the offseason, as Marvin Lewis is no longer the head coach after 16 seasons on the job. He wasn’t the only member of the coaching staff to move on after three straight non-playoff seasons – the Bengals also welcome a new defensive coordinator, offensive line coach, quarterbacks coach, and a cornerbacks coach. QB Andy Dalton will need to be much better if Cincinnati hopes to improve upon their 205.6 passing yards per game (24th overall). However, Dalton will start the year without star receiver A.J. Green, which doesn’t leave him a lot of options down the field. Tyler Boyd and Tyler Eifert could be big contributors until Green returns, but it will likely be RB Joe Mixon leading the way after rushing for 1,168 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground in 2018. As a whole, the Bengals offense averaged 23.0 points per game last season (17th overall).
The Cincinnati defense was horrendous in 2018, ranking close to the bottom of the league in many different categories. Not only did the Bengals give up 28.4 points per game, (30th overall) they also finished dead last against the pass (275.9 yards per game) and 29th overall against the run.
Free NFL Betting Predictions and Pick: OVER 44
While I still think that Seattle will win this game with relative ease, it may be a lot closer than most people think. The Bengals coaching staff is basically entirely brand new, which should provide both sides of the ball a bit of extra jump right out of the gate. Of course, there is only so much that the coaches can do from the sidelines, which makes me extremely leery of having any faith in what was one of the NFL’s worst defenses in 2018. However, even without A.J. Green, the Bengals should be able to find success against a watered-down Seattle defense. I think that the market is still pricing the total for this game based on Cincinnati’s poor offensive showing last season and the Seahawks historical defensive prowess over the last decade or so. I’d probably still take Seattle against the spread in this spot, but I feel as if the OVER on 44 points offers the best value.
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Joe Mixon is an absolute beast on the ground, so his presence alone should help Cincinnati move the ball against an average Seahawks defense. Tyler Eifert returning from a second devastating injury should also help the Bengals, as he is an elite pass-catcher at the tight end position. Finally, Tyler Boyd showed that he can carry the load on offense when Green is on the shelf, as he had several breakout performances under similar circumstances last year. Of course, I’m still expecting big games from Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett, and Chris Carson as well. Ultimately, I think the Seahawks should have no problem scoring 25+, but the current Cincinnati total of 17.5 points looks too low to me. I think this will end up being a 28-21 type of game, so I’m going to take the over on 44.