This article is part of our NFL Picks series.
Bengals @ Titans Betting Odds, Picks and Predictions for Week 4
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The Cincinnati Bengals hit the road after finally securing their first win of the season in Week 3 to tangle with the Tennessee Titans, who are also 1-2 but looking more like a winless team that's headed for a potential top-10 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Both offenses have significantly underachieved and each defense has one glaring weakness, which could make this a closer game than would have been expected prior to the season.
Bengals @ Titans Betting Odds for Week 4
*Best lines at time of writing listed
Moneyline: Bengals -144 (FanDuel Sportsbook)/ Titans +130 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Point spread: Bengals -2.5 (FanDuel Sportsbook)/ Titans +2.5 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Totals: Over 41 points (DraftKings Sportsbook)/ Under 41 points (DraftKings Sportsbook)
The Titans were originally heavier underdogs when this line first opened in the summer, as the number was as high as +4.5 at that point. However, it had come down to +1.5 in the early-look ahead of Week 3, which came in the immediate wake of Cincy's 0-2 start.
Tennessee then actually crossed over to 1.5-point favorite status despite its 27-3 loss to the Browns in Week 3, but that was quickly corrected by the public all the way back to +2.5 in the days following the Bengals' close win over the Rams on Monday night.
The total was as high as 44.5 points right after Week 2, but that figure began a progressive descent that saw it reach all the way down to 40 earlier this week. It's since climbed back up to as high as 41.5 before settling at 41 as of Saturday afternoon.
Joe Burrow's ability to play relatively well Monday night despite his calf strain and the fact all his major skill-position weapons are healthy likely helps boost scoring expectations a bit, and the impact of Treylon Burks' absence for Tennessee due to a knee injury is likely minimal considering the poor state of Tennessee's passing game overall.
Bengals @ Titans Betting Picks This Week
The Bengals' offense still looks nowhere close to the unit we've usually seen over the last two seasons, but they're apparently taking some baby steps in the right direction. Burrow likely helped allay some fears in the Week 3 win over the Rams by not only managing to take the field after looking extremely iffy heading into the weekend, but also playing serviceably despite a calf strain that has to be affecting everything from his delivery and velocity to his mobility.
The 2020 first-overall pick isn't even on the Week 4 injury report, which is either a testament to his rapid healing or a bit of fudging on the Bengals' end. Whether at full strength or not, Burrow will be under center, albeit on short rest, to face a Titans team that's forced teams to the air plenty due to its ability to largely neutralize the run. That could spell a bit of trouble for Burrow if his mobility is still compromised, considering he's likely to take a high number of dropbacks.
However, if he can remain upright, he should have plenty of opportunity to find some open receivers. Tennessee has allowed 275.3 passing yards per game at a very elevated 72.0 percent completion rate and 10.7 yards per completion. Head coach Zac Taylor also showed some creativity in Week 3 by moving Ja'Marr Chase around more than he usually does, and with great success – the standout receiver finished with a 12-141 line on 15 targets.
The Titans' passing game has mostly been an abomination, even with the offseason addition of DeAndre Hopkins, and will now be missing its main downfield component in Burks. The Bengals defense isn't one to target through the air anyhow (200.7 passing yards per game allowed), so a trademark Derrick Henry game could be on the horizon. Cincinnati is allowing 151.7 rushing yards per game, so despite Henry's 3.2 yards per carry thus far through three games, he could be relied upon as the main engine of the offense.
All that said, a healthy Bengals air attack should have a chance to eventually make enough plays in this spot and simply outscore the Titans on sheer talent. And, instead of taking any chances with a narrow spread that you'd get at minus money anyhow, we'll take on a bit more juice and go with Cincy as an outright winner.
Bengals @ Titans Best Bet: Bengals moneyline (-144 on FanDuel Sportsbook)
Bengals @ Titans Prediction
Bengals 23, Titans 20
As previously noted, the Titans' offense has mostly been a disappointment, even a bigger one than that of Cincinnati's. Burks' injury takes away another weapon from the struggling Tannehill, but Henry should be able to make some inroads against the Bengals'rush defense. Nevertheless, the Titans' shortcomings in the secondary should eventually allow Burrow and company to do enough to escape with a narrow win.