Los Angeles Rams vs. Cincinnati Bengals: Prediction, Best Bets, Odds, Depth Charts (9/25/23)

The Los Angeles Rams (1-1) hit the road to face the disappointing Cincinnati Bengals (0-2) on Monday night (9/25/23). Get Rams vs. Bengals odds, predictions and picks; our best bet is Rams moneyline and +3 points.

Los Angeles Rams vs. Cincinnati Bengals Prediction & Best Bet

First, let’s address the elephant in the room: Joe Burrow. He strained his calf during training camp, and the limping superstar is still clearly affected by the injury. It has sapped his mobility in the pocket, and Burrow cannot throw the ball into tight windows with force because his lower body isn’t stable enough. He’s currently 0 for 6 on passes at least 20 yards deep, and PFF grades him as the 25th best quarterback on deep attempts. Burrow also ranks 31st in On-Target Percentage, 24th in Bad-Throw Percentage, and 26th in Expected Points Added per Dropback in Expected Passing Situations (per SumerSports).

It’s feasible that they shut down Burrow for this contest, which would grant Jake Browning (one career throw) the start. Either way, this Bengals offense will be hindered again because of poor quarterback play. They should still score a decent amount of points because Los Angeles’ secondary is horrific, but Cincinnati cannot keep pace with a rejuvenated Matthew Stafford.

The former Super Bowl champion ranks third in passing yards, third in Big Time Throw rate and seventh in Turnover Worthy Play rate per PFF. He hasn’t missed a beat without Cooper Kupp because of rookie Puka Nacua’s exceptional short and intermediate routes. At 25 catches, Nacua has the most receptions in NFL history for a player’s first two career games. Meanwhile, Tutu Atwell provides balance as a deeper threat along with a solid target in tight end Tyler Higbee. Finally, running back Kyren Williams’ pass-catching ability gives Stafford a quality safety blanket.

Los Angeles’ offense meets a surprisingly flimsy Bengals defense. Their defensive line isn’t stopping the run, and they can’t generate pressure outside of defensive end Trey Hendrickson. The free agency losses of safeties Jessie Bates II and Vonn Bell have significantly hindered their ability to deter deep threats too, so Stafford can pick apart this Bengals defense.

Although the Bengals were a popular preseason Super Bowl pick, their mediocre defense and a diminished Joe Burrow make it unlikely that they bounce back here. This Rams offense is firing on all cylinders as well, so the wise move is backing a Los Angeles victory.

Los Angeles Rams vs. Cincinnati Bengals Prediction & Best Bet: Rams +3 and moneyline

Los Angeles Rams vs. Cincinnati Bengals Betting Odds

The spread was released at +6.5 Rams, and it has plummeted to +3 now. That may fall even further should the Bengals decide to shut down quarterback Joe Burrow. Rams backers will want to immediately pounce, as it will only move against them. The 43.5 over under is on the lower side for Week Three games.

Los Angeles Rams vs. Cincinnati Bengals Key Injuries

A few of the most notable injuries are Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, Rams receiver Cooper Kupp, Rams guard Joe Noteboom, and Bengals safety Nick Scott.

Los Angeles Rams vs. Cincinnati Bengals Key Matchups

Which teams will dominate the key matchups and improve their winning chances?

Bengals Pass Rush vs. Rams Offensive Line

Stafford is absolutely dicing up defenses when given time, so the Bengals have to force him out of the pocket. Trey Hendricks owns a sparkling 18.2 pass rush win percentage per PFF (16th in NFL, min. 40 pass rush snaps), but nobody else even clears nine percent. It’s imperative that Sam Hubbard, DJ Reader, BJ Hill, and Cam Sample step up to give Hendrickson help. Otherwise, the Rams will move down the field with ease versus Cincinnati’s secondary.

Joe Mixon vs. Rams Defensive Line

Burrow is a shell of himself out there and looks nothing like the highest paid player in NFL history. Therefore, the Bengals need the run game to provide third and shorts so that Burrow isn’t required to have a ton of air yards. Joe Mixon and the offensive line must win their reps against Aaron Donald and company; otherwise, it’s unlikely that Burrow has the stability and health to lead an aerial bombardment.

Los Angeles Rams Depth Chart

QB: Matthew Stafford
RB1: Kyren Williams
RB2: Ronnie Rivers
LWR: Puka Nacua
RWR: Tutu Atwell
SWR: Van Jefferson
TE1: Tyler Higbee

Cincinnati Bengals Depth Chart

QB: Joe Burrow
RB1: Joe Mixon
RB2: Chris Evans
LWR: Ja’Marr Chase
RWR: Tee Higgins
SWR: Tyler Boyd
TE1: Irv Smith Jr

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Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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