The San Francisco 49ers invested in their defense this off-season and it paid dividends with a road-win in the eastern time zone on opening day. Can the Niners keep it going in another road game, this time with a 10:00 am PST start against an irritated Cincinnati Bengals team that returns home after losing by a single point despite leading for three quarters at CenturyLink Field? Here we discuss the odds and analysis from a betting perspective.

When: Sunday September 15th, 2019 10:00 am PST (FOX)
Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
Line: 49ers +1.5, o/u 45

Cincinnati Bengals
New Bengals head coach Zac Taylor was an unknown coming into this season, spending last season as the quarterbacks coach for the Los Angeles Rams, but in his first game he helped guide Andy Dalton to a career high 418 yards passing, losing by a single point, 20-21, as nine-point underdogs after leading for three quarters despite losing three fumbles in one of the hardest places to play as a visitor in all of the NFL. Dalton connected with eight different receivers and completed 35 of 51 passes for two touchdowns.

Cincinnati's offensive line conceded 5 sacks and Joe Mixon left the game early but may not miss time. The Bengals defense sacked Russell Wilson four times and recovered a fumble, playing much better than many may have anticipated after losing Vontaze Burfict and Michael Johnson after last season.

San Francisco 49ers
The Niners defense sacked Jameis Winston three times, intercepted him thrice, scoring two touchdowns with pick-sixes by Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon, recovered a fumble and was the difference maker in San Francisco's 31-17 win at Tampa Bay.

San Francisco did lose Tevin Coleman to injury and Jimmy Garoppolo threw a pick-six in consecutive season opening starts, finishing 18/27 with 166 yards and a touchdown. The Niners rushing attack combined for 98 yards on 32 attempts.

Prediction
While San Francisco may have the better team on paper and higher ESPN football power index score than the Bengals, 1.0 (ranked 13th) compared to -4.1 (ranked 27th), respectively, this could end up being a tough spot for the Niners and the Bengals could be underrated.

Even though San Francisco stayed on the East Coast in Youngstown, Ohio as it prepares for the game on Sunday, this will be consecutive games in the eastern time zone but this time with the early start and against a team that has a bad taste in its mouth.

As a former quarterbacks coach for the Rams in the year they made it to the Super Bowl, Zac Taylor seems like he may have a positive effect on Andy Dalton and while it may be early, Dalton seems more trustworthy at home in this spot than Garoppolo does and it's very unlikely Dalton will be prone to the same impulsive errors that Jameis Winston was in Week One.

San Francisco's winning margin of two touchdowns belies a game that was much closer, with the defense scoring more touchdowns than the offense, and Cincinnati's loss as nine-point dogs came in a game that could have easily gone the other way. This line opened at San Francisco -1 but it seems sharp action has shifted the spread to the Bengals -1.5. If we are wrong again, it will mean that San Francisco will have an outstanding start to the 2019 season, but we predicted this game to be a let down spot for San Francisco and are sticking with our preseason analysis. Pick: Bengals -1.5

Season:
ATS: 0-1
SU: 0-1

Poll

  • What is your best bet for 49ers at Bengals on 9/15/19?
  • 49ers +1.5
  • Bengals -1.5
  • Over 45
  • Under 45