Bengals vs. Cowboys Odds, Spread, Preview: NFL Week 2 Predictions

Bengals vs. Cowboys Week 2 matchup preview and current betting lines

You could say the Cincinnati Bengals had the most shocking loss of Week 1 against Pittsburgh after turning the ball over five times and failing to execute two short kicks that would have won the game. You could also say the Dallas Cowboys had the most depressing loss against Tampa Bay after becoming the only team to not score a touchdown in Week 1.

The NFL playoff odds for Dallas tanked after the loss and the thumb surgery required for quarterback Dak Prescott. That injury dramatically changes the outlook of this game as the Bengals are a heavy road favorite going up against backup quarterback Cooper Rush.

But Rush wouldn’t be the worst quarterback the Bengals have lost to in the Joe Burrow era. Just last year, the Bengals lost to the Jets after unknown backup Mike White passed for over 400 yards. Rush already has a win under his belt against the Vikings last year. It would be hard for him to play worse than Prescott did in Week 1.

The NFL Week 2 odds have the Bengals as a 7.5-point road favorite in this matchup, but there could be some good value on the Cowboys, who are now deep in the role of underdog this season.

Players to watch in the Bengals vs. Cowboys game

Cincinnati Bengals

Tyler Boyd: With star No. 2 receiver Tee Higgins suffering a concussion in Week 1, Tyler Boyd could be the next man up to help Ja’Marr Chase in the receiving corps. Boyd has caught a touchdown in four straight regular-season games for the first time in his career.

Dallas Cowboys

Micah Parsons: After taking Tom Brady down for two sacks, this game could be a chance for Parsons to put the team on his back and attack Joe Burrow the way T.J. Watt and the Steelers did with seven sacks. Parsons is an incredible, young talent and Defensive Player of the Year candidate.

Bengals vs. Cowboys prediction

Our Best NFL Bets for the Bengals vs. Cowboys game

We have two NFL Week 2 predictions we really like for this game as each team hopes to avoid starting 0-2.

Bengals vs. Cowboys Point Spread Pick: Cowboys +7.5 (-110)

The Bengals vs. Cowboys spread is holding around Bengals -7.5 going into the weekend. There is obvious skepticism about Dallas’ offense after a brutal performance, and now with Cooper Rush starting for Prescott.

But Mike McCarthy has prepared some less than stellar backup quarterbacks before to play surprisingly well.

  • 2010: Green Bay’s Matt Flynn battled the No. 1 seed Patriots to a 31-27 loss in his first career start.
  • 2011: Flynn threw six touchdowns in a 45-41 win over Detroit, a playoff team, in Week 17.
  • 2013: Flynn led a 23-point comeback in Dallas in a 37-36 win. Earlier in the season, Flynn came off the bench to lead a 16-point fourth-quarter comeback in a tie with Minnesota.
  • 2017: Green Bay’s Brett Hundley pushed the Steelers, a 13-3 team, to a 31-28 loss in prime time.
  • 2020: Dallas fourth-string quarterback Garrett Gilbert had a fourth-quarter lead over the undefeated Steelers (7-0) before losing 24-19 at home.
  • 2021: Dallas’ Cooper Rush passed for 325 yards and a game-winning touchdown against the Vikings in his first career start.

The Cowboys are missing plenty of talent, such as Tyron Smith and Michael Gallup, but they still have their backfield, most linemen, No. 1 receiver (CeeDee Lamb), and top tight end (Dalton Schultz). If Micah Parsons can cause havoc to this revamped Cincinnati offensive line that stunk against Pittsburgh to keep the score down, then Rush should be able to keep within a touchdown to get the cover. I like Dallas with the points.

Remember to read our NFL picks page for more betting information.

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Bengals vs. Cowboys First Half Total: Under 20.5 (-115)

We mentioned that McCarthy has had some successful comebacks with his backup quarterback in the game. Well, that means an uninspiring first half, and that could very well happen in this game if the teams played like they did last week. A 13-6 game at halftime is not at all unreasonable, especially if the Cowboys can get the sacks Pittsburgh got last week and the turnovers they got often last year when they led the NFL with 34 takeaways.

But there is a lot to like with Parsons going against that offensive line of the Bengals and the way Burrow takes sacks. You also saw that Tampa Bay mustered just one touchdown in Week 1 as the Cowboys kept holding the offense to field goals.

With expectations low for Dallas’ offense to score a lot under Rush, the first half under of 20.5 points should be one of your NFL bets of the week.

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Frequently asked questions about the Cincinnati vs. Dallas game in week 2

The game is being played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Since becoming head coach in 2020, Mike McCarthy’s Cowboys see the over hit in 61.1% of home games (fourth highest) and in 35.3% of road games (tied for fourth lowest).

After having surgery on his throwing hand, Dak Prescott is expected to miss anywhere from 4-to-8 weeks.

We have pages dedicated to player prop picks and daily NFL predictions.