NFL Betting – Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

Two of the last three first overall draft picks aim to get their team’s first victory of the season when the Cincinnati Bengals visit the Cleveland Browns for Thursday Night Football. The once promising future of Baker Mayfield and the Browns is hanging in the balance after an awful display in their season-opening loss. Sure, it was the Ravens administering the beatdown, the team with the best record in the NFL last season, but it showed us just how far Cleveland has to go. Meanwhile, Joe Burrow nearly became the first quarterback taken first overall to win his debut since 2002. We’ll see which former top pick gets the edge in the first of many between the AFC North rivals.  Bookmaker.eu is offering a generous welcome bonus (max bonus $1000)

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns
Date and Time: Thursday, September 17, 2020, 8:20 p.m. ET
Location: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, OH
Opening NFL Odds: Browns -8, O/U 46
Bengals at Browns TV Coverage: NBC

Odds Analysis

The teams are on different plains as far as their expectations go. The Browns were hyped prior to last season and did a face plant. A new coach, rebuilt offensive line, and another year of development from Mayfield kept the hopes lofty without the hype. It’s a total reboot for the Bengals who know it’s going to take time. So it wasn’t a huge surprise to see Cleveland hit the board as an 8-point favorite. One game is a small sample size but it looks like Browns backers have gone into hiding. There was plenty of buyback on the Bengals pushing the spread down to Cleveland -6. After each team scored one touchdown and combined for 19 points last week, the total dropped from 46 to 43.

Cincinnati Bengals

Burrow isn’t expected to lead the Bengals to the Super Bowl. Hell, the playoffs are out of the question too. He is expected to solidify the position as the quarterback of the future so the team can build around him. All the reports after his NFL debut were positive; he completed 23 of 36 for 193 yards and scored a rushing touchdown. A fourth quarter interception when the Bengals had nearly reached the red zone thwarted a drive.

Showing remarkable resiliency, Burrow drove the ball to the Chargers 3 on the next possession before tossing a touchdown to A.J. Green. However, that play was negated by an offensive pass interference penalty and instead the Bengals settled for a game-tying field goal attempt. You can’t put the blame on one player, but Randy Bullock missed the chip shot and Burrow’s debut was ruined. “I made too many mistakes to win the game,” Burrow said afterwards.

With no preseason games and a softened training camp, Burrow was taking his first real snaps as an NFL quarterback. The training wheels were left on with a lot of short passes making up the aerial attack. If Zac Taylor opens up the playbook this week he has a healthy Green on the other end of Burrow’s passes. Green caught five balls for 51 yards in his first game since the 2018 season.

Cleveland Browns

Kicker Austin Seibert was released after he missed a field goal and extra point in the opener. If job security hinged on Week 1 performance there should be several other players looking for work right now. Don’t over think it Browns fans. A new coaching staff and new system with little preseason preparation against a team many feel can win the Super Bowl was a recipe for disaster. The Browns were overmatched in a 38-6 loss to the Ravens.

The Bengals aren’t the Ravens. Cincinnati’s defense was one of the worst in the NFL last season. The Chargers amassed 326 yards against them last week. So there is hope for Mayfield, Odell Beckham Jr., Nick Chubb and the rest of the group. They weren’t that far off last year and upgrades to the offensive line should take care of that. The teams split the season series last year playing over the total both times and I think we’re going to see some fireworks on Thursday.

Mayfield tossed a pick on the Browns first possession of the season and things went downhill from there. He completed 21 of 39 for 189 yards and a touchdown. Three turnovers and converting just 3 of 12 on third down didn’t help the offense. OBJ was targeted 10 times but had only three catches for 22 yards – 16 of them came on one play. The duo of Chubb and Kareem Hunt combined to rush for 132 yards and could have a big night against a Cincy unit that surrendered 155 yards on the ground to the Chargers.

Bet Bengals at Browns at BookMaker.eu

There’s always a little extra involved in the battle of Ohio. While the results were not positive last week, there is a lot of offensive talent on both sides. The Bengals will let it go against a depleted Browns defense and Cleveland is happy to be playing someone other than the Ravens. The teams went over the total in two straight and four of the last five meetings, and I like the offense to show up again.

NFL Score Prediction: Browns 30, Bengals 24

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