Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns – NFL, September 17, 2020
The Kevin Stefanski era in Cleveland got off to a bumpy start. Baker Mayfield looked terrible, the defense barely showed up, and don’t even get me started on OBJ’s performance (3 catches for 22 yards on 10 targets).
On the flip side, Joe Burrow flashed his athleticism and put Cincy in a position to send the game into overtime in his first game as a professional. Unfortunately, a botched 31-yard attempt left the reigning Heisman winner aghast.
It’s time to turn the page to week two and dive into this TNF matchup.
A Bengals vs. Browns prediction ought to do the trick.
Bengals vs. Browns Odds
The lack of respect the NFL betting sites are showing the visiting “Bungles” is glaring. The Browns looked dreadful in their 32-point loss in week 1 and yet here they are laying nearly a touchdown.
Attacking the spread is one way to lock in a Bengals vs Browns betting pick, but you may want to study the total. When you consider that these two squads combined for 19 points last Sunday, the “under 43.5” bet starts to sound pretty intriguing.
Bengals vs. Browns Matchup
We got a couple of AFC North teams that don’t like each other very much, and both franchises are eagerly searching for their first victory. In other words, buckle up for an intense battle on Thursday Night Football.
In terms of the game plan, it’s quite simple for Coach Stefanski.
The Bengals ranked dead last in 2019 in rushing yards allowed, and they got pounded on the ground in week 1 versus the Chargers. Of all of Cleveland’s shortcomings in Baltimore, their running game was the lone bright spot. Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb combined for 132 yards on 23 carries against the Ravens stout front seven, indicating they should be able to run wild against Lou Anarumo’s unit.
Yards after contact per attempt among qualifying Week 1 RBs:— PFF CLE Browns (@PFF_Browns) September 15, 2020
1. Melvin Gordon III (4.47)
2. Nick Chubb (4.40)✅
3. Joshua Kelley (4.25)
4. Clyde Edwards-Helaire (4.24)
5. Kareem Hunt (4.15)✅ pic.twitter.com/h9TUjD3jym
Given how erratic Mayfield looked – combined with the improvements in Cincy’s revamped secondary, look for a heavy dose of the two Browns RBs.
Assessing how Zac Taylor plans on moving the chains versus Cleveland, expect him to rely on an air assault from Joe Burrow. Cincinnati wants to spread the ball around and allow their speedy receivers to go work against a collection of DBs who got scorched in week 1.
A.J. Green should see a bump in snaps, Tyler Boyd can work the middle of the field, and it’s time to let John Ross loose. If all that pans out, perhaps a Tee Higgins sighting could come to fruition.
Bengals vs. Browns Pick
One day after Cleveland released Austin Seibert, the Bengals scooped the kicker from the waiver wire. Wouldn’t it be fun to see Seibert retaliate from getting cut by kicking a winning field goal to beat his former team?
Frankly, I’m tempted to back Cincy to win this game outright, but the sensible play is to gobble up the 6-point cushion.
It could be a while until we see Burrow and the offense hit their stride, but a game against the Browns should give them a push in the right direction.