- The Browns are 4-1 SU in their last 5 home games
- As a favorite, the total has gone OVER in four of Cleveland's last five games
- Cleveland's secondary is pretty banged up
Joe Burrow was an offensive pass interference call away from an NFL debut upset win. Instead, the ref caught A.J. Green red-handed in the end zone, nullified the touchdown and the Bengals franchise quarterback was forced to watch Randy Bullock shank a game-tying field goal attempt. Cincinnati’s 16-13 loss to the Chargers was good enough for the +3 PUSH and UNDER.
Forget the 38 points the injury-depleted Browns defense allowed, but a new coaching staff, new play caller in head coach Kevin Stefanski, retooled offensive line and loaded skill positions could only muster 6 points against Baltimore. SIX! This is not to forget that kicker Austin Seibert missed a field goal and extra point. Cleveland +8 falls to 0-1 SU and ATS with UNDER 47.5 safe and sound in their 38-6 loss to the Ravens.
|Week 2: Cincinnati Bengals vs Cleveland Browns Game Info|
|Date: September 17, 2020, 8:20 p.m. ET|
|Stadium: First Energy Stadium|
|TV Coverage: NFL Network|
|Opening Odds: Browns -8.5 | O/U 46|
|How to Bet: Best Online Sportsbook Reviews|
Believe it or not, the Browns opened as an 8.5-point home favorite, but has since ticked down to Cleveland -6. The Bengals moneyline opened at +290. The point total opened at 46, but has since dipped to 45. The total has gone OVER in four of Cincinnati’s last five games.
Cleveland is 1-5 straight up and against the spread in their last six games and the UNDER has hit in five consecutive Thursday night games.
The Bengals (under Andy Dalton) were 5-1 ATS in their last six game at Cleveland.
Cincinnati Bengals News and Notes
All things considered, Joe Burrow’s pandemic-altered NFL debut performance in front of an empty Paul Brown Stadium, void of any energy, was just fine. He completed 23-36 passes for 193 yards with no touchdowns, an interception, but also rushed eight times for 46 yards and the team’s only touchdown. Grade it out to a “B” and move on to Thursday.
Where the game was lost was on the two turnovers (compared to the Chargers clean sheet) and sole trip to the red zone, which the Bengals failed to cash in on in the game’s final minute. Joe Mixon’s fumble was converted into a field goal in the second half and ended up being the difference in the game.
The Bengals held Tyrod Taylor in check, but allowed Austin Ekeler and rookie Josh Kelley to rack up 144 yards on 31 carries, 4.6 yards per rush. With the Browns leaning on running back tandem, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, to pace the offense this season, this could be a facet of the game that hurts Cincinnati’s chances of covering +6.
On the injury front, kicker Randy Bullock is questionable with a calf injury that – he claims – locked up when he attempted the game-tying field goal. Defensive tackled Geno Atkins, who missed Week 1, is questionable with a shoulder injury.
Cleveland Browns News and Notes
Projected secondary starters, Kevin Johnson (liver), Greedy Williams (shoulder) and Grant Delpit (Achilles) were all out with injuries Week 1. Thus, Lamar Jackson carved up the JV squad for 275 yards and three touchdowns on 20-of-25 passing. If you don’t think Burrow can do the same this Thursday, think again.
The Browns offense ran 10 more plays than Baltimore and won time of possession, but still managed to lose by 32 points. How? Well, three turnovers and converting just 3-of-15 third and fourth downs will print you a one-way ticket to loser town.
Despite better protection, Baker Mayfield looked pedestrian with a 21-39 for 189 yards stat line. Odell Beckham looked disinterested and frustrated already, while Jarvis Landry led the team in receiving yards with just 61. The lone offensive bright spot was the duo of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Aside from Chubb’s fumble, the two combined for 23 carries and 132 yards despite the need to air things out much of the second half. If they can continue to gain chunk yards, the Browns can control the clock and tempo this Thursday.
Johnson and Williams are questionable for Thursday, while first-round draft pick and offensive tackle Jedrick Wills left Sunday’s game with a leg injury that isn’t too serious. He’s also questionable.
Betting Pick: UNDER and Bengals +6
The issues the Browns displayed on Sunday cannot, will not be rectified in three days. It’s impossible. Can Cleveland cover -6 at home? Sure, but Joe Burrow proved in his NFL debut that the moment is NOT too big for him, built a rapport with A.J. Green and was *this close* to an upset win over the Chargers. This could be an ugly game, but the only way I see Cleveland covering is if Chubb-Hunt combine for more than 200 rush yards and 3+ touchdowns.