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Bengals vs Browns: Odds, expert picks, analysis, predictions for Thursday Night Football

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Even when Cincinnati is clearly the superior team, Cleveland has managed to steal a game from them, and that came in this very scenario last year.

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The Cincinnati Bengals will look to remain undefeated when they host the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football.

It's a familiar scenario after both teams squared off in 2014 on a primetime Thursday game; it was the Browns who came away with a 24-3 win. The Bengals would bounce back and score a 30-0 win in Cleveland weeks later, which happened to be the first NFL start of Heisman-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel.

As it turns out, Manziel will be getting the start again this time around with Josh McCown injured. Manziel will be making his fourth career start since being drafted out of Texas A&M in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He's 1-2 with his lone win coming at home vs the Tennessee Titans in Week 2 this season.

However, going from McCown to Manziel is a huge downgrade based on how the veteran has played this season. As ClevelandBrowns.com's Andrew Gribble writes, McCown is the NFL's best quarterback on third downs this season with a passer rating of 137.3 on that down. All three of his touchdown passes during this past Sunday's 34-20 loss to the Arizona Cardinals were on third down.

Manziel and the Browns are facing some long odds to come out of Cincinnati with a win. That's why the guys at Odds Shark have the Bengals pegged as a 12.5-point favorite with an over/under of 45.5. It's rare to ever see a team favored by almost two touchdowns, but that's the case in this matchup.

Here are some of the notable betting trends regarding the Bengals and Browns:

Cincinnati is 6-0-1 ATS in its last 7 games

Cincinnati is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games

Cincinnati is 15-4-2 ATS in its last 21 games at home

Cincinnati is 17-3-1 SU in its last 21 games at home

Cincinnati is 15-6 SU in its last 21 games when playing Cleveland

Cleveland is 2-3-1 ATS in its last 6 games

Cleveland is 2-11 SU in its last 13 games

Cleveland is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games on the road

Cleveland is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games on the road

The experts at numberFire and Team Rankings aren't expecting the Bengals to cover that 12.5-point spread. numberFire projects the Bengals to win by an average score of 31.5 - 20.2, while Team Rankings projects an average score of 27.7 - 16.6.

A big reason why everyone foresees the Bengals winning this game is their high-powered offense going against a banged-up and struggling Browns defense. ESPN's Kevin Seifert points out what's made this offense so good in 2015:

Their passing game is producing an average of 7.87 yards per dropback, second highest in the league, and Gio Bernard's average of 5.63 yards per carry ranks third among qualified running backs. Their offense has produced 28.3 points per game, third best in the NFL, despite running the league's 10th-fewest plays (446). The Bengals' pass defense, meanwhile, is the NFL's second best based on opponents' QBR (41.3).

Seifert also pointed out what could be the Bengals' downfall:

Opponents with a strong running attack could control a game against the Bengals. They are allowing 5.01 yards per rush, second worst in the NFL, and their tackling is in question. Running backs are averaging 1.93 yards after contact against them, also the league's second-worst mark. The best way to beat an explosive offense is to keep it off the field.

As for picks, everyone is siding with the Bengals in this one. CBS Sports' Pete Prisco is going with the Bengals thanks to a big game from Andy Dalton in this matchup.

The Bengals are riding high at 7-0 heading into this game. They have to be careful of a letdown after beating the Steelers on the road. Cleveland has major problems on defense, which Andy Dalton will exploit. The Bengals win big.

The SB Nation crew voted unanimously in favor of Cincinnati by an 8-0 margin. That's also the case at CBS Sports with all eight of their experts picking the Bengals. Cincy also went 8-for-8 at Bleacher Report with their experts all siding with Cincinnati.

Microsoft Cortanaa virtual assistant that picks the winner of every NFL game on Bing, gives the Bengals an 82-percent chance of winning this game after going 13-1 in Week 8 picks.