Though this is one of the older NFL rivalries, it hasn’t been much of one recently as the Bengals have dominated the series. Cincinnati is 47-39 all time vs Cleveland and the orange and black have won the last four games. The Bengals also lead 19-8 in games during the tenure of Marvin Lewis and have won 18 of the last 24 matchups.
Right now, the Browns just want to get one victory to avoid an 0-16 record for the 2016 season. They enter Week 14 with an 0-12 mark and just one other home game left after Sunday, which is Week 16 vs the Chargers.
As for the 4-7-1 Bengals, they’re just looking to end on a high note and build momentum toward a rebound season in 2017. A win over Cleveland would help to do that, but a loss could lead to more questions about the roster and coaching staff.
Odds and Betting Trends
The Bengals have been viewed as the favorite in this game since the second it was set this offseason. Cincinnati has dominated this rivalry recently, and while they’ve slipped overall this year, the oddsmakers still expect a Bengals win.
That’s why the road team enters this matchup as a 5.5-point favorite as of Saturday morning, according to Odds Shark. Here are some of the recent betting trends for both teams:
- Cincinnati is 1-4 against the spread in its last 5 games
- Cincinnati is 1-3-1 straight up in its last 5 games
- Cincinnati is 0-5 against the spread in its last 5 games on the road
- Cincinnati is 0-5 straight up in its last 5 games on the road
- The total has gone under in 4 of Cincinnati's last 5 games on the road
- Cincinnati is 5-1 against the spread in its last 6 games when playing Cleveland
- Cincinnati is 5-1 straight up in its last 6 games when playing Cleveland
- The total has gone under in 4 of Cincinnati's last 5 games when playing Cleveland
- Cleveland is 0-5 against the spread in its last 5 games
- Cleveland is 0-5 straight up in its last 5 games
- The total has gone under in 4 of Cleveland's last 5 games
- Cleveland is 0-5 against the spread in its last 5 games at home
- Cleveland is 0-5 straight up in its last 5 games at home
- The total has gone under in 4 of Cleveland's last 5 games at home
The experts, to no surprise, are favoring the Bengals in this one.
- At CBS Sports, seven of their eight experts went with the Bengals.
- Over at ESPN, all of their nine experts think the Bengals win in Cleveland.
- At SB Nation, it's a pretty even spread with only five of their nine picks coming in for Cincinnati.
- At FOX Sports, their six-man crew had four picking the Bengals and two siding with the Browns.
- What If Sports projects a 24-22 Bengals win.
- NFL Picks Watch, which takes into account all of the expert pickers across the internet, has Cincinnati getting 84-percent of the picks at the time this post was published.
The Bengals are viewed as the favorites in this game, but not a crazy extent, considering they're facing an 0-12 disaster. Neither team has been great this year, but the Bengals have been significantly better than their in-state foe.
The home-field advantage makes the matchup a little more interesting, but this is still a game the Bengals have no business losing.