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Bengals open as big underdog to Browns

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The Bengals will look to end the Browns’ slim playoff hopes in Week 16.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals are going to be big underdogs in each of their final two regular-season games.

That starts in Week 16 when they hit the road to face a Browns team that’s still in the running for a playoff spot. Cincinnati has won four-straight in Cleveland, but they were also favored in all four of those games.

This time around, the Bengals will be around a seven-point underdog. Some sportsbooks actually have the Browns favored by eight. After the Browns won 35-21 in Cincinnati in a game they led 35-7 at one point, it’s no surprise to see them favored big at home this time around.

Still, that’s a very big line for an NFL game, but at this point, the Bengals may not have enough firepower to even cover that spread. That’s especially true when you realize Tyler Boyd probably won’t play this week due to an MCL sprain.

That leaves the Bengals with Jeff Driskel at quarterback throwing to receivers like John Ross, Cody Core, Josh Malone, Alex Erickson and Auden Tate. Ross has caught 19 balls this year, while Tate, Core, Tate and Erickson have combined to catch 27 passes.

The good news is the Bengals still have Joe Mixon, but can he be enough to carry this offense?

The only realistic way to see Cincinnati winning this game is if the defense plays their best game of the season and keeps this game in the teens or low 20s.