It is never fun being an underdog at home, but that is what happens when you lose games like the Bengals have in 2020. The Browns are coming to Cincinnati licking their wounds after a very disappointing loss in a meaningful game against the Steelers. Thanks again to the schedule makers for having Cleveland face Cincinnati after playing the Ravens and Steelers this season. The Browns always seem to have an extra chip on their shoulder after losses like those, which seems to be noted in how the oddsmakers and experts picked this game.
The Bengals are currently only three-point underdogs against the Browns, according to Bovada. It seems being the home team has evened out the odds a bit with Cleveland in the oddsmakers eyes. The Bengals were 8.5-point underdogs in Week 2, but given how well Joe Burrow and the offense turned things around in the second half, plus a good offensive performance last week against the Colts, has the oddsmakers thinking things will be much closer this time around.
The over/under is also set at 50.5, which doesn’t seem like that tall of a hill to climb for these two teams. It really depends on how healthy Baker Mayfield will look, and if Cincinnati’s offensive line can give Burrow time to throw. Neither of these defenses had a tremendous outing the last time they played, and if that repeats itself, each team should get into the 30’s.
- Cincinnati are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games.
- The total has gone over in seven of Cincinnati’s last 10 games.
- Cincinnati are 3-16-1 straight up in their last 20 games.
- The total has gone over in five of Cincinnati’s last six games against Cleveland.
- Cincinnati are 4-10 straight up in their last 14 games at home.
- Cincinnati are 9-2 straight up in their last 11 games when playing at home against Cleveland.
- Cincinnati are 4-1-1 against the spread in their last six games this season.
- The total has gone over in seven of Cincinnati’s last nine games against an opponent in the AFC.
- The total has gone over in four of Cincinnati’s last six games against an opponent in the AFC North.
- Cincinnati are 3-7 against the spread in their last 10 games played in October.
- Cleveland are 3-6 against the spread in their last nine games.
- The total has gone over in four of Cleveland’s last five games.
- Cleveland are 4-1 straight up in their last five games.
- Cleveland are 1-8 against the spread in their last nine games on the road.
- Cleveland are 2-9 straight up in their last 11 games when playing on the road against Cincinnati.
- The total has gone over in four of Cleveland’s last six games this season.
- Cleveland are 1-5 against the spread in their last six games against an opponent in the AFC.
- Cleveland are 1-4 straight up in their last five games against an opponent in the AFC North.
- Two of ESPN’s 10 experts are taking the underdog Bengals
- CBS Sports also has two of their experts taking a chance on Cincinnati
- NFL Pick Watch, which takes into account picks from across the web, has the Bengals receiving 18 percent of the picks.
It is interesting to see a little bit of a disconnect between the oddsmakers and experts this week. Sure, being an underdog at home doesn’t show a ton of faith, but it still doesn’t lineup with how hopeless the experts think this matchup is. It will be interesting to see how the homefield advantage plays out for this team that has desperately needed it after two disappointing road games.
This week I have all the confidence that Burrow will be able to get this passing game rolling. That secondary for Cleveland has some serious holes in it that are just waiting to be exposed again, and this team has to come out with some sense of a killer mentality after blowing a 21-point lead last week.
That being said, the Browns will most likely end up winning this game. The last time these teams met the real difference maker was how much better Cleveland’s offensive line was compared to Cincinnati’s defensive line. Mayfield barely felt any pressure on the day, and Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt did whatever they wanted in the running game. It will only be Hunt this week, but with the way that offensive line dominated last time, it feels like they could trot out a fan to average about four yards per carry. It doesn’t help that the Bengals will also be without D.J. Reader and Sam Hubbard, who are two of their best run stoppers.
This will be a high scoring game, but if Mayfield comes out looking sharp then that could be all that matters with where these teams are right now. Still, we have yet to have that Burrow magic show up in a game, so never say never.
Bengals 31 Browns 41