This has the feel of a preseason game for the Bengals, and just another chore for a Browns team that drastically underachieved this season. It also seems like they are a week away from the drama really pouring out after their starting quarterback and heart of the team—Baker Mayfield—opted to get surgery he was putting off after leaving with a cryptic message about overcoming internal noise.
Surprisingly, the oddsmakers and experts have pretty drastic differences in opinions over this one.
The Bengals are currently six-point underdogs against the Browns, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. The over/under is also set at 37 points. This is obviously an especially hard game to try and gauge for oddsmakers. We know we won’t see Joe Burrow or Mayfield. However, outside of that we really don’t know who will be sat out for Cincinnati. There are rumblings that players like Ja’Marr Chase and Tyler Boyd could see some action since they have records and milestones to reach.
At this point, no one really knows aside from the people in Cincinnati’s building. It is clear though that the oddsmakers don’t think many starters will be out there for the Bengals. They also don’t think there will be much offense.
- Cincinnati are 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games.
- The total has gone over in seven of Cincinnati’s last 10 games.
- Cincinnati are 5-2 straight up in their last seven games.
- Cincinnati are 11-3 against the spread in their last 14 games against Cleveland.
- Cincinnati are 1-6 straight up in their last seven games against Cleveland.
- Cincinnati are 5-1 against the spread in their last six games on the road.
- Cincinnati are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven games when playing on the road against Cleveland.
- Cincinnati are 5-1 straight up in their last six games against an opponent in the AFC.
- The total has gone over in four of Cincinnati’s last five games against an opponent in the AFC North.
- Cincinnati are 3-12 straight up in their last 15 games played in January.
- Cleveland are 2-5 against the spread in their last seven games.
- The total has gone under in five of Cleveland’s last six games.
- Cleveland are 1-4 straight up in their last five games.
- The total has gone under in four of Cleveland’s last five games at home.
- The total has gone under in four of Cleveland’s last five games this season.
- Cleveland are 1-4 against the spread in their last five games against an opponent in the AFC.
- Cleveland are 2-6 straight up in their last eight games played in January.
- Cleveland are 15-4 straight up in their last 19 games when playing as the favorite.
- CBS Sports has four of their eight experts taking the Bengals
- Seven of ESPN’s 11 experts are taking Cincinnati’s reserves
- The Athletic has six of their eight experts going with the Bengals
- NFL Pick Watch, which takes into account picks from across the web, has Cincinnati receiving 51 percent of the picks.
The Browns were on a slide, but it is pretty surprising to see so many people taking the Bengals. People must be really confident that Cleveland is done with this season and ready to sleepwalk through this one after Mayfield opted to get shoulder surgery.
Cincinnati’s players will likely be motivated to finish the season on a high note going into the playoffs. They also want to stick it to a team that stomped them earlier in the year. The Browns don’t even have a chance at a winning season.
Sometimes games come down to who want it more, and even if the Bengals are sitting a ton of key players, the backups probably want this game more than a Browns team that have to be disappointed their season has already ended considering preseason expectations.