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It's the battle of Ohio as the Cleveland Browns host the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday in NFL action. The Browns are 5-7 on the year while the Bengals are 1-11. Cleveland swept both games against their AFC North Division rival last year. They are a 7.5 point favorite in this one. Kickoff is at 1:00 p.m. ET Sunday at Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Bengals finally snapped their 11 game losing streak and won for the first time in 2019 last week. They completely dismantled the New York Jets last week 22-6. The Bengals didn't really do anything spectacular on offense, rather it was the defense that won this game as the Bengals held the Jets to 271 total yards and just 15 first downs. For a defense that has gotten pummeled all year, it was a surprise to see them step up. Can they do it again?
The Cleveland Browns are one of the most frustrating teams of 2019. Last week encapsulated that as they had a chance to crawl back to .500 but wound up losing to the Steelers 20-13. They still have a chance to get back to .500, but they must win three of their last four. One of those games is against the Ravens. But quarterback Baker Mayfield got banged up in his last game and is questionable for this one against the Bengals.
Bengals gets their first winThe Bengals' long streak of futility is over. They finally won a game last week, snapping an 11 game losing streak to start the season. Last Sunday, they beat the woeful New York Jets 22-6. The Bengals defense was particularly good in this game, holding the Jets to 271 total yards and just 15 first downs. The defense held the Jets to just 62 yards rushing. For a defense that allows 405 total yards per game, which is one of the worst in the league, and nearly 25 points per game, it was unexpected. Then again, they were playing the Jets.
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton wasn't anything special, but he didn't make any big mistakes. He was 22 for 37 for 243 yards and a touchdown. Joe Mixon had just 44 yards rushing on 19 carries and a touchdown, while Auden Tate had 4 catches for 66 yards receiving. Tyler Boyd had 5 catches for 59 yards and a touchdown. They also scored on a safety on a Jets penalty. Typical Jets.
Browns stumble in PittsburghJust when you think the Cleveland Browns have turned a corner, they go and lay an egg like they did last week in Pittsburgh. The Browns had won 3 straight and had a chance to get back to .500 but they went and lost to the Steelers 20-13 to fall to 5-7. The loss seriously hurt their chances of making the playoffs. Toi make matters worse, quarterback Baker Mayfield got banged up in the game but he is now probable for the Bengals game, as is star wide receiver Odell Beckham.
In the Steelers loss, the Browns defense gave up 323 yards to an offense led by a third-string quarterback without its best running back and wide receiver. Just terrible. Mayfield had a very pedestrian game going 18 for 32 for 196 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Nick Chubb had 58 yards rushing while Kareem Hunt ran for 46 yards. Hunt also had 5 catches including a touchdown reception. Jarvis Landry had 6 catches for 76 yards while Beckham had just 3 catches for 29 yards.
Trends are from Covers.com:
- Browns are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
- Browns are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games in Week 14
- Browns are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 vs. AFC North.
- Bengals are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games in Week 14.
- Bengals are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games after accumulating less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Bengals are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite.
- Bengals are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following an ATS win
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Take the Browns giving up the points. If the Browns aren't embarrassed by last week's loss in Pittsburgh, well, I don't know what to say. That was a prime spot for them to make a playoff run, competing against a severely depleted Steelers team that was playing its third-string quarterback and lost its two best weapons. Considering the firepower the Browns have on offense, there's no excuse for them to score only one touchdown last week. If they can't beat the Bengals by more than a touchdown at home, then, again, I don't know what to say. But they will. The favorite is 7-1 against the spread in their last 8 meetings.
Prediction: Cleveland -6.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Take the over here. I know the Browns only scored one touchdown last week, but they are playing one of the worst defenses in the NFL. And they have a ton of firepower with 2 all-pro level running backs and two all-pro level wide receivers. Not to mention a quarterback who was the No. 1 pick in the draft. I think they'll take out their frustrations on the Bengals this week and hang a big number on them. The over is 6-2-1 in the Bengals last 9 games following a straight-up win. Also, the over is 3-0-1 in Browns last 4 games as a home favorite and 9-4 in their last 13 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game.