Bengals vs Browns: Odds & Predictions for Monday Night Football
Rob Carr/Getty Images Pictured: Jacoby Brissett (left) and Nick Chubb.
- Week 8 closes with the Bengals as road favorites against the Browns.
- Cleveland has lost four games in a row, while Cincinnati will be without Ja'Marr Chase.
- Chris Raybon breaks down the matchup and makes his pick below.
Bengals vs. Browns Odds
The Bengals have lost their past 12 primetime road games, with their last win coming on Dec. 13, 2012 in Philadelphia. Dating all the way back to the 1998 season, they are 1-22 straight-up (SU) and 5-16-2 against the spread (ATS) in their past 23 primetime road games.
Can Cincinnati buck the trend in Cleveland without the services of Ja'Marr Chase?
Bengals vs. Browns Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Bengals and Browns match up statistically:
Bengals vs. Browns DVOA Breakdown
Not having to face Chase is a major break for a Browns defense that will once again be without top cornerback Denzel Ward (concussion). The Browns pass rush is getting healthier, with neither Myles Garrett nor Jadeveon Clowney on the injury report for the first time since Week 2.
Chase's absence is likely to force Joe Burrow to hold the ball a beat longer on some plays and the Browns' pass rush should be able to get home against a Bengals offensive line that has allowed 25 sacks, the second-most in the NFL.
Bengals -3.5 | Browns +3.5
The Bengals' pass offense will take a hit without Chase, even when Burrow is able to get the ball off. Since coming into the league, Burrow is averaging 10.26 yards per attempt and a 9.7% touchdown rate when targeting Chase compared to 7.64 yards per attempt and a 4.4% touchdown rate to everyone else.
Losing Chase also makes it tougher for the Bengals other receivers. Here are the numbers for Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd with and without Chase since Burrow was drafted:
- Higgins with Chase: 9.6 targets, 6.3 receptions, 93.1 yards, 0.50 TD
- Higgins without Chase: 7.1 targets, 4.5 receptions, 60.5 yards, 0.40 TD
- Boyd with Chase: 7.2 targets, 5.2 receptions, 66.0 yards, 0.43 TD
- Boyd without Chase: 7.3 targets, 5.3 receptions, 56.1 yards, 0.27 TD
The Browns finally started to get their leaky run defense under control against the Ravens last week, allowing just 97 yards on 33 carries to Ravens running backs (2.94 yards per carry). The Bengals' running game has struggled for most of the season, ranking 20th in DVOA.
In fact, it's the Bengals' shaky run defense that may play a bigger role in this game given that the Browns average 31.7 rushing attempts per game, the fifth-most in the NFL. The Bengals really miss interior lineman D.J. Reader (IR-knee). With Reader in the lineup in Weeks 1-3, the Bengals allowed a 33.8% rush success rate, fifth-best in the league, per RBSDM.com. Without Reader in Weeks 4-7, that mark slipped to 45.0%, 23rd.
With Kareem Hunt on the trading block, the Bengals will likely face an even heavier dose than usual of Nick Chubb, who leads the NFL in rushing yards (740) and rushing touchdowns (8) while averaging 5.9 yards per carry.
This is about all you can ask for from the Browns from a situational perspective. At 2-5 and needing a win to save their season, they'll be the more desperate team and will be playing in front of a raucous Dawg Pound. Their opponent just lost its best player on offense, is struggling to stop the run on defense and has found ways to lose in these spots for the better part of more than two decades.
According to our Action Labs data, divisional road favorites that have covered 70% or more of their games have gone just 46-71-2 (39%) ATS since 2005, failing to cover by 1.75 points per game.
The Browns have also had some bad luck this season, which tends to create value. According to our Action Network Luck Rankings, the Browns rank 30th in luck while the Bengals rank 17th, a discrepancy of 13 places. A luck differential of 10 places or more this season has yielded an ATS record of 25-14 (64%).
Quickslip: Browns +3.5 | Bet to +3