Browns vs. Bengals Betting Odds & Pick: How We’re Betting This No-Stakes Matchup

Browns vs. Bengals Betting Odds & Pick: How We’re Betting This No-Stakes Matchup article feature image

USA Today Sports. Pictured: Baker Mayfield, Andy Dalton

  • The Cincinnati Bengals host the Cleveland Browns in a no-stakes matchup.
  • Our experts preview the Week 17 clash, featuring betting odds and a spread pick.
  • You'll also find analysis of the biggest mismatch and Sean Koerner's projected odds.

Browns at Bengals Picks, Predictions & Betting Odds

  • Odds: Browns -3
  • Over/Under: 43.5
  • Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: FOX

Odds as of Thursday and via DraftKings, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.

The Cleveland Browns’ playoff hopes are dead. The Cincinnati Bengals already secured the No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft. What else is there to play for?

Our experts preview this AFC North matchup, complete with a pick on the 3-point spread.

Browns-Bengals Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Browns

It only took 17 weeks, but the Bengals finally placed A.J. Green (ankle) on injured reserve. They’ll continue to run out Tyler Boyd, John Ross and Alex Erickson in three receiver sets. Three of their cornerbacks are also banged up: Darqueze Dennard (knee), Will Jackson (shoulder) and Tony McRae (concussion).

Most of the Browns players are getting in limited practices except for tight end Ricky Seals-Jones (illness), who has missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday. If he can’t go, maybe they’ll have David Njoku active. Justin Bailey

Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.

Biggest Mismatch

Joe Mixon vs. Browns Rush Defense

When these teams first met in Cleveland earlier this season, Mixon had 23 carries for 146 yards in addition to three catches for 40 yards. As a team, Cincy ran for 179 yards on 31 carries at 5.8 a pop.

I think the Bengals can duplicate that success against a Browns defense that’s allowing 5.0 yards per carry — Cleve is one of only three teams allowing five or more yards per rush on the season.

The defensive front can be pushed around, ranking 27th in adjusted line yards, and the help in the second level doesn’t get much better. Per Football Outsiders, the Browns rank in the bottom-five in both 2nd level rank (carries between 5-10 yards) and open field rank (carries longer than 10 yards). They also rank 24th in defending opposing backs in the passing game.

The Browns run defense is horrendous and is trending in the wrong direction without Myles Garrett (suspended) and Olivier Vernon (questionable) on the edge in recent weeks. Without those two, the Browns don’t have a single edge player ranked in the top 100 in run stop percentage among the 124 with at least 50 run snap plays. The three options without Vernon and Garrett all qualify and rank outside the top 100. It’s basically Sheldon Richardson on the interior, and that’s it. And as I mentioned before, the situation at LB isn’t great. Per Pro Football Focus, of the 61 linebackers with at least 500 snaps on the season, Mack Wilson and Joe Schobert rank 56th and 54th, respectively.

If you go by PFF, only the Panthers grade out worse against the rush. Stuckey

bengals-steelers-fantasy-monday night football-koerner
Kareem Elgazzar/The Cincinnati Enquirer-USA TODAY NETWORK. Pictured: Joe Mixon

PRO System Match

Unders have been a smart play in division matchups as increased familiarity between teams creates a lower-scoring environment — unders have gone 843-744-29 (53.1%) since 2003.

It may seem obvious to some bettors, but it’s been more profitable to take the under in division games with high totals (more than 44 points) — it’s just easier for unders to cash when more points are expected to be scored.

Following this Pro System, bettors have gone 195-114-3 (63.1%) since 2003. A $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $7,135 following this strategy.

A majority of tickets are on the over but more than 50% of dollars are on the under indicating that sharp bettors expect a lower scoring game. John Ewing

PRO Systems are data-driven betting strategies that turn winning long-term trends into easy-to-follow picks, all handpicked and monitored by our team of analysts. Try Action PRO now and instantly access real-time game matches for every PRO System.

Expert Pick

Stuckey: Bengals +3

As I mentioned, I think Mixon can have a big day. I’ll concede that one could say the same thing about the Browns backs against the Bengals linebackers, but this comes down to effort for me. I just don’t see the Browns showing up after last week’s meltdown against the Ravens. That loss cost them any hope of the playoffs and effectively ended a disappointing season. Now they travel to Cincy and take on the one-win Bengals in what should be an empty stadium.

This screams flat spot for an undisciplined team that has been poorly coached from the opening kick of the season.

I also think the Bengals are slightly undervalued as a result of that one win. But you have to remember how bad this team was when Ryan Finley took over under center. They averaged only 11 points per game over three losses. However, with Andy Dalton back, that production has doubled over the past four games with improved quarterback play and the return of a few pieces on the outside.

And don’t sleep on the Bengals special teams, which have been one of the top units in all of football this season. Per Football Outsiders, they rank No. 1 overall while the Browns have been slightly below average in that department.

Stuckey is 316-262-8 (54.7%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.

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