Bengals-Browns Betting Preview: Is the Market Giving Cleveland Too Much Love?

Bengals-Browns Betting Preview: Is the Market Giving Cleveland Too Much Love? article feature image

Troy Taormina, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Nick Chubb

Betting odds: Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns

  • Spread: Browns -9
  • Over/Under: 44
  • Time: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: CBS

>> All odds as of Friday afternoon. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets

Betting market: This line has moved from -7 to -9 as the Browns are a popular pick once again this week, with 55% of the tickets coming down on the Dawg Pound.

Bigger bettors have also been hammering away at the under. Ninety-seven percent of money and 65% of bets have hit the under, moving the total from 46.5 to 44 (see live betting data here). — Danny Donahue

Trends to know: Including his college career, Baker Mayfield is 26-16 ATS as the betting favorite and is 19-9 ATS at home, too. Mayfield has won nine consecutive games straight up as the betting favorite dating back to his days with the Sooners, per our Bet Labs data. — Evan Abrams

Did you know? Since 2003, there have been 960 instances of an NFL team being favored by more than a touchdown. (Faves are 459-489-12 48.4%.)

Of those 960, the Browns were only responsible for three (1-2 ATS) — the fewest of any team over that stretch.

Cleveland hasn’t been favored by more than a TD since Dec. 1, 2013 when it was favored by 7.5 points at home. It lost that game outright to the Jags. — Stuckey

Playoff picture: It’s Week 16 and the Browns haven’t been eliminated from the playoffs. What a time to be alive.

Still, it’ll take a miracle for Cleveland to taste the postseason. Here’s the exact scenario.

  • Browns win out
  • Redskins beat Titans
  • Ravens beat Chargers
  • Dolphins lose to either Jacksonville or Buffalo
  • Giants beat Colts
  • Titans and Colts tie in Week 17

So, yeah, I will personally walk from New York City to Cleveland if the Browns make the playoffs. Scott T. Miller

Biggest mismatch: Baker Mayfield vs. Bengals secondary

Baker Mayfield has objectively balled out over the last two months. He’s largely functioned as a similar monster as rookie year Deshaun Watson, who was more or less the Michael Jordan of fantasy football last season.

  • Baker Mayfield with Freddie Kitchens calling plays (6 starts): 4-2 record, 71% completion rate, 8.7 Y/A, 1,594 pass yards, 13 TDs, 5 INTs
  • Deshaun Watson in 6 starts as a rookie: 3-3 record, 63% completion rate, 8.8 Y/A, 1,597 pass yards, 18 TDs, 7 INTs

This week the Browns boast a favorable combined explosive pass play rate along with a favorable matchup in combined net yards per attempt.

The Bengals’ bottom-five defense in both scoring and overall DVOA shouldn’t be a hindrance to more dominance from the potential rookie of the year. — Ian Hartitz

DFS edge: Nick Chubb is heavily involved in the Browns offense, evidenced by his 73.77% market share of carries since Week 10.

During that span, he’s averaging 20.6 touches per game. This week he draws a matchup against a Bengals defense which has struggled against the run all year, ranking 26th in rushing DVOA.

The Browns are presently nine-point home favorites against the Bengals. Historically, running backs on teams with comparable spreads have historically averaged 17.44 DraftKings points per game, per the FantasyLabs Trends tool. — Justin Bailey

Which team is healthier? Browns

The Browns are tentatively expected to be almost fully healthy entering their Week 16 matchup against the Bengals, as only cornerback Phillip Gaines (knee), defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi (biceps) and center J.C. Tretter (ankle) are thought to be at risk of missing Sunday’s game.

Fourth-overall pick and Pro Bowl cornerback Denzel Ward (concussion) will return to face Bengals offense that will likely be without Tyler Boyd (knee). The likes of Joe Mixon (wrist), John Ross (knee) and Vontaze Burfict (concussion) should also be considered questionable.

Note: Info as of 6 p.m. ET Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff. — Ian Hartitz

Bet to watch: Bengals +9

In case you missed it, the entire Browns roster got revenge in a 35-20 victory in Week 12.

A closer examination of that game, which was lined at a pick’em, shows the Bengals out gained the Browns 372-342. Cincinnati was done in by 13 penalties for 96 yards, two turnovers, and allowing the Browns to score a touchdown in all five red zone attempts.

This is a great spot for the Bengals, who are still playing hard the past two weeks, covering against the Chargers and Raiders.

The Bengals have covered seven of the past eight games in this series, and catch the Browns in a possible look-ahead spot to Baltimore for an outside chance at the playoffs.

An adjustment of 5 points to the line over the span of four weeks is too much. — Collin Wilson

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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